'It's a Wallpaper World: Made in Canada', Daphne Plessner

Imaginary forest scene with fish, four male figures and a bird

Gouache, vinyl and metallic paint on paper, 121 x 152cm, 2006

Artist's statement

I have always been intrigued by the formal aspects of making pictures (specifically figurative art) and theoretical discussions about painting (depiction).

This painting is one of a series titled ‘It’s a Wallpaper World.’ The intention behind the project is to map the tension between the human trait of obfuscation and the ‘brute reality’ of social experience. We all recognise the raw, animal-like nature of society - the human qualities of, say, cruelty, menace, greed or power. This is an alarming and disturbing experience in itself. The human instinct is to ‘beautify’ these base qualities by misrepresenting them, thereby turning what is feared into what is valued. One might speculate that this may well be the function of art too. These paintings point up the duality of our ethical understanding of the world. Hence, ‘It’s a Wallpaper World’ is to say ‘It’s a knowingly false world.’

Made in Canada portrays the rawness of the New World in its glittering landscape. References are made to the iconography of 1st Nation native Indians, further highlighting the aesthetic interpretation of the natural environment.


Daphne Plessner was born in Vancouver, Canada. She studied at the Emily Carr College of Art Vancouver 1984, the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste Munich 1985-86 and the University of London 2002. She has exhibited widely, including All Stars Exhibition Munich 1985, Between Europe and America (solo exhibition) October Gallery London 1994, Leerer Beutel Staatliches Museum Regensburg 1996 and Pop up Politics Chester Beatty Museum Dublin 2004-05. She is featured in Drawing In Temple Bar Gallery Dublin (forthcoming) 2006.