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“Pale beneath the blaze…” ~ the aftermath of a fire.

Toronto, ON ~ September 30, 2009 ~ The RedEye Studio Gallery presents “Pale beneath the blaze...”~ an unsettling selection of recent works by Toronto-based painter Arleen McCallum.

“Last September while visiting a friend in the country, I was wakened in the night by strange noises,” McCallum recalls. “Fire was sweeping through the house and though we managed to escape with no injury, the house quickly burned to the ground.


Most of the work in this show has risen from the ashes of that fire; it is an emotional reckoning of a traumatic event, and an attempt to preserve memories of a cherished place that no longer exists.”


McCallum has been developing the techniques used in this work for many years. She combines unconventional materials in an effort to create heightened and unusual depth and texture. She works with found objects, foil, gold leaf and other metallics, embedding them in acrylic to create the illusion of discovering something below the surface.


“The colours in the paintings are those of the fire itself, of the beautiful gardens that once surrounded the house, the painted walls of its interior and the after-fire debris,” McCallum explains. “Most compositions invite the viewer to use the imagination to conjure the experience of a devastating fire.”


“Pale beneath the blaze” is a line from S.T. Coleridge’s poem, This Lime-Tree Bower, My Prison. This excerpt was carved into the paving stones of the walk that led to the main door of the house. Coleridge’s line does not refer to a fire, but to a blaze of colour – still, the sad irony remains.



RedEye Studio Gallery presents “Pale  beneath the blaze…” from Sept. 30  to Oct 18, 2009 with an opening reception Saturday Oct. 3 from 2 to 5 p.m. RedEye Studio Gallery is located in the Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill Street, Case Goods Warehouse (Building 74), Studio 102.

Gallery hours are Wednesday to Sunday from noon to 5 p.m.



Arleen McCallum


416 – 763 – 2314


416 – 366 ­– 3393


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