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Shared Space in the Underground City, 1997
Oil on unstretched canvas
Photo: Sheila Spence
Eleanor Bond was born in Winnipeg in 1948. She graduated from the School of Art, University of Manitoba in 1976. Bond currently teaches at Concordia University and recently moved to Montreal from Winnipeg.
Through her large unstretched oil paintings, Eleanor Bond has portrayed the representations of city spaces where chaos is blurred and transmuted. Using a bird eye's view, she destabilizes her subject and alters viewer's perceptions thereby creating a sense of vertigo. Her cities appear ambiguous, compressed even anxious. Her paintings are distinguished by the precarious balance between the representation of the familiar universe, marked by the uncertainties of a technological post-industrial society and the depiction of an unreal world, whose impact on the viewer belongs more to the realm of the imaginary. The futuristic aspect of her fictional sites holds our attention as she explores the ideas and contradictions in the contemporary city. The search for an osmosis between a public space (architectural, environmental, community) and a more internalized space (psychological, emotional, intuitive) is consistent in her work.
In Bond's painted worlds the city is an imaginary place, neither fact nor fiction, but metaphor. The spatial composition of her paintings is fluid, yet fractured, as Bond takes the planned city, a city of grids and perspective, that is a "fixed city" and positions within the canvas a metaphorical or "mobile city. Her landscapes can be interpreted as spaces that exist between illusion and reality, the visceral and the intellect, utopia and dystopia. This inbetween space emphasizes a metaphorical overlay of spatial practice to topographical place.