Thursday, December 28, 2006

Ghost 1

Here are a few pictures of a project I have been working on involving the systematic fraying of an entire dress. I am almost done the first, and I will be moving on to a second one within the next few days...

Sadly, I spent much of the past month sick with a horrid virus that totally knocked me out. The worst symptom I experienced while sick was a near constant fatigue, which caused me to do little more than read in bed when not at work. I haven't done much in the way of art-related work for the past month, so hopefully I can get things moving at a more normal pace within the upcoming weeks. I've had a few ideas for new projects within the last week or so, so stay tuned for related posts/photos...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Toronto Zine Library website

For the past few weeks, I have been working hard on a new and improved website for the Toronto Zine Library, and it is pretty much complete! The website houses the library's comprehensive on-line catalogue, which will
eventually include thorough descriptions of all of our titles. Keep checking in, as the catalogue is an ongoing project for us that will be updated regularily.

From the website:
The Toronto ZIne Library is a run by a collective of zine makers, zine readers and librarians who are looking to make zines more accessable in Toronto. We believe that zines are still an important medium of communication and should be cherished, protected and promoted. Our aim is to do this through our public collection of zines, conducting workshops at our physical library and abroad, and by holding events that promote zines as a method of open communcation and free expression.

Find the website at:

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Today in the Globe and Mail...

Their mission: Keeping the Zine Alive

A new library is collecting the photocopied artifacts of do-it-yourself publishing

Special to The Globe and Mail

Remember zines? The handmade, photocopied artifacts turned anyone with a particular interest or story to tell into a do-it-yourself publisher. A couple of young Torontonians are hoping people do recall zines fondly -- and not just as curios. They've collected more than 500 of them from the past decade or so and are housing the collection at the Tranzac Club, a somewhat dingy but warm clubhouse in the Annex.

The Toronto Zine Library is the brainchild of Suzanne Sutherland, 19, a University of Toronto book and media-studies student who missed the lively zine culture of her high-school days. She wants to draw attention back to the immediacy of zine publishing, even as other zine fans have moved on to blogging or to other do-it-yourself art forms. The scene has "moved away from focusing strictly on zines to getting very craft-heavy, with things like buttons or handmade books and such," Ms. Sutherland says.

Last fall, Ms. Sutherland posted on a local online indie-rock message board,, looking for volunteers to help with the project and donate zines. Patrick Mooney, a 26-year-old librarian at the CBC, jumped at the idea. "I'd gone to library school to be a librarian and had always wanted to do something like that," Mr. Mooney says, "so I was really excited when Suzanne posted about the possibility."

This past October, Ms. Sutherland, Mr. Mooney and about half a dozen other volunteers moved their Toronto Zine Library, which numbered about 300 titles, into the Tranzac. (Originally a club for expatriate Australians and New Zealanders, it's now a de facto cultural centre for the Annex.) Their collection, which includes everything from tiny, ragged hand-drawn comic books to slightly more professional-looking full-colour works, isn't much to look at on the surface (a ragtag bunch of stapled sheafs of paper housed in little linen racks), but is impressive in its depth and reach. There's a wide variety of zines from the past 10 years or so organized by genre: lit zines, fanzines, comic zines, political zines, zines about sex, cultural and social issues.

"Zines have been a vital part of publishing and subcultural history for a long time," says Tara Bursey, 24, an artist and freelance illustrator who has been involved in local zine culture for the past decade and recently came aboard to help out with the library. Ms. Bursey donated about 150 zines she had collected over the years to the library, bringing its total to around 500.

Ms. Sutherland estimates that 60 per cent of the zines in the collection are Canadian, with most of those being local titles, while Ms. Bursey's donation of punk and feminist zines has upped the American quotient.

Ms. Sutherland, Mr. Mooney and Ms. Bursey are all active zinesters themselves -- Ms. Sutherland makes little "novelettes" of her short stories; Mr. Mooney's are also literature-based, while Ms. Bursey worked on the feminist/punk fanzine Poseur Girl for eight years ("a lifetime in the zine world") and now puts out art-based zines. The three are the Toronto Zine Library's main staffers, keeping the collection in order and answering questions at the Tranzac on Sundays from 1 to 3 p.m. They're mildly critical of other zine-related initiatives in the city, like the Toronto Public Library's collection at the Toronto Reference Library: It's difficult to access and not well curated, Mr. Mooney says.

So far, their zine library has only had a few fans drop by (though the collection is accessible at the club throughout the week as well). Ms, Sutherland is hoping to spread the word and to hold workshops, particularly for youth, about zine culture and how to make zines.

