CHAMPAGNE TASTES ON BEER MONEY : A Debut Show by Victoria Cantons | It's 2020 For F*ck Sake – A Thirteen Artist, Back-to-Back Solo Exhibition Marathon
I waited at the junction, leaning against the traffic light.
The sky was a perfect light blue, not a cloud in sight
Not even the trails of planes off to their destinations.
People walked up and down the pavement,
Faces covered by masks
Hands wrapped in latex
Everyone in their own thought bubbles.
Where is my tribe?
Where are my people?
Lost in digital gloom
I’m travelling through a zombie wasteland.
I can dream and I will dream
I want to be part of the world's future.
So don't call me by your label
Because I'm not.
Don't tell me to look in the mirror
And see the face you want me to see, and tell me to recognise
An unfamiliar place - I have a map
And I have a home.
I will be defiant
I will have my land
My name is on the paper
And that is my truth.
I will be better, stronger, greater
Than anything or anyone you can imagine.
I will be the beauty of the butterfly.
But then I prayed for an angel
And no angel came,
There are rules and regulations
And people don’t read and don’t listen.
It’s all about money and nothing breaks like a heart.
Victoria Cantons is an artist who happens to be a woman, transgender, and gay. As a trans woman she is keenly aware of limitations and stigmas, which leads her to question how much freedom we have and where our boundaries lie. Cantons wants to understand as much as she can about what it means to be human. She believes that what we as individuals present to the world is multifaceted and not always visible; a continuous evolution in response to experience, and in relationship to each other. The human condition and questions of identity are central to her work. Cantons is interested in themes of power, identity, and male and female perceptions of each other. She says “These aspects connect us all and yet we are also unique individuals”.
Cantons’ painting is figurative and she could be described as a colourist. She is interested in the dialogue between painting’s contemporary iterations and its histories. Cantons uses drawing and written notes combined with found and made photographs to navigate between intuitive, intellectual, and aesthetic content informed by a multinational, -cultural and -religious background. An interest in the internal-external dichotomy manifests in an attention to scale, to how shadows form, and to where absences appear. Memories of being different suggest the need to use masks and camouflage as protection, while influencing the paintings as they evolve in an exploration of identity, self, and representation.