Art as an idea is tricky to pin down. It is an expression of human imagination, but how can we qualify it as true or legitimate? The simple answer is emotion. Art has an amazing ability to identify what is true for all of us, pull it out of our tingling spines, and thrust it into a public realm where all may bear witness. As a writer, a painter, and a filmmaker, Cassandra Cronenberg prides herself on her work’s focus on “connecting [with] people.” Her art searches for a commonality and an emotional depth we can all plug into.
As an artist, Cassandra is most concerned with “art as a form of communication.” She emphasizes that art can be a “very healing” process for both audience and artist, allowing both parties to discover themselves and “share in different ways.” In one of her upcoming projects, Between, Cassandra will work with Italian composer Ivan Iusco, to paint a piece for each of the tracks he has composed for the series. She explains that the exhibit will focus on the “experience the person has between the painting and the song.” Cassandra is also preparing to begin promoting a new short film that she has just created. The film “touches on mental health and gender issues,” challenging topics which become more relevant to our city every day. The film deals with these realities in a way that is subtle and allows its audience to consider a new perspective without feeling as though anything has been forced upon them. Cassandra’s ability to create a relationship with her audience allows her to encourage them to participate in the experience.
Coming from an artistic family has presented a unique set of challenges for Cassandra Cronenberg.
“I don’t think I resented it, I think I fought it [arts].” She even went as far as working under the pseudonym, Cassandra Hunter, for a few years. Cassandra says this move was beneficial for her and allowed her to “find out…this is who I am.” Much of the decision to return to creating under the name Cronenberg came from the arrival of Cassandra’s own children. She describes it as a “crisis point,” worrying about the challenges for her kids growing up with artist parents. Maintaining normalcy for her children is still a “difficult balance” for Cassandra, but she believes it is best done from where she is now.
Cassandra Cronenberg is using her art to tap into the push-and-pull that exists among all of us. Her works take the time to explore the relationships we all share with the world and the people around us and allow the audience to consider new way of thinking without feeling pressured into any one conclusion. As a Torontonian, and as a Canadian, Cassandra Cronenberg is one of our brightest stars.
WORDS: TIM LUTHER
PHOTOS: ALEX BROWNE
HAIR & MUA: MICHELLE SILVERSTEIN
CLOTHING BY: GOTSTYLE