But does anyone still care? At a time when the Internet has made self-publishing much easier than labouring over bits of paper and a photocopier, interest in making and reading zines has waned in recent years. Even the zine library crew admit that the scene isn't what it used to be. "There aren't even many places left where you can buy zines," Ms. Bursey points out.

During their local heyday in the early 1990s, they were carried by retailers such as the now-defunct Tower Records, but today only a few independent bookstores and music shops offer a handful of titles. While most of the Toronto Zine Library's zines come from donations solicited online, from friends or gathered at zine fairs, Mr. Mooney also continues to buy a few new titles to add to the collection.

Lindsay Gibb, editor of Toronto-based Broken Pencil, a magazine devoted to zine culture, says zines may have gone down since their heyday, but that doesn't mean people aren't still busy cutting and pasting. "There is still more that one can do aesthetically with a zine than they can with a blog," she says. "Blogs don't have the same feeling as zines, so people continue to make zines for some of the same reasons that print magazines aren't switching over to the Web. Some people like to have a physical product to show for their efforts."

And, Ms. Bursey says, "the best thing about zines is that [they're] completely democratic. Anyone can make one, and they're cheap to make and distribute. The scene has sort of petered out, but it's definitely something worth preserving."

"The reason why people make zines doesn't change -- people are always going to feel the need to express themselves by creating something on their own," Ms. Sutherland adds. "I don't think that's an impulse that disappears, whether it's the nineties or 2030. And just as you don't have to be into alternative culture to enjoy comics, it's the same with zines. There's something for everyone."

Find the article on-line here.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Bobby Five Holiday Auction and Exhibition

I'm proud to be participating in Bobby Five's annual Holiday Auction and Exhibition this year. All proceeds from the reception/auction will go to families in need via Parkdale Community Health Centre. Please come out on December 10th to show your support, and bid on amazing work by some of the artists/fine illustrators who have shown at Bobby Five!

Charity Auction and Exhibition

Bobby Five Gallery
Sunday December 10, 2006 from 6pm-9pm

All donations made generously by the artists that have shown at Bobby Five Gallery in the past two years.

The Parkdale Community Health Center has organized a program to help families in need this holiday season and we at Bobby Five would like to help. There are 72 registered families that need assistance over the holidays to ensure that everyone in their family has a warm, safe and happy holiday.

We are inviting anyone and everyone to come participate in the auction, meet the artists and support the local community efforts on Sunday December 10th from 6-9pm. We will conduct the auction silently, as well as provide a donation box and all proceeds from the bar will be included in our grand total donation to the community center.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Pictured: Tara Bursey, Garlic Pasties-detail (2006)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Alfred Eisenstadt

A few days ago, I came across a website containing the Life Magazine covers of Alfred Eisenstadt, who has been called both a "20th-century master of the candid photograph" and "the father of photojournalism." Eisenstadt's covers from the 1930's in particular are so striking, many sharing a strong sense of repetition, and a militaristic- yet always dynamic- sense of order. I have included some of my favourites here.

Eisenstadt is best known for his photograph of a kiss between a nurse and a soldier on V-J Day.

Monday, November 20, 2006

OCAD Whodunit? Art Show and Sale

I will be participating in this year's Whodunit? show and sale at OCAD. Go try to find me at one of the public previews! A funny non-artist boyfriend also has a piece in the show! Hilarious!

Check out the Whodunit? website at:

From the press release:

So you think you know your artists? Test your powers to recognize work by famous and not-so-famous artists at Toronto's most mysterious art sale!

The sale offers hundreds of original works donated by Canadian artists, creative celebrities, OCAD faculty, alumni and students. Every piece measures 5-1/2" x 7-1/2" and each piece is $75. The mystery - who created the art - is solved only after the piece is bought and turned over. Find out why Globe and Mail art critic Sarah Milroy calls it "one of the city's most ingenious visual-art fundraisers".

Work is sold on a first-come-first-served basis. Hint: the best way buyers can ensure they get the work they want is to come to the preview, make a wish list, and arrive early at the sale!

