Detail, Weyerhaeuser, encaustic and oil on board, 3' x 3', 2009


Mary Kainer

A Space Windows

March 8 – 31, 2012

Even in the death of a tree there is beauty: the appearance of bracket fungi on a standing tree hearkens its demise; a tree stump becomes canvas for the artistry of fungi. At the foot of an old-growth tree, we stand in worship and awe. Yet destroyed, the wood from the tree fulfills our many needs. Ironically, this same wood serves as canvass for our artistic endeavours.

In (de)Compose, the artist plays with the irony of beauty; the beautiful destruction that accompanies the cutting of trees. Striations of fungi are mimicked through the layering and cutting of encaustic on wood panels. As the spreading fungi patterns the canvasses, the logos of companies responsible for deforestation are revealed. Small ceramic heads sprouting fungi represent the company’s corporate heads.


Mary Kainer is a Toronto-based artist with a background in non-profit administration, environmental activism, and urban planning. Working in sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, and video, she has participated in numerous exhibitions and studio tours. She is past president of the Toronto School of Art serving as a member of the TSA’s board of directors from 2000 – 2007. She holds a Diploma in arts from The Toronto School of Art, a Master of Social Work from the University of Toronto and a BA from Sir George Williams University.