Toni Cormier concerns herself with the aftermath of unveiled secrets. To move productively forward from this point of no return, she uses watery premonitions to access speculative futures.
Cormier is a Calgary based emerging artist attending the Alberta College of Art + Design, and completing her BFA in Drawing. Recently, she has shown at the Marion Nicoll Gallery, Sled Des Refuses, and curated 'the usual place, but to the side' at TRUCK U-Haul space & the Ivan Gallery.
Through an interdisciplinary practice, I probe secrets and their functions. There's something about secrets, mystery, and desire that are grounded in reality, a realization perhaps that no destination is obtainable or stable. The sweet spot of tension, illusion, and desire before a secret is revealed is where I start making. I am under (or on top of) the belief that mystery is a tool, I believe that getting lost is crucial for reimagining relationships to certainty.
With play as a goal, I begin to think through the ways in which my desires, especially my sapphic desires, are intrinsic to the way I see and feel my way around. Representations, either through painting, reference, or evocation, also become attached to mystery. What's the point in evoking anything anyway, especially if it comes from a real and tangible subject? I am interested in the translation, the lossy processes of representations, and the death of the original. When I try to evoke something, there is a desire for that thing, a romanticization of it, a respect, and a misunderstanding. This is not to say it becomes less intimate or less real, playing with what is concealed and what is brought forth, what is truthful or not, and how much I believe in what I am making brings the subject into a place of fleshy materiality. At times, I cannot tell if it is intrusive or caring. Probably it is neither wholly, but secrets can often imply something not entirely outside of predation, even if not malicious. One of the facets I have been considering heavily right now is how my queer desires alter experiences and realities. The thing about sapphic desire though, at least for me, is that it involves a furtiveness - a bit of guilty hiding.
The ideas of mystery, imagining, and whose experiences are deemed 'real' have brought me to think about science fiction and its role in shaping the future. Using the preexisting aesthetics and canons of sci-f, I create an outer-space of the ocean, a queer and feminine outer-space that can house musings and secrets.