Alexa Hawksworth at Projet Pangée

Artist: Alexa Hawksworth

Exhibition title: Semi-Detached New Build

Venue: Projet Pangée, Montreal, Canada

Date: November 13 – December 18, 2021

Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and Projet Pangée, Montreal

Projet Pangée is thrilled to present Semi-Detached New Build, Alexa Hawksworth’s first-ever solo exhibition. This body of works is made of movements and motions, dynamics of pushing back and pulling in. Conjoined figures, twinning silhouettes, and haunting shadows commingle. Yet, every part of these hybrid bodies is searching for autonomy and emancipation.

At the heart of an agitated crowd, a woman is absorbed in her thoughts. In the golden gleam of her domestic space, she is reading a book, captivated. A sea of commotion sways around her as myriads of people burst into lime-green flames. Nevertheless, her attention is turned inward, deep within herself. Staring at the contrasting composition of Interior, Night I (2021), the question arises of the relationship between that elusive woman and the surrounding horde. Are these two separate events depicted side by side? Or is this woman blissfully unaware of the gathering happening outside her window? While the pages of the book offer escapism from reality, it could be argued that she is more likely to be trapped, subjected to the incessant flow of a wandering mind.

In Interior, Night II (2021), a man is playing the guitar as a group of women are forming around him. Their bodies are undulating to the rhythm of his music, swooning to the point of liquefaction before his aura. The proposition is reminiscent of bygone times–long everlasting nights spent in the communion of free love and hedonism. Is he truly a subject of adoration or is he nostalgically projecting himself in a past era? For in the bluish light of dawn, he looks lonely.

Summers are spent by the pool: diving, splashing, swimming, and sunbathing. Before growing more and more aware of their bodies, three silky blonde-haired girls are enjoying what is left of their childhood years. Stroke (2021) portrays them as puckish, mischievous, and whimsical. However, an overcasting shadow hovers above their heads. A dark spectre is intruding on their parade. Its central presence in the image can’t be overlooked. One of the girls might know something the other two don’t.

A man and a woman, possibly a couple, are having a dispute in a kitchen. The woman’s body is stylized to accentuate stereotypical feminine traits. Thus, her waist is thin and her neck, elongated. The man’s head, disproportionately big, floats above his body. He is broken apart by a second woman, which is seen exercising on a stationary bike. Despite the velocity of her movements, she–and probably the argument between the main characters–isn’t going anywhere. Who is she? Does she represent an unattainable ideal, an aspiration? Is she a subject of lust and desire? Her ghostly presence in Eggbeater (2021) offers countless scenarios.

With caustic humour, the exhibition is a reflection on the self versus the group, on identity as fragmented social constructions, and on how we fail to truthfully represent ourselves.

Alexa Hawksworth (b. 1994, Hamilton, Ontario) is a painter and illustrator living in Montreal, Quebec. She received her BFA from Concordia University in 2020. Duo exhibitions include Family Exhibitions (Montreal) and Sibling Gallery (Toronto). Recent group shows include Echo Boomers presented at Project Casa (Montreal), Opening Night at Rialto Hall (Montreal), and Salon d’août at Anteism (Montreal).