Thoughtful and careful consideration was demonstrated in the selection of works for the exhibit BookMarked. My fellow jurors and I required a clear focus on individual analysis and evaluation. Clearly, the majority of the work was visually compelling, revealing new perspectives, and therefore bringing new insights to the viewer. The work was evaluated on individual merit, but also with how it connected to the show as a whole. Overall, the quality of the entries revealed remarkable originality and breadth of vision. Thoughtfully and carefully created works were self-evident. The challenge, when making a decision, was ultimately based on the artist?s originality of expression and their level of commitment to their vision. Though the experience was rigorous, it was an absolute delight to view work of such high standard and caliber.
When my fellow jurors and I met together in early September to review the submissions for the BookMarked exhibit we found ourselves rather overwhelmed not only by the quantity of the entries but also by their diversity and exquisite execution. Unfortunately, in any show with so much work and such limited space, it becomes necessary to make difficult choices regarding which works to include. During the process we would often return to the idea of the book and how, through the artist's vision and skill, an everyday object can be transformed into something significant and precious. In the end we hope the works featured in the exhibit showcase the artistry and imagination of their creators and also, perhaps, alter your perception of a "book".
The jurying process can sometimes be challenging and laborious when planning a group exhibition. In the case of BookMarked we were faced with a large selection of work, work which in its majority was of high caliber and explored the idea of an altered book in many unusual ways. Our goal was to create an exhibition of works which pushed the boundaries of the definition of a book, while sustaining high workmanship and aesthetic values. I would like to thank my co-jurors, the curator and all the artists who applied for their hard work and fascinating ideas.
BARBARA BALFOUR - Toronto, Ontario
When I heard about an interior decorator who would reassemble books in clients’ libraries in order to make attractive arrangements, I was at first horrified. How could I subscribe to the advice to flatten ‘skyscrapers’ of books or to restack them to form pyramids or valleys? This seemed too arbitrary, too irreverent a handling of books I care about. It reduced books to decorative objects, devoid of meaning. And yet, I was a bit intrigued.
In Ex Libris, I set out to devise significant configurations of my books, ones that could mean something to me yet look good all the same. Making use of the titles visible on the spines, I constructed a concatenation of text in what is an admittedly a slow read. Are these books readable? I believe so, although the titles remain curious placeholders – a book can’t be reduced to a name.
My first arrangement grew out of all my yellow books, pared down to those with a loosely connected theme of art, aesthetics, and a bit of anxiety. In another grouping, a multi-coloured, somewhat irregular mountain range, the titles foreground instances and forms of writing. The next shelf holds a rainbow configuration, ending with white and black, of books relating to characters, mostly fictional, whose names have become their titles.
Another group contains doubles, often identical in size and colour. Upon closer observation, one discovers that the books are indeed repeated, in pairs. Some represent books I have read in an original language and in translation, others are slightly different versions of books (often ones I have enthusiastically bought, not realizing I already possessed a copy), and others are gifts returned to me, for me to read (although I tended to have already have read them).
Two shelves are attempts to address large topics. In one, books arranged on either side of the Pleiade edition of Proust’s A la recherche du temps perdu represent place and time, respectively. In another, the emotional tenor ranges from ‘crying’, ‘varieties of disturbance’, and ‘the meaning of everything’ through ‘passion’, ‘love’, and ‘happiness’. The final grouping, known as Death Shelf, is devised from a considerable number of books in my collection about dying, death, and murder. Beginning ominously with Being Dead, Western Attitudes Toward Death and Death Sentence, the tone lightens up a bit with Death in a Tenured Position and The Dwarves of Death, regains a sober air with Campo Santo and Death’s Door, and ends on the hopeful note of The Afterlife.
Barbara Balfour has exhibited prints, multiples, and installations nationally and internationally. An Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at York University in Toronto, she teaches print media and theory courses. Her current research deals with artists’ writing, within and parallel to art production. In the field of professional printing, she has worked for such artists as Leon Golub and Robert Indiana. She is a Lifetime Member of Art Metropole, Toronto.
