toronto

Colette Whiten

Susan Hobbs Gallery

Colette Whiten’s needlepoints are based on tiny images taken from newspapers, images that play on the reader’s sense of helplessness in the face of distant events. In this show, she exhibited four new images along with the graphs she used to painstakingly transfer the newsprint images to needlepoint. In Mob Attacks Somali Woman, 1993–94, the fear on the woman’s face and the ambiguous expressions of the men surrounding her are doubly frozen—in the arbitrary closing of the camera’s shutter and in the permanence of Whiten’s handiwork. These needleworks, despite their precious size, are striking in their mimetism. It was surprising to be able to recognize the doughy face of serial killer Arthur Shawcross from a cluster of about 20 stitches in varying shades of gray.

The gray matrix of cross-stitches has a digital effect that replicates the newspaper’s half-tones as well as a pixelated screen.

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