Public Preview Days:
Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, November 21, 23, 24, 12 noon to 8 pm
Wednesday, November 22, 12 noon to 6 pm
Preview Evening:
Wednesday, November 22, 6:30 to 10 pm
Includes a silent auction of a special collection of mystery art. Guests can experience martini cocktails in the Bombay Sapphire Blue Lounge and view hundreds of pieces of original art.
Tickets $150
Public Art Sale:
Saturday, November 25, 9 am to 5 pm
Purchasing Preview Evening tickets online:
Info: | | 416-977-6000, ext. 823

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New website

For the last few days, I've been working on a personal website. It contains images of most of my sculptural work from the past two years, as well as sections for both my zine/bookworks, and design/illustrative work. Be sure to check it out when you get the chance, and check back in a week or so for more updates!

Friday, November 10, 2006

November art must-sees...

I've been to five or six fantastic art shows within the past week or so. Here are some recommendations based on this week's be sure to check them all out if you get the chance...

Dana Holst- Woebegone
Katharine Mulherin Art Projects, 1086 Queen Street West, Toronto. (416)537-8827
November 3-25, 2006.

An installation of 80 miniature oil paintings collectively titled Memento depicting portraits of tortured family pets, painted on the ivory veneer of discarded Victorian piano keys. From afar the single row of keys pinned to the wall, spanning the gallery circumference will eerily hint at tombstones and misplaced teeth. Up close, with the examination of a magnifying glass, the viewer will feel the pull of each animal's fated orbit, laid bare with lovingly applied brushstrokes.
Dark human acts directed at four legged things. In her latest body of work, Holst looks into the cracks of human socialization, those hiding rage and boredom, greed and egocentricity.

Fray- Millie Chen, June Clark, Hannah Claus, Rachel Echenberg, Doug Guilford, Katharine Rupert-Dazai, Sarah Maloney, Luanne Martineau, Kim Ouellette, Susan Detweiler, David Merritt, Allyson Mitchell, Nadia Myre, Liz Sargent. Curated by Sarah Quinton and Carolyn Bell Farrell.
Museum of Canada, 55 Centre Avenue, Toronto. (416)599-5321
July 13, 2006-January 7, 2007.

Organized by the Textile Museum of Canada and the Koffler Gallery, this major group show features work in a range of media, from sculpture to photography, by nineteen contemporary artists from Canada and the United States. The artists in Fray explore the implications of memory embodied in the design, materials and processes associated with textile traditions. Often dismantling existing objects, they subsequently reweave the constitutive threads to generate new forms of expression and new meanings.

Hand-Face-Body- Louise Lemieux Bérubé, Gontran Brennan, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Kate Busby, Washboard Collective, Ying Gao, Sonia Haberstich, Filiz Klassen, Elana Kochman, Melissa Levin, John Krynick, Teresa Marcy, Hazel Meyer, Dorie Millerson, Allyson Mitchell, Janet Morton, Gordana Olujic Dosic, Vessna Perunovich, Christa Rowley, Lois Schklar, Auriane Sokoloski, Barbara Todd, Andrea Vander Kooij, Joy Walker, Ute Wolff
Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West, Toronto. (416)531-4635
October 13-November 26, 2006.

Playing with the double meanings that "hand", "face" and "body" have in the context of textiles, curators Chris Mitchell and Helena Frei have assembled a diverse group of works whose makers range from established artists with impressive track records to students in the process of refining their focus.

With the intimate, personal overtones of textile, the act of using it as a medium suggests human presence. The participating artists speak of things as disparate as biblical lyrics, cancer and the fate of dryer lint. Whatever the subject, whether addressing issues of body image, sexual preference, intimacy or pornography, the work speaks of the body either explicitly or by inference. The pieces in hand-face-body are made with a gamut of textile techniques that range from cutting-edge to the ancient and labour-intensive. Some of the artists use technologies derived from industry - a multi-head embroidery machine, a computer-controlled loom, a knitting machine. Others work with manual techniques like needle lace, rug hooking, hand knitting and quilting. Still others use found materials - human hair, jigsaw puzzles, dryer lint and abandoned craft projects.

Unholy Alliance: Art+Fashion Meet Again Nick Cave, Lydia K, Clemencia Labin, Kent Monkman, Matthew Vescovo and Viktor & Rolf
Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, 952 Queen Street West, Toronto. (416)935-3087
October 5-November 12, 2006.

Sponsored by PUMA Canada and MAC Cosmetics.
Unholy Alliance is part of the Alphabet City Festival 2006: TRASH.