Recent activities include include the Ex Libris multiple launch/reading (Art Metropole, Toronto), a Sunday Scene talk about the work of Carey Young (The Power Plant, Toronto), as well as group exhibitions Almost Nothing (akau,Toronto), El Ultimo Libro/The Last Book (The National Library of Argentina, Buenos Aires), Vehicle at Nuit Blanche (Toronto), the Edmonton Print International (Edmonton, Alberta) and Titles, traveling to second-hand bookstores in Canada and the USA.
GUYLAINE COUTURE - Montreal, Quebec
Process, process... why have I always drawn, always glued?
About paper: I have always found new paper to be intimidating. Printed paper, however, is a never-ending source of material to reuse.
About the words:
The printed words are chosen, one by one uprooted, put aside for what they may evoke. They are then chosen anew and placed end to end to write down my interrogations or my condition.
About the livre d’artiste:
After years of drawing, gouache and collage, a short bookbinding workshop set me on the trail of the small livre d’artiste. It has since become the final form of my artistic work. I harvest papers that the book can use: calendar pages, flower shop wrapping paper, failed photocopies, catalogue pages, event programs, etc. I am inspired by the Russian avantgarde and the profusion of small-run publications printed at the time, as well as by Dadaism. I particularly admire the work of Hannah Höch and Kurt Schwitters. Closer to us, I am very interested in the work of Candy Jernigan and Robert Rauschenberg. My artistic work is associated and conjugated on an instinctive mode, allowing the unconscious to speak outside of time. It is a state in the creative process that Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of many studies on creativity, dubbed “the flow”.
This obsession for reusing printed documents, to preserve the forgotten zone in a photograph, to exploit a word is a permanent game to me.
First using collage and then drawing, I attempt to give life and emotion to what was intended as a commercial vehicle. I cannot fail to mention my training and years of experience in graphic design, which have necessarily tinged my outlook. I note the abusive use of great quantities of paper and words that serve one’s message and another’s ideas. My livres d’artiste, which, for now, are each unique, attempt to force our glance towards this material, which we chuck too easily.
Revising the message, the meaning of words and images, pushing forward the use of an overly common communication mode, such is my approach. Drawing my materials from this commercial media, transforming them to that my energy shines through.
I have a lot of artist in the family. I’m one of them.
I study in graphic design.
I have a blog on creativity.
I teach in graphic design and creativity.
I draw and make collages all my life.
I discover and make artist book for the last 7 years or so.
and I just start my career in that area.
LOUISE D'ANDRADE - Brampton, Ontario
Artist Statement :
The deconstruction of the book is engaging because it leads to reader frustration. They are meant to be a visual metaphor for the narrative, hence the use of props. The processes involved require patience. They are repetitive, craft-like and intensive. The materials used are organic, solid and delicate. The purpose of colour is specific to the piece and used as an expression for that work.
Transformation is the main topic built within the body of work. Every piece has undergone a deconstruction then a construction, which is a strong interpretation of the media. I use books, the material within books and the type, text and font of the book. I disassemble, rearrange, appropriate, then reassemble, build, incorporate found objects and ready-made objects to resolve the works.
I began reading young and loved the escape. Books were precious to me. I have since I began working with books discovered a new value and use for them. In the past I would have discarded, recycled or given away books I've read and thought I had finished.
I graduated from the Toronto School of Art with a Fine Art Diploma in 2007. I have been re-constructing books in the last three years.
I have been working with paper for almost ten years as a primary material in collage and mixed media work. I have the equivalent of a fine art certificate from Sheridan College in Oakville.
I live and work in Brampton, ON.
Visit me here: http://www.louisedandrade.ca
MARTINA EDMONDSON – Toronto, Ontario
Using various materials, Martina tells stories by assembling and interpreting fragments, or moments, from life, drawing on her own experiences. She has a great interest in Book arts and has produced a body of book arts work.
Martina Edmondson was born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands and came to Canada during the mid-60’s. She graduated with Honours in Fibre from the Material Art & Design Program at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) in 2002.
She is a member of *new* gallery in Toronto and a founding member of “W Collective”. For her solo show “Second Chance” in 2007 she used disposable materials such as used coffee filters, teabags and dryer sheets. Her work has been exhibited in a number of group shows and juried exhibitions in Toronto and outlying areas as well as Victoria, BC. W Collective’s installation Eye(d)entity/Existence will be at the 2009 Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea and in 2010 in Vancouver, BC as part of the Cultural Olympiad.
She participates annually in the Textile Museum of Canada’s “Shadow Box Exhibition and Silent Auction” as well as the “Whodunit?” OCAD Mystery Art Sale and is a recipient of a number of Exhibition Assistance Grants from the Ontario Arts Council and several awards in juried shows.
GLENN ELLIOTT – Stratford, Ontario
I got the idea for using the animal trap from Carolyn Horley who was talking about the black and white film Man in the Iron Mask. I had this trap in the garage as we recently had skunk problems. Being a minister's son I have always had a love hate relationship with organized religion. So I though I would fill the trap with some of the most dangerous books in the world.
I was recently at a high school reunion in Searcy, Arkansas, and went to an early rock and roll service at First Methodist – a very wealthy congregation, very white, and very self-righteous with a sort of TV evangelist running the show. I also attended the First Christian Church where my dad preached and was very disappointed. It is a small congregation that seemed to be just going through the motions. I still haven't figured out exactly why I went to the trouble and expense to attend the reunion. Maybe seeking some sort of affirmation or closure of the way I feel about the past and the church. My piece is trying to express that conflicted emotion.
Glenn Elliott was born in 1941 in Fort Worth Texas, a military brat and a preachers kid. His family moved about the rural south about every two years as his dad was in the military then civilian ministry. Glenn went to eighteen different school by the time he got out of high school. Then four years in the U. S. Air force In Okinawa and North Africa
Glenn attended university in Huntsville Texas where he met his first real live visual artist. Charles Pebworth was a Native American and a teacher at Sam Houston State University. He did beautifully crafted wood carvings brightly painted and somewhat rude.
After university Glenn worked at the Alley Theatre in Houston Texas and spent most Sunday afternoons at the Contemporary Art Museum which showed a wide cross section of American and European artists, some of which he will never forget and they continue to influence his work today.
Glenn moved to Stratford Ontario in 1969 to work at the Stratford Festival as a props builder. He has explored hundreds of different media through his theatre work and some of these techniques have transferred to his personal work such as modeling clay, casting techniques and welding.
SHIRLEY GREER - Pasadena, Newfoundland
Gossip is one of a series of books that I created in response to my experiences while I was a visiting artist in Venice in 2007. I do not speak Italian, and I soon stopped listening for a literal understanding and focussed on the rhythm and cadence of the language, on body gestures and facial expressions. Combined with the sensory environments of light, sounds and smells, I discovered a way to create new meaning and understanding in an unfamiliar place.
I drew on this experience, and through a series of artists’ books I have explored how we create meaning when our expectations are not met. By restricting access to the text in my books, I am raising an awareness of materials, of colour, of presentation and of scale. A flag-book structure, the pages of Gossip rustle and whisper as they are handled, but do not reveal their secrets. Through a combination of binding techniques, digital technology, screen printing and letterpress I am presenting the reader/viewer of my books with an opportunity to create their own meaning and interpretation.
The text used in Gossip was borrowed from a letter written in the 1930s by a retired Methodist Minister who was living at that time in rural Newfoundland. This letter, and three others written to my Grandmother/Grandparents, is a reflection of life in that place in that era, and a revelation of the private side of an outwardly reserved man. My books also respond to the content of these letters, the hand-written script, and elements of the original paper. Women frequently become the guardians of family archives, and in this way too these letters have been a source of inspiration for my work.
Shirley Greer is a visual artist living in Pasadena, Newfoundland. She pursued a formal art education in her mid 50’s, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Visual) from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College/Memorial University of Newfoundland in 2003, and was the recipient of the University Gold Medal for Academic Excellence. In 2009 she completed the requirements for a Master’s Degree from the Creative and Performing Arts Department at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Waterford, Ireland, focusing on book arts.
Shirley has exhibited her prints and book works in juried and invitational shows in Canada, Italy, Lithuania, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, South Korea and throughout the US. She has completed residencies at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Corner Brook, NL and St. Michael’s Printshop, St. John’s, NL. In April 2010 she will be artist in residence at the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy.
Shirley has taught workshops with the Labrador Creative Arts Festival, at St. Michael’s Printshop in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice, Italy (where she was also visiting artist in 2007), with the Learning Through The Arts program throughout Western Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as with the ArtsWork program for teachers. She is currently Visiting Assistant Professor in the Fine Arts/Visual Arts program at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College/Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Shirley has received supporting grants for her work from the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts. Her work is held in teaching, public and private collections throughout Canada, and has been published in journals.
JUDITH KREPS HAWKINS – Port Hope, Ontario
There is beauty, obvious or hidden, in every creature and every object. When this beauty speaks to me, I find myself sculpting with odd and diverse materials – plant and animal skins, artifacts of consumerism, skeletons of metal and bone, sometimes even paint on canvas.
About 10 years ago, another student called me “a bag lady with a fertile imagination”, and she may have had a point.
My artistic career has been relatively brief, but my exposure to the arts began a half-century ago in tiny seaside villages in the southwest of England, where my father made his living as a creative photographer. Before I turned to the arts myself, I studied midwifery and nursing in London, emigrated to Canada, and raised a family in Montreal. In the mid-1990s, I completed a fine arts degree at Concordia, and then re-settled in Northumberland County.
My studio, a small cottage overlooking the Lake Ontario shoreline, contains a huge variety of “art supplies” – boxes of small springs, antique blue flashbulbs, shimmering ribbons of cloth, dried seed pods, dozens of colours of nail polish. I have made my home in big cities, and in sparsely settled moors; I have studied the human race through careful drawings of the unadorned body, and in the urgent and highly technological realm of hospitals. Perhaps that is why, in my multimedia sculptures, there is no line between the “natural” and the “artificial”. At some level, everything we see around us is a result of imagination, and what could be more natural than imagination?
JACQUELIN HEICHERT – Stouffville, Ontario
Pedia, a static hyperlinked botanical encyclopedia, combines the conventions of a botanical encyclopedia with that of the vast, virtual, free content Wikipedia. The ubiquitous internet has prompted a shift in the way information is accessed, enabling endless amounts of material to be sifted through streams of outlets and accessed anywhere in the world. A very popular information outlet that has gained the reputation in contemporary society of providing fairly fast and 'accurate' is Wikipedia.org, "the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit," and where over "3,032,736 articles in English can be found" (Wikipedia, September 12, 2009). The widespread use of Wikipedia demonstrates the shift in the ways in which large amounts of information are accessed (via web rather than books), as well as created (anyone no matter their qualifications or lack there of may add to it), and validated (as it has created a regime of truth around it based on group consensus as opposed to that of an authority source). In Pedia, two forms of information acquisition, book and web, are brought together in order to provide an answer to a popularly-searched question: is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? This question offers a rather appropriate starting point because it represents the kind of fast and banal information for which Wikipedia is so useful and popular. Using the conventions of a botanical encyclopedia, the work incorporates text and illustrations to communicate information about the initial question in a somewhat convoluted way. The text, drawn from Wikipedia, references plant taxonomies that would be found in a botanical encyclopedia through 'links' that take the form of a web using a rather intricate, non-linear narrative. The text is fragmented through the use of text boxes that serve to parallel the experience of reading an article from Wikipedia, which is interspersed with hyperlinks that redirect the reader to more information than the reader can realistically retain. The illustrations connect back to a more visual tradition of information acquisition, incorporating anatomical intricacy and enhanced by watercolour. Pedia challenges the act of reading and explores the ways in which information is acquired and retained (or not) in a contemporary context.
