Opening Reception: Friday, September 7, 6 - 8 PM

The Red Head Gallery is pleased to present UnderSee, an exhibition of new works by artist Margie Kelk

Recent expeditions to Iceland, Newfoundland, and Antarctica have instilled in Margie Kelk a passionate appreciation for the natural environment and the flora and fauna which inhabit it. Our planet is undergoing a warming trend, caused by human initiatives, that is proving to be destructive of life in our Arctic and Antarctic seas.  Many marine animals simply cannot adapt to warmer water.  Marine invertebrates will also die out due to the acidification of the oceans caused by high amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide absorbed into the water. Direct results of human industrial activity, high amounts of carbon dioxide dissolved in the sea water produce lower levels of carbonates such as aragonite and calcite, which are necessary building blocks in the skeletons or shells of many marine animals.  Krill, which lie at the bottom of the food chain, may not survive.  With their disappearance, many animals from birds to fish to whales, will not find food.  The entire food chain will be adversely affected.  Jellyfish are the one invertebrate that may survive, as they have no shells or skeletons that require calcium carbonate as a building material.   If humankind continues to pursue activities adverse to ocean ecology, the seas may hold a plethora of jellyfish, and jellyfish only.

In her new animated film, UnderSee, created with animator Lynne Slater, with an original sound score by composer and cybertheorist, Alan Sondheim, Kelk conveys a world of exquisite harmony which slowly dissolves under the relentless onslaught of pollution. A clean-up crew of aquatic species arrives to eat away the invasive pollutants, and the undersea garden seems to regain some life. The question remains: can the reef and its creatures continue to withstand new threats, or will they give way to a murky universe of jellyfish that can survive in adversity? In combination with a premiere screening of UnderSee, Margie Kelk will exhibit a new series of cast aluminum sculptures and a multiple series of works on paper titled The Issue with Jellyfish.


Toronto-based visual artist and animator Margie Kelk takes an exploratory and experimental approach as she appropriates and reconstructs visual fragments of ideas through diverse media that include ceramic sculpture, drawing, and animation. Recent one-person exhibitions include reference:gesture (2017) at reference:contemporary, Toronto, Ontario; Substratae (2017) at Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre, Edmonton, Alberta and Counterpoise (2015) at the Red Head Gallery, Toronto, Ontario.

Margie Kelk’s first stop-motion animated film, Substratae, has been featured in over fifty film festivals nationally and internationally including The New Renaissance Film Festival, London, UK; Calcutta International Cult Film Festival, Calcutta, India; and the New York State International Film Festival, in Albany, New York.  Kelk received numerous awards for Substratae including the Los Angeles Film Review Independent Film Awards Bronze Award, Los Angeles, CA, USA; and the Award of Excellence from the New Renaissance Film Festival, London, UK.  Margie Kelk is a graduate of Wellesley College, the Johns Hopkins University (PhD.), and the Toronto School of Art diploma programme. She is represented by reference: contemporary, Toronto and is a member of the Red Head Gallery, Toronto.

For more information visit: http://www.margiekelk.com/