Pictured: Dana Holst, Johnny, 2006.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

TMC Shadow Box Exhibition and Auction

BMO Financial Group
Shadow Box
November 8-23, 2006
Artist's Reception and Opening Night
Wednesday, November 8, 2006. 6-8pm.
Silent Auction & Cocktail Party
Thursday November 23, 2006

Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue
Toronto, ON
(416) 599-5321

The Shadow Box Event is back for its 11th year. And so are the savory cocktails and scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. Fascinating personalities and memorable conversation.
With Shadow Box artworks from more than 150 supporting artists across the country, there’s something for everyone (and every space). Still-lifes and portraits. Acrylics and mixed media. Pastoral and edgy.
Proceeds support the Textile Museum of Canada’s exhibitions and educational programming.
Space is limited, so reserve your tickets at $125 each by calling 416-599-5321 x2230, right now.

For tickets, call 416-599-5321 x2230

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

From Russia With Love

Just a quick reminder that From Russia With Love is coming down tomorrow! Sincere thanks go out to Tanya and Scott of Fly Gallery, Babel Books and Music, and everyone who expressed kind words/feedback regarding the show! And for those of you who still haven't seen it, hustle down to Fly Gallery (1172 Queen West) before tomorrow morning- takedown is at 11:00am.

And now that the end of the show's run has pretty much arrived, the From Russia With Love bookwork will only be on sale at Babel Books and Music (123 Ossington Ave.) for the next couple days. Each bookwork/catalogue contains 25 of the 72 portraits that appear in the installation, and comes in tidy air mail envelope packaging. If you won't be able to make it down to pick one up, the bookworks will be available to purchase through me after the end of the month while quantities last. To purchase one, drop me a line at

Friday, October 27, 2006

TMC Shadow Box Exhibition and Auction

Photos of the shadow boxes that will appear in this year's Textile Museum of Canada Shadow Box Exhibition and Silent Auction (including a box by Yours Truly..) are now on the TMC's website for advance viewing! Preview the boxes online before the exhibition, which runs from November 8-23rd, 2006. At the closing reception and cocktail party, each of the exhibitions 150+ boxes will be auctioned off, with proceeds going to aid the Textile Museum's programming. The event's offerings are sure to visit the event's webpage and feast your eyes on this year's sightly squares.

Pictured: Tara Bursey, Wing Study- Brewer's Sparrow, TMC Shadow Box 2006.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

From the picture file...

1. A Victorian memorial hair wreath
2. The Golden Temple (Rokuon-ji Temple) in Kyoto, Japan. This is the temple written about in Yukio Mishima's 1956 novel, The Temple of the Golden Pavillion.
3. Immaculate merchandising, mid 1950s.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book

Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Book is now available through Black Dog Publishing and Amazon UK! The book contains heaps of basic craft how-to, as well as "recipes" for more elaborate projects contributed by crafters from around the globe- including my recipe for hand-bound Record Sleeve Notebooks! Making Stuff is due for release in the US in November and Canada in December. The following are descriptions from Black Dog's website and Amazon. You can consult both sites for more detailed info on the book's specifics, and for a sneak preview of some of it's pages!

"Making Stuff
is a craft book for the 21st century. Filled with exciting and inspirational ideas to make at home, ranging from felted teacosies, to knitted i-pod covers, bread lampshades crocheted plastic bag hats, and everything in between, this book is for all those who are beginning to tire of the high street, and who are looking for something a little bit more personal, a little bit more individual... something they’ve made themselves.

The book is laid out clearly and accessibly; An introduction by Bust contributor Victoria Woodcock explains how the perception of craft has changed over the past century. Her writing is an informal, energetic call to arms, and the proceeding pages explain how to respond to that call. The first section of the book provides explanations of the basic skills; knitting, crocheting, sewing, felting and paper mache. The rest of the book is a collection of over 50 ideas, or 'recipes', if you will, for things that people can make in their own home. This is subdivided into five categories:

• Made to Measure - clothing and acessories
• All that Glitters - jewellery to complement the look
• Hipper Homes - a collection of homewares
• Sticks and Stones and Ice Cream Cones - a selection of random fun things to make
• Small Wonders - things to make for and with children

The ideas have been supplied by crafts-people and makers from all over the world—both professionals and amateurs. Each one is personably laid out in easy to read, step-by-step instructions, with a short biography of the contributor at the end. Photography and hand drawn illustrations guide the reader every step of the way, and a clean contemporary design, provides a much needed counterpoint to traditional craft aesthetics.