Jacquelin Heichert is an artist who specializes in print media and book works. Her work explores the internal logic of things and offers different perspectives based on the everyday or banal events. As such the media of print and book works suit much of her artistic practice as each contains an internal logic and occupies a place within popular culture while, at the same time, is defined within a rich history and set of traditional conventions. An aspect that is also prevalent in her work is the theme of collaboration and community. Much of the narrative in her book works include a range of contributions by different people based on their perspectives. In this way, much of her art has become a record of collective experiences with a range of works that look at such banal events as the ways in which people eat their food, the strategies people use to execute everyday tasks, and the ways in which people acquire information in a modern world. Rooted in everyday experiences and imagery, the goal of her work is to make explicit that which is implicit in everyday life.
CAROLYN HORLEY – Stratford, Ontario
In 60 Years of Growth, the 'tree rings' are rolled up pieces from books published in the1940's, 50's, 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's, and 2000's, working from the 40's in the middle to the 2000's at the outside edge. The 'leaves' at the base of the tree are from coloured pages of these same books with the older leaves on the bottom and the newer ones on the top. The 'bark' is from the pages of a 1959 Book of Knowledge, with acrylic washes.
I have always had a concern for the environment. The slaughter of millions of trees just to make paper that eventually ends up in the dump has always seemed to me to be irresponsible. Considering trees purify our air and cool the Earth, we are being far too careless and complacent; this planet is the only home we have. Recycling books back into a severed tree trunk gave me an opportunity to say so again.
The idea of recycling books headed to the recycling bin or the dumpster appeals to me. I have always had a great concern for the environment. To give books another life, a stay of execution so to speak – hence the piece Cover to Cover.
In Granny Squares, I have taken the directions from a book on learning to crochet and created a strand of these instructions that I have then crocheted into a granny square. Being an artist and a craft person it was not a long stretch to try to knit, macramé, weave, or crochet something.
When Carolyn was in grade 10 her family moved from rural southern Ontario to London Ontario which enabled her to go to H.B. Beal Secondary School and graduate from their Art Department. While in school Carolyn volunteered at Grand Theatre in London meeting two designers who opened the door for her to the Stratford Festival Theatre where she began her career in 1968 as a prop maker. Since then she has continued her work with the festival as well as stints at the Shaw Festival, National ballet, and Canadian Opera Co's.
For self pleasure Carolyn paints canvas, creates fiber crafts, faux food and paint sets Carolyn also enjoys bead work, sculpting, pottery, carving and whatever else catches her fancy.
Carolyn has taught Mask workshops at the McMichael Gallery in Klineburg, Stratford Festival Theater, Perth County School Board, Gallery Stratford, and the Stratford Montessori School. She has painted backdrops for the Stratford Skating Club, On Stage Dance Studio, and the Stratford Montessori School.
Carolyn is also one of the original founders of Gallery 96 and continues to help in teaching classes held by Off The Wall.
MARGIE KELK – Toronto, Ontario
In the past few years, I have made several trips to China. I became fascinated with the history and the people of that country, and for the past three years have been studying Mandarin. I have been practising Chinese calligraphy and have developed a keen interest in Chinese painting and brush techniques. I have produced five Chinese accordion-style fold-out books, all of which focus on the social and environmental problems resulting from China's extremely rapid launch into the world of modernization and industrialization.
