The Deep and the Shallows

Diane Roy: The Deep and the Shallows brings together selections from forty years of the artist’s work. The exhibition focuses on Roy drawing inspiration from West Coast marine life to create elaborate three-dimensional forms.

Crochet, knitting, and weaving are the most common techniques used in these sculptures. While Roy sometimes dyes her objects, she also frequently leaves the materials in their raw state, giving them a strange and ethereal quality.

Primarily working in cotton over the years, Roy has branched into other materials including synthetic and recycled fibres in the past decade. At the centre of this exhibition is the colossal tapestry of a life-size blue whale’s head titled The Magnificent. Visitors are invited to measure themselves to the largest mammal to exist on earth. Created entirely with the artist’s own hands over the course of two years of work, this new large-scale artwork floats over an array of sculptures and wall hangings situated in the Gallery space.

The gentle tactile quality of her materials challenge modern sculpture’s more heroic materials such as steel and bronze, while the titles of works such as Neptune’s Ear hook in her mythological vision for these resonant objects.

Yet, despite Roy’s deep historical references, Roy’s sculptures and tapestries address deteriorating ocean health. Artworks such as The Curtain of Death and Devious Snare draw on fishing culture, modelling the form and shape of fishing nets, while simultaneously, pointing to the lasting harm that the industrialized fishing industry has had on depletion of fish stock and climate change’s effects on coral reefs.

The official exhibition launch is the Artist Talk and Summer Opening event taking place on July 8. The evening starts at 6:30 p.m. with Diane Roy in conversation with Surrey Art Gallery Curator of Exhibitions and Collections, Jordan Strom. Roy will discuss how she first began to make art and how her body of art has changed over the years.

Curator: Jordan Strom
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery