Modern Fuel: Soft Turns

Contemporary art is largely a response to current social, cultural, and political happenings and is influenced by movements that are occurring now and evolving through technology. Modern Fuel offers insight into this dynamic world through the works of local and national artists.


Step into Modern Fuel and explore the non-profit Artist-Run-Centre located in the Tett Centre for Creativity and Learning. Situated right on Lake Ontario offering beautiful views of the waterfront and a five-minute walk from Queen’s University campus, Modern Fuel is the perfect destination for students and people to visit and experience the engaging practice of Canadian contemporary art.

Modern Fuel also publishes an edition of their newsletter Syphon semi-annually during the Spring/Summer and Fall/Winter seasons. This publication includes in-depth interviews with artists that have exhibited throughout the season and further delves into the stories behind their work. If you are not able to attend one of their fascinating ‘artist talks’, then Syphon captures the essence of inspiration and offers insight on the artists’ personal practice. Further, Syphon reports critical art commentary. This is the publications’ attempt to heighten conversation about contemporary art in the community and voice coverage on unconventional art practices.

Soft Turns, relatively gentle ways of touching (2016)

From April 30June 11, 2016 the Main Gallery held an exhibition by Soft Turns called ‘relatively gentle ways of touching’. Soft Turns is comprised of Canadian artists Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olenjnik. Their collaborative work illustrates a fascination with space as an ever-changing concept with interactions that occur between foreign and familiar entities. Soft Turns bring awareness to the act of viewing and emphasize the intention of being present as we move through space. Soft Turns describe this mindfulness in terms of sight, touch, sound, and light, such that curious movement is a purposeful exploration.

Note – the gold pegs are the illusory support and the white metal is the wall bracket

Inspired by a whale hull skeleton during their time at the National History Museum in Norway, Soft Turns described how the bones of a whale which appear to be sturdy and rigid, are in fact porous and filled with oil. The bones are more of organizational system rather than a structural support. Soft Turns reflects on this idea of heuristics giving an element a false purpose when passively acknowledged. A portion of the exhibit was displayed on shelving units that appeared to be fastened to the wall by pegged brackets. In reality this was a false construction of illusory supports. Upon further inspection the brackets provide no support as the shelves actually hover above the pegs. The brackets are fabricated from cardboard and gold paint and create a regular rhythm that serves an organizational purpose. These details exemplify the importance of conscious viewing and actively deconstructing space.

Soft Turns, epicycle, stop-motion animation (2015)

Modern Fuel hosts contemporary artists and exhibitions spanning from visual, audio, performance, and interdisciplinary practices. In order to preserve the integrity of each exhibition, the gallery spaces including the Main Gallery and State of Flux Gallery only display one or two programs at a time. The focus on one artist and their creative enterprise allows the viewer to monopolize their attention and appreciate the work before them. Modern Fuel is an ever-changing space that is continuously moulded to facilitate various installations and works of art. The gallery is in a constant state of flux as art flows from the community and through the space. The fresh content creates a real value for visitors, ensuring a new experience with each visit. Committed to furthering innovation and creativity within the community and beyond, Modern Fuel invites you to explore their galleries today!

For more information on Soft Turns visit their website

An accompanying essay by Alana Traficante on the ‘relatively gentle ways of touching’ exhibit

Stay connected with Modern Fuel on upcoming exhibitions





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