A stay in the coal-mining town of Datong impressed upon me the poor quality of life endured by the working-class inhabitants. The townspeople looked weathered and depressed. The town was drab, with piles of coal lining the streets and piled in the doorways of homes, ready to be used as fuel for heating and cooking. The acrid smell of coal dust was everywhere. This sad reality created quite a contrast to the graceful flowers and singing birds to be found in so much traditional Chinese art and handiwork, examples of which had been for sale in the various tourist attractions I had visited.
China is filled with sites of exceptional craftsmanship and beauty, places like X'ian, with its underground army, or Beijing, with its Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven. Unfortunately, these are often blanketed by smog produced by nearby factories. In SMOKE, I concentrate on the polluting effects of China's leap into rapid industrialization. Smokestacks belching out black grime dot the Chinese countryside. Agricultural regions look lost in dense smog. Even the mountains of Guilin, or those on which the Great Wall is built, are veiled in a thick haze.
China is no longer an isolated country. The pollution produced by Chinese factories now reaches as far as Korea, Japan, other parts of Southeast Asia, and Russia. It is important to recognize China's environmental and social problems in light of the conservation and human rights issues affecting so many of us in today's world.
A graduate of Wellesley College and the Johns Hopkins University, Margie Kelk lives in Toronto where she is President of the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts and a member of the Red Head Collective. Travels in China and South America have sparked her interest in the customs and mythologies of the peoples living on those continents. She has produced artwork centering on Chinese issues as well as Mexican, Argentinian and Colombian indigenous cultures. She has exhibited, in Canada, the United States and Europe.
TANIA LOVE – Elora, Ontario
Book Works 2 & 3 were created by sanding out most of the words from a 1940’s collection of poetry and novelties called “Tony’s Scrapbook”. The words remaining reconstruct and highlight reflections around nature. The simple line drawings made with milk paint on the page reference the insect trails left in the leaves around my garden and the Elora gorge.
The village of Elora has been Tania Love's home for the last 7 years where walks along the gorge trail, daily life rituals and seasonal changes in the garden have been an integral part of her creative work. Following graduation from the Fine Art Department at the University of Guelph in 1995, she has exhibited in numerous group and solo exhibitions across Ontario and in India.
Grants from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council have enabled her to research and produce works using sustainable materials including natural pigments, low impact and recycled papers. She has further explored her work through artist residency programs at the Sanskriti Foundation in New Delhi, India, The Millay Colony for the Arts in Austerliz, NY and at the Blue Mountain Center in Blue Mountain, NY. Love is currently working towards a solo exhibition for September 2010 titled “biodiversity” at the Latcham Gallery in Stouffville, Ontario.
CATHRYN MILLER – Grasswood, Saskatchewan
Tower of Babel examines the corruption of language: each ‘page’ contains a jargon word or phrase. This type of language is used to misdirect, mislead, and obfuscate. Like the original Tower of Babel, the structures that rely on jargon are prone to collapse, and so is this piece.
Universe… A Hitchhiker’s Guide is an altered copy of the Life Nature Library book The Universe. The pages have been cut up and turned into Froebel stars, reflecting the subject matter. This is the seventh iteration of this piece, each one quite different from the others.
Cathryn was born in Toronto, Canada in 1950, and grew up in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Calgary. She studied Fine Art at the University of Toronto, trained in Commercial Art in Ottawa, and studied Honours English at Carleton University. She then worked as a geological draughtsman; a microfossil picker; a subsurface geological technician; and as a designer, cutter, and seamstress in professional theatre.
Self-taught as a weaver, she established her studio in Grasswood in 1974. She exhibited her work in one-person and group shows throughout Saskatchewan and across Canada. Her works are included in provincial and national collections, and in the permanent collection of the Hokkaido Textile Association in Japan. She has had pieces included in the Saskatchewan Handcraft Festival Juried Exhibition (now Dimensions) eleven times. The Premier’s Prize (1983) was among her six awards as a weaver.
