Thanks to everyone who joined us for our That’s So Gay programming night on Tuesday. The last day to see the exhibit is this Sunday (until 5pm), be sure to stop by.
BOUND is a body of work that uses the format of a book to illustrate sequence and order. A book provides a stable structure that holds together fragmented pieces of a narrative, until they are brought to completion. By recreating, repurposing, and repositioning the book form, an emphasis is placed on the binding which holds everything together.
Theresa Duong is a Toronto-based artist and designer of jewellery and craft objects. She is a graduate of OCAD University’s Material Art & Design, Jewellery & Metalsmithing program (2012) holding a Bachelor of Design degree. Her recent work explores the format of a book and the different ways it can be worn on the body using textural papers, stainless steel, wood, and discarded books.
The Ontario Crafts Council is a member-based, not-for-profit arts service organization that runs a gallery on Queen Street W, as well as a retail venue, The Guild Shop, in Yorkville, and publishes a national magazine, Studio: Craft and Design in Canada.
My name is Jolie Bird, I was born in Ontario and have lived in Canada my entire life. I have a diploma from Capilano University in Textiles; a Degree with distinction from the Alberta College of Art & Design in Fibre Arts, and a Masters of Fine Art in Craft from NSCAD University. I am currently living in Halifax but I will be moving back to Calgary at the end of June.
Within my art practice, I am interested in blurring the division between Art/Craft through the production of conceptual, technically proficient objects that incorporate both traditional and unconventional materials. Inspiration and resources come from various forms of art, craft, design and the everyday, resulting in my interdisciplinary approach to making things. Craft is my proficiency, use of materials, and techniques that require an investment of time. Despite working with varied materials, I continually work with fiber, incorporating a variety of traditional techniques both on and off the loom.
Through an exploration into high contrasting patterns and readily available materials, I started wrapping ordinary consumer objects with a thin, mercerized cotton thread that resembles twisted rope. Chosen for its aesthetic qualities, the thread has a natural sheen, which absorbs light in ways that enhance and distort its appearance while creating a hypnotic swirling pattern once applied to the surface. Because it is a two-ply twisted cotton thread, it has a three-dimensional quality to it as well. The thread is adhered to the object with non-toxic glue by fingertip, the only other tools I use are scissors, and a toothpick to reach tight spots my fingers can’t.
My approach to wrapping objects is painfully slow and unorthodox, beginning with a strategically placed starting point followed by a great deal of labour and focus to completion. It requires deep concentration; however, slowly, it becomes hypnotic almost dream-like, to the point where my concentration blurs and material and process guide me.
Fibre, through its very nature, communicates time; like many other textile techniques, this binding process requires patience and longevity even though it is a relatively simple task, with the making process inherently connected to its meaning. The presence of the hand intertwined with laborious, established practices counter the constant advancements in technology. With this tactile process I present a contrast to technological advancements through a slow, repetitive process and decidedly low tech materials. The pattern marks a historical account of my process, each pass of the thread growing in size, inching slowly towards completion. Wrapping objects is an intimate interpretation of time between the object and the maker.
I began searching for common, everyday objects in thrift stores, at flea markets, antiques stores and the like, wrapping an assortment of unrelated household objects. During this process I started collecting everyday objects based on style and form and in most cases a sense of connection whether I associated them with some part of my past or their cultural iconography. I have been a collector for many years; my home showcases an assortment of eclectic objects, and artworks. Every item has a story, and I form a strong sentimental attachment to all objects.
In a sense they undergo a magnificent death, the once taken for granted symbols of the everyday have been removed from their surroundings, preserved within layers of thread and transformed through extensive manual labour such that they are transformed into precious objects of desire and contemplation, removed from and yet affirming the familiar realm of the everyday. In the objects that I wrap I am reinventing memory – or reinventing through imagination another way for memories and objects to exist.
