It’s appropriate that Karine Giboulo’s first European showing is in Germany, ground zero of the international refugee crisis. The Montreal artist has created another of her exquisite miniature worlds to give us passionate social commentary – this time on migration.
Waves, on exhibit through April at Art Mûr Leipzig, is composed of hundreds of polymer clay components formed into miniature three-dimensional works. The pathos of a flight from conflict or persecution is reduced to easily grasped human scenes.
Every human deserves access to peace, prosperity and freedom, notes the text accompanying the Giboulo exhibition. “Should it take small figurines contained within a mock barbed wire encampment, appropriately arranged in a gallery setting . . . to remind us of the fact that our world system has consequence and the toll of this consequence is human suffering?”
It is an important question everywhere, increasingly so in Canada. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel faces backlash for her decision to open the country to refugees and the issue is expected to be central to federal elections there in September.
Giboulo has worked in a variety of media since 2000, but has gained special attention for these dioramas. Village Démocratie, posted here in 2013, tackled Third World slums. She has also taken on consumerism, (All you can eat, 2008), street living in India (City of Dreams, 2013) and residential schools (Broken Circle, 2015).
Karine Giboulo has exhibited widely in Canada and the U.S. and has works held in the permanent collections of the McMichael Canadian Art Collection ( Kleinburg, Ontario), the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (Québec, Canada) and the 21c Museum’s (Kentucky, USA). She was the 2011 laureate of the prestigious Winifred Shantz national award for ceramic artists.
Karine Giboulo’s website, here.
Represented by Art Mûr, Montreal, here.