Cathryn turned full-time to papermaking in 1996. Increasing stocks of paper and a life-long obsession with books led naturally to the design and production of hand-bound notebooks, journals, portfolios, and limited edition fine art and artist books issued by the Lilliputian publishing house Byopia Press, which Cathryn operates in partnership with her husband David. Paper and book works from Byopia Press have been shown in more than twenty-five exhibitions: local, national, and international. They have twice won the Clara Baldwin Award for best Functional and/or Production Work at Dimensions, the annual juried exhibition of the Saskatchewan Craft Council (SCC), and have won the Jane Turnbull Evans Award for Innovation and a Merit Award, among the top prizes given.
KYLE MONCHUK – Halifax, Nova Scotia
Although books are typically hailed for their historical content and valued for their wealth of knowledge, it is often the case that these objects remain unused or discarded as cultural detritus. It is the aim of the artist, in this case an altered book artist, to find use for these forgotten bodies that litter the dusty shelves and bargain bins of shops or homes and re-purpose them for a society that has long forgotten their value. Books encapsulate a grand array of subjects, meanings and images; an abundant supply of visual and written information awaiting the use of the human mind to manipulate its content to any desired purpose.
Created by humans as an intermediate space to store the content of the evolving mind, the book as a vessel has in turn given structure to the external world it documents while simultaneously procreating its concepts from book to book, body to body. The architecture of its physical form parallels the bodies we occupy and subsequently finds its place as the walls, floors and roofs we seek refuge within. Each chapter of our existence poetically evolves as our mental and physical spaces culminate beyond the temporal notions of actuality. Like time, textbooks, atlases, and encyclopedias provide a chronological assessment of our history, present states and serve to inform future thoughts. It is with this understanding of the complex relationships between the book, the body and the spaces we inhabit that my work is conceived. An addition to the past life of each book, and possible future these new constructions could inform.
Kyle Monchuk is an Emerging Canadian Artist born in June of 1982. Raised in Kitchener, Ontario, his love for art was first developed throughout this childhood, and fostered by his Fathers work in Graphic Design and his Mothers constant encouragement to follow his talents. Knowing that he wished to pursue a career as an artist, Kyle first attended Fanshawe College, graduating in 2006 and continuing to NSCAD University in 2008 where he received his Bachelor’s Degree with a Major in Fine Art, Minor in Art History. He currently lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Since 2005, Kyle has appropriated and investigated the book and all of its components to create a varying array of sculptural artworks. Traversing a variety of subject matters and artistic techniques, his work continues to evolve exponentially even though his interests in the book and its materiality still continue. Winner of the Sculptors Society of Canada’s Al & Malka Green Award for Emerging Artists in 2006, along with many bursaries and scholarly awards, Kyle continues to gain national recognition among collectors and art appreciators from across the country.
WENDY O'BRIEN – Stratford, Ontario
Take Over Artists is a title taken from a chapter in the book "The Canadian Establishment". This concept is represented as a vessel – a vessel that travels or weaves itself through, under and over society. The actual vessel is made of snippets from the book that were glued and stitched onto handmade paper, and embellished with more thread, which is symbolic of the fraying edges of the Establishment.
Ode to Joseph Cornell is the first in a proposed series that celebrate artists lives and their contribution to art practices. Cornell is known for his detailed box assemblages that cover a variety of storylines. He was a collector of "stuff", as am I. You just never know what you can use it for.
Wendy O'Brien was born in Montreal and raised in Toronto. Originally a set and costume designer for theatre, Wendy has been a practicing fibre artist for the last 20 years. She lives on a farm just outside of Stratford, Ontario. She also teaches a variety of art practices for schools and Gallery Stratford.
Wendy uses a variety of methods and materials such as paper, fabric, metal, wood, paint and a variety of embellishments in her work. The subject mater ranges from architecture, theatre and storytelling to family, memory and most recently the fragility of nature.