BOOK OF US
a Toronto Experiences Exhibit
Call For Submissions
The Book of Us is a collective memory project, aiming to assemble a collection of personal stories from all Torontonians. As a community oriented cultural space, The Gladstone wants to hear from you, and share your memories of Toronto, whether you are an artist, non-artist, craftsman, storyteller, or neighbour.
Any and all Torontonians (as well as visitors to the city) are invited to submit any work on paper, including, but not limited to, poetry, photography, prose, and drawings. We invite you to think about:
How do you see Toronto?
What memories do you have of the City?
Submitted works must be no larger than 8½ by 11 inches, and must be delivered to the Gladstone Hotel before August 5.
Submissions can be dropped off, or mailed to: 1214 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J 1J6, Canada, ATTN: Exhibits Dept. To submit digitally, or to learn more visit: bookofus.tumblr.com
Questions? Contact: gladstoneprograms[at]gmail.com
Opening Reception: August 22, 2013, 7:00pm to 10:00pm in The Gladstone’s Second Floor Gallery. The works will be exhibited from August 22 – September 2, and will be compiled into a digital archive at bookofus.tumblr.com.
HELP SPREAD THE WORD
Distribute this mail-in submission form to people you know.
A while back I had moved into complete abstraction and was simply naming each work “Abstraction 1”,” Abstraction 2” and so on. Even though the creation of this work was very meaningful to me, I felt very removed from the finished product. I wanted to make their meanings more evident to the viewer, so I began to name each piece after either an element from the work, or the moment in which I created it.
For example “Baba, Birthday, Sexual Harassment” is a piece in which I used a scrap from my Ukrainian Grandmother’s nightgown, a Birthday Card Envelope, and a notice about Sexual Harassment in the Workplace that I found in a kitchen where I used to work. “Bowie” is titled thusly because I was listening to David Bowie while made the work. I thought that this would at least spark the viewers’ imagination in a way that a very generic title wouldn’t.
When I began to add imagery back into my work it was honestly because I missed creating form again with my brush vs. the blocks of colour that I had been painting for so long. Photo transfers allowed me to create imagery within my work but in a still abstracted way.
I always begin with an idea of what the finished product will look like, and I don’t believe that I have ever had a piece turn out as I planned it…. ever. I am extremely process based and intuitive in my practice. I begin with a collage element, or a photo transfer that means something to me, and it becomes the bouncing off point for the rest of the work. Then each stroke or image that I put down prompts the next. When I don’t know what to do next I consider it a finished piece.
It is a bit of both. I suppose that if the work were to become a response to the objects I am using, because of their personal meaning, I would be the only one who understood this response. There are some objects that I have had for years waiting to use. If anything, this makes the objects seem more valuable and creates a nervous response from me when I use them. It is the old “I had better not mess this up” response. So in a way I have had to let go of the objects in order to use them, and even more so to prospectively sell them and have them move out of my life.
It is true that there are layers of nostalgia within my work: the objects that I hang on to for years waiting to use, then finally the moment of creation, and finally the reflection on that moment. The initial work is a document to its creation, but the cycle of creating and reflecting and remembering is ongoing.
Artbomb is a daily online art auction featuring carefully curated works of art from artists across Canada.
Born and raised in Toronto, I completed a Biology Degree at McMaster University before attending the Drawing & Painting program at OCAD University.
Through a variety of media and techniques my work explores the psychological context of medical visualizations of the human body. Specifically, I am interested in how modern medicine has developed within the digital realm to interpret the physical body as a set of data, which is then translated into an image. Through this process of interpretation, translation and representation, the body ultimately becomes abstracted and recontextualized by the digital language.
My knitting and textile work takes this digital language and transforms it back into a physical, tactile object. The handmade quality and the language of Craft suggest a subjective process of construction and interpretation that dramatically contrasts the objectivity of medical science.