Making Stuff brings a fresh, exciting approach to a sorely neglected genre, and gives a voice to a new generation of young people, who find inspiration in making something out of nothing. It is beautiful, eccentric and useful, all at once, and is sure to become a well thumbed favourite for all people of a creative nature." -Black Dog Publishing

"In today's consumer culture, virtually every possible need is catered for, and every style of clothing, accessory, and homeware is available at the local mall. It's all just a little bit too easy. The idea behind Making Stuff is to create a craft book for the twenty-first century. Rather than aiming at retired grannies with time on their hands, this book is for hip urbanites who are moving away from the wasteful ready-made mentality of Walmart, and are looking for something a bit more unique, a bit more responsible... something homemade.

The type of craft detailed in Making Stuff is a far cry from the usual macramed pot holders and crocheted baby booties. It is an eclectic mix of useful, funky, beautiful and outright weird things ranging from bread lampshades to denim skirts.

The first section of the book will explain the basics: how to knit, how to sew, how to do woodwork, how to make paper mache, how to embroider and cross-stitch and how to bake. The rest of the book will be a series of instructions and ideas that anyone can realize in their own home. Some of the ideas are: make a pinhole camera; knit a wrap; make a covered bead necklace; turn a pair of jeans into a denim skirt; knit a bikini; bake a lampshade; cross-stitched braces; make a sock monkey; make cool costumes; make dollhouse furniture.

These recipes and projects will be subdivided into sections according to the type of craft they fit into: knitting and needlework; for and with children; weird and wonderful; and creative recycling.

Using a combination of photography and illustration, alongside funky typefaces in a clean, accessible layout, the design of Making Stuff references the vaguely anarchic aesthetic of craft books of the 1970s without any sense of irony, finding an entirely new voice for a new generation of young people, who find inspiration in making something out of nothing.

Making Stuff brings a fresh, exciting approach to a sorely neglected genre. In the same way that cooking was brought into the public eye in the mid 90s by Delia Smith and Marco Pierre White, Making Stuff will be the book that brings craft back into the realm of cool."

Black Dog Publishing

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Charles Pachter, Lynne Wynick, Wil Kucey

I will be participating in a panel discussion this Wednesday at the Toronto School of Art. The talk is PWYC, and open to the general public. Here is all the official info:

The Toronto School of Art presents a panel discussion on
The Value of Art: selling your work with integrity. How do you attach a dollar value to your artwork? What is the importance of context? Is there an “ art market” in Canada? How can we make it grow?
Moderated by Artist and TSA faculty member Nicole Collins, this lively discussion will feature 15-minute presentations by each panellist followed by an question and answer period and open discussion with the audience.

Location: Toronto School of Art
Date and Time: Wednesday October 11 at 7pm

Charles Pachter- Artist, Historian, Lecturer, Entrepeneur
Lynne Wynick – Co-Director of Wynick/Tuck, Artist
Will Kucey – Director -Le Gallery
Tara Bursey- Artist, TSA graduate
($5.00 donation or pay what you can)