In addition, the inherent quality of the knit and textile work as an object of warmth, comfort and domesticity reengages the individual with the sterile medical imagery. The emotional and physical responses elicited by the textile forms create an intimate space for the viewer to re-experience the medical body.
Since graduating OCAD University, I have been fortunate to exhibit my work at the Gladstone Hotel, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, and as a part of The World of Threads Festival. I am currently working on a textile piece for The Sick Kids Hospital Foundation.
The initial inspiration for my knitted anatomy pieces came from the Body Worlds exhibit that the Science Centre hosted in 2009. I had never seen anything like it. The exaggerated colours and postures of the displays struck me as simultaneously absurd, contentious, and fascinating. I immediately began thinking about the spectacle of the medical body and how individuals react or relate to it. I saw yarn and knitting as the perfect medium for commenting on the medical body as a novelty. All I had to do was learn how to knit.
Initially I picked yarn as the primary material for my project because of the association with Craft, the handmade, and domesticity. I wanted to create anatomical imagery that invited the viewer to re-experience and reconsider the medical body. I felt that yarn would create anatomy that was both physically and conceptually comforting, creating a safe space for the viewer to approach the familiar form from a new perspective.
Not being a knitter previous to this project actually gave me a huge creative advantage. I had no preconceived set of rules or framework that I felt I had to abide by to make my work. I quiet literally made it up as I went along, learning only the techniques that I needed to get by. The more that I knit, and the more I picked through various yarn stores, the more I realised what a fantastically diverse and malleable medium knitting can be. I began combining wools, integrating plastics, and experimenting threads, lace & other textiles. I even experimented with knitting metal chain (although that didn’t make it into the final piece).
Nadijah Robinson is interested in unofficial and popular histories, science fiction, oral stories, and the prevailing narratives of particular groups shifting through time. Her artwork is a visual record, archiving stories in search for a sense of rootedness, and for a hand in creating histories. Her ongoing series Black Infinity explores more vulnerable aspects of anti-Black racism, with a sense of magical realism and infinite potential. Nadijah Robinson is a multidisciplinary artist, graphic designer and curator.
That’s So Gay is the Gladstone Hotel’s annual gay pride art exhibition that explores themes around sexuality, gender and identity. That’s So Gay 2013 is curated by Elisha Lim and runs from June 12th to July 28th on the 3rd and 4th floors. Opening reception June 27th from 7pm to 10pm.
At the Angell Gallery, until June 1st, you have the opportunity to take a good look at Mitchell F. Chan‘s Studies in Movement, Absentia. The exhibition explores notions of movement and stillness through the use of rapidly spinning coloured elastic strings. After an extended viewing, the string’s movement will change your perception of motion in general, as the strings begin to appear as a solid geometric form.
This exhibition, perhaps more than others, benefits greatly from viewing the objects in their physical space, as opposed to photographs. The whir of the motors, the constant motion of the string, is something that you need to see and feel, in order to understand the depth of their design.
Please do take the time to visit the Angell Gallery at 12 Ossington Avenue before June 1st to view Studies in Movement, Absentia by Mitchell F. Chan.
From now until June 1, 2013, at Paul Petro Contemporary Art you have the opportunity to happen upon Marlene Creates: selected works from 30 years, 1982-2012.
The exhibition collects photographs from each decade of Marlene Creates‘ career, focusing primarily on work which illustrates the artist’s preoccupation with the imprint of human presence on the landscape of Newfoundland and Labradour.
In much of her work, the landscape is communicated through a series of personal and interpersonal interactions, documented through photographs and text. For example, the work pictured above is a collection of photographs depicting the particular location where she had slept the night before. This action renders the landscape both intimate and autobiographical, as the land now bears the memory of her interaction. In this way, the images do not just present portions of geography, they also reveal the impact of experience and memory on our experience of that geography.
Marlene Creates: selected works from 30 years, 1982-2012 is on view at Paul Petro Contemporary Art, located at 980 Queen St West, Toronto. The exhibition is part of the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.