Nicole Collins studied painting and art history at the University of Guelph, Canada receiving her BFA Honours in 1988. Collins works in encaustic, the application of molten coloured wax to, in this case, canvas.
In 1995 she co-produced a seminal painting exhibition in Toronto: MUD (catalogue), which featured the work of 20 Canadian painters and received public funding from all levels of Government and extensive press coverage. Since 1997 her work has been represented by Wynick/Tuck Gallery, Toronto where she has presented four solo exhibitions: Given (1998), Path (2000), one mark (2001), branch (2003) and stroke for stroke (2006). She has had solo exhibitions at the Embassy of Canada Gallery in Tokyo, Japan (2002) and at Galerie Halde, Zurich Switzerland (2004).
Collins has also participated in numerous two-person and group exhibitions including TransLinear (catalogue), a touring exhibition originating at the McMaster Art Museum, Hamilton curated by Michael Davidson and Ihor Holubizky, Platform Gallery in London, UK (2001)
In 2000, Collins participated in the triangle artists workshop. Established in 1984 by Sir Antony Caro, triangle gathers artists from around the world to create work and exchange ideas without interruption. In 2000 the workshop took place on the 92nd floor of Tower One at the World Trade Centre in New York City.
Her work was included in a group exhibition in late 2003. She has received grants from the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council.
Collins work can be found in numerous private and public collections in Canada, USA, UK, France, Switzerland and Australia
Charles Pachter
One of Canada's leading contemporary artists, Charles Pachter is a painter, printmaker, sculptor, designer, historian, and lecturer. He was born in Toronto and holds degrees from the University of Toronto, the Sorbonne, and the Cranbrook Academy of Art. He holds an honorary doctorate from Brock University, is a member of the Order of Canada, and a Chevalier of France's Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. His works hang in public and private collections around the world.
His images of the queen, moose, and maple leaf flag are pop icons of Canadian art. His paintings hang in the Toronto Stock Exchange and in the Canadian Embassy in Washington. His murals of Hockey Knights in Canada highlight a Toronto subway station. Retrospective Pachter exhibitions have toured France, Germany, and Japan. McClelland & Stewart publications include an illustrated biography on Pachter and his work, and The Journals of Susanna Moodie, his celebrated collaboration with poet Margaret Atwood.
Pachter created the painting "Side by Side" depicting a Canadian and American flag together for the Canada Loves New York rally following the events of September 11, 2001. His steel and granite moose silhouette sculptures have been installed across Canada. Two of the largest are on the University of Toronto campus. In August 2001, he was Artist in Residence at the International Symposium of Contemporary Painting in Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec.
Mr. Pachter lives and works beside historic Grange Park in downtown Toronto in a new residence and studio designed by prominent Canadian architect Steven Teeple. His work is on permanent display at his adjoining Moose Factory Gallery. In summer he paints in a waterfront studio converted from a former ice storage depot on Lake Simcoe.
Lynne Wynick, AOCAD
In 1968 Lynne Wynick founded, with David Tuck, Wynick/Tuck Gallery (then known as Aggregation Gallery) in a storefront location at 71 Jarvis Street, doubling their size the following year at 73 Jarvis Street. Over the last thirty years Wynick/Tuck has renovated and occupied several several locations in the downtown Toronto. In 2000, they renovated and moved to the 401 Richmond Street location in 2000, taking advantage of the ground floor location and street presence.
Since 1968 Wynick/Tuck has maintained a commercial gallery, programmed 10 – 15 exhibitions a year, represented and promoted, primarily, contemporary Canadian artists and placed their work in many public and private collections in Canada and abroad. We have curated many thematic exhibitions and have participated in international art fairs in Germany, Spain, the United States and Canada.
Lynne has served on a number of arts boards, including the Canadian Cultural Property and Export Review Board, The Power Plant, Toronto and currently she is the chair of the advisory board of the Doris McCarthy Gallery at UTSC, Scarborough and have served on many arts juries. Lynne has also maintained a studio practice since 1968.
Wil Kucey is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design with a B.F.A. in Criticism and Curatorial Practice. At 21, Kucey became the director/curator and owner of LE., a gallery focusing on the exposure and promotion of emerging artists in critical contemporary practice. Wil also sits on committees at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art and Casey House. By focusing on strengthening the careers of emerging artists and participating critically in the Toronto art scene le. and Kucey have forged a path of professional representation for artists yet to break into the commercial market. In it's first three years, le has garnered a solid reputation for itself and it's artists with reviews locally, nationally, and internationally as well as inclusion in exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), in New York, and Los Angeles
Kucey has received numerous awards for his commitment to curatorial practice including, upon graduation this past year, the Criticism and Curatorial Practice medal from OCAD.
Tara Bursey is a recent graduate of the Toronto School of Art’s diploma program, and a former student at Ontario College of Art and Design. An artist whose practice encompasses sculpture and installation as well as drawing and printmaking, Tara’s work is characterized by its ethereal quality, and an often obsessive use of repetition, pattern and delicate sculptural materials such as eggshells, garlic skin, found garments and paper. During her studies at the Toronto School of Art, Tara was the recipient of TSA’s Barbara Barrett Scholarship (2004) and Matthew David Stein Scholarship (2005). In the past two years, she has exhibited extensively throughout the city in such diverse venues as Open Studio, MOCCA, Eastern Front Gallery, Fly Gallery, and Propeller Centre for the Arts. Tara’s most recent projects include an artist’s talk entitled “Zines: A Short History of the Underground Publication” and a solo exhibition, White Wash, which employed both found, fabricated and altered institutional garments as a means of addressing the constructive/destructive nature of systems. In addition to her work as a fine artist, Tara also operates actively within Toronto’s independent music and small-press communities as a DJ, illustrator, designer and writer. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Iris Haussler- The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach

I have just stated assisting with tours of the off-site installation of The Legacy at 105 Robinson St. This project is amazing, and it is such a privilege to be working on it. For more information and to book tours, consult the project's website:


The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach
105 Robinson Street (Queen Street West and Claremont), Toronto
Saturday 16 September to Sunday 12 November 2006
Visits: Tuesday to Friday 3-7 pm, Saturday and Sunday, 12-5 pm and by appointment

Iris Häussler, The Legacy
Goethe-Institut Toronto, 163 King Street West, Toronto
Wednesday 20 September to Saturday 21 October 2006
Monday to Thursday 10-5 pm, Friday and Saturday, 10-4 pm
(416) 593 5257

The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach is a site-specific installation by Iris Häussler, curated by Rhonda Corvese. A secluded house in a downtown Toronto residential neighbourhood is the setting of a fictitious artist's sculptural legacy. Visitors are guided through the house by an archivist. In this crossover between art, literature and theatre, Häussler has transformed her psychological narrative into an immersive reality. Memories of the early 20th century, set in the unique context of immigration and identity in Toronto, are created through an unsettlingly detailed reconstruction of the art and artifacts of "Joseph Wagenbach's" life.

Joseph Wagenbach was born in Germany in 1929, left his home in 1946 and immigrated to Canada, via Paris, in 1962. Making a modest living in unrelated jobs, he created his art in absolute privacy, gradually transforming his physical environment into a pandemonium of sculpture. His legacy was discovered at the age of 77 when he was transferred to a nursing home after suffering a stroke. The Municipal Archives are currently archiving and assessing the site and the work.
Iris Häussler, The Legacy is an accompanying exhibition curated by Rhonda Corvese at the Goethe-Institut Toronto that documents the conceptual process in the creation of The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach and related work.

Iris Häussler studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich and has shown widely throughout Europe. Grants received included the Karl-Hofer Prize and a Kunstfonds Fellowship. Iris Häussler immigrated to Canada in 2001. The Legacy of Joseph Wagenbach is her largest and most complex installation in a succession of off-site narratives over the last eighteen years. It marks her first major show in North America.
Rhonda Corvese is a Toronto-based international independent curator and the recipient of the "2005 Untitled Art Awards" prize as Emerging Curator.

For further information please visit

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fantasy Fashion Show #9 pictures

Many thanks go out to my lovely models: Ashlea, Joey, Kristen and Alicia!

Monday, September 25, 2006

From Russia With Love

From Russia with Love
By Tara Bursey

October 1-31, 2006.
Fly Gallery

1172 Queen St. West


From Russia with Love bookwork/multiple can be purchased at Babel Books and Music (123 Ossington Avenue, Toronto) for length of exhibition only.

From Russia with Love is an installation featuring 72 portraits of Russian “mail order brides” drawn from photographs on internet sites. The installation is an extension of the artist’s previous work exploring serial portraiture- yearbook photos, WWII military portraits- and the idea of portraits of this nature serving as “human catalogues.” Using the laborious act of drawing each woman’s likeness by hand, the piece attempts to subvert the idea of these women being catalogued, while alluding to their commodification through their presentation within a storefront installation and bookwork “catalogue” multiple.

Tara Bursey is a recent graduate of the Toronto School of Art’s diploma program, and a former student at Ontario College of Art and Design. An artist whose practice encompasses sculpture and installation as well as drawing, printmaking and craft, Tara’s work is characterized by its ethereal quality, and an often obsessive use of repetition, pattern and delicate sculptural materials such as eggshells, garlic skin, found garments and paper. During her studies at the Toronto School of Art, Tara was the recipient of TSA’s Barbara Barrett Scholarship (2004) and Matthew David Stein Scholarship (2005). In the past two years, she has exhibited extensively throughout the city in such diverse venues as Open Studio, MOCCA, Eastern Front Gallery, Fly Gallery, and Propeller Centre for the Arts. Tara’s most recent projects include an artist’s talk entitled “Zines: A Short History of the Underground Publication” and a solo exhibition, White Wash, which employed both found, fabricated and altered institutional garments as a means of addressing the constructive/destructive nature of systems. In addition to her work as a fine artist, Tara also operates actively within Toronto’s independent music and small-press communities as a
DJ, illustrator, designer and writer. She was born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Punk 'Til You Puke at Art Metropole

Last weekend I attended the opening party for Punk 'Til You Puke, an exhibition of 70s punk ephemera at Art Metropole. A point of interest is that the show is curated by Will Munro, an artist whose work often boasts a specific interest- and expansive knowledge- of punk culture and history. As someone also very interested in punk art/design/history, this show was a virtual playground of relics, rare pictures, music publications, bookworks and bric-a-brac from the late 70s-early 80s punk scenes in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York and Toronto. Particularily amazing inclusions were several of Black Flag artist and current contemporary fine artist Raymond Pettibons early bookworks, rare photos of classic Toronto punk bands the Viletones, the B-Girls and the Curse, numerous original posters and handbills, and entire volumes of American/British punk publications Sniffin' Glue, Search and Destroy and Slash.

Here is some more official information on the exhibition:

Conceived and curated by music and art world artist/activist Will Munro, Art Metropole is pleased to present PUNK 'TIL YOU PUKE!, an exhibition of '70's punk ephemera selected from recently uncovered production/research material collected by General Idea to produce their "Punk 'Til You Puke!" issue of FILE Megazine (vol. 3, no. 4, fall 1977).*

In the early '70's artists were struggling to have their voices reach larger audiences. Andy Warhol had demonstrated how rock and roll was a viable context, but it was the destructive, chaotic, anti-social theatre of the ridiculous that punk was that gave the new generation - those with plenty of attitude and ideas, who might not have known how to play an instrument - the license to create. The artistic avant-garde's strategic interest in mail-art, zines, correspondence, and postal networking became a viral strategy that punks co-opted to disseminate their message, a process that has infected the cultural landscape eternally.

The "Punk 'Til You Puke!" issue of FILE, explored the art scene/music scene merger. General Idea's editorial states:

In Toronto and New York they fiddled with performance and fled to punk. Art/Rock 'n' Rroll crossover was the original theme of this issue: Throbbing Gristle at the ICA; the Poles at the McLaughlin Gallery; the Dishes and the Talking Heads at A Space; the New York Dolls at the Mercer Arts Center; Talking Heads at the Kitchen; CEAC and the Crash & Burn.
Now every concert is an event. Alan Suicide is a musician, or is he? Michaele Berman is an artist, or is she? Robin Lee Crutchfield is an ----------, or is he? Patti Smith is a poet, or is she?
The sentimentalism of late sixties early seventies essentially surrealistic aesthetic has been replaced by a certain pragmatic anarchy which is now the theme of this issue:

It's cheap it's easy go do it!

PUNK 'TIL YOU PUKE! captures a moment in history when artists were disentangling themselves from the dominant music industry. Produced in this process was a plethora of independent publications, record labels, promotional materials, and live performance venues. This exhibition contains incredible evidence of this counter cultural explosion including the notorious zines Sniffing Glue, Bondage, Slash, Crash and Burn Newsletter, Punk, Search and Destroy. Also included are gig posters from San Francisco, Toronto, London and New York as well as hand written press packages from bands like The Curse, Crime, The Screamers, The Viletones, Throbbing Gristle, The B Girls, The Brats, and Talking Heads, to name a few.

In addition to the archive material, there are relevant books and multiples available for sale, as well as limited re-issues of some of the photo-copied zines displayed in the exhibition.

Art Metropole
788 King Street West 2nd Floor, Toronto, Canada M5V 1N6

T 416.703.4400 F 416.703.4404

Shop Hours Mon-Fri 11am - 6pm, Sat 12-5pm

Monday, September 11, 2006

Hot off the press...

Here's a sneak preview of the VERY limited-edition From Russia with Love bookwork multiple that will not only be a part of my window installation at Fly Gallery, but will be sold seperately in conjunction with the show. The bookwork will be on sale through me for the entire month of October while the show is up, as well as at Babel Books and Music, (123 Ossington Ave, north of Queen, Toronto. (416)531-9128) a shop only a few short blocks from the gallery. After October, if supplies last, the bookworks can be purchased through yours truely via this blog, or by email...

The Russia book features reproductions of 28 of the 72 portraits made for the window installation. They are each hand-numbered- printed as a small edition of just 50 books. They will be sold for $6 each. For more information about the exhibition or the bookwork, feel free to email me at

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Fibreworks 2006 at Cambridge Galleries

fibreworks 06
Biennial Juried Exhibition of Contemporary Canadian Fibre Art
Selected by Jurors Aggie Beynon, Heidi Overhill and Vessna Perunovich
September 2 - October 15, 2006
Opening Reception and Awards: Saturday, September 9 at 2:30 pm
Featuring artwork by Karina Bergmans, Susan Bidinosti, J. Lynn Campbell, Suzanne Carlsen, Lyn Carter, Trudie Cheng, Charles Gagnon, Lyne Girard, Sonia Haberstich, Philip Hare, Emily Hermant, Kirtley Jarvis, Susan Warner Keene, Jane Kenyon, Arounna Khounnoraj, Tania Love, Conan Masterson, Shelia McMath, Robin E. Muller, Tracy Murray, Emilie O'Brien, Gordana Olujic-Dosic, Anita Payne, Danielle Reddick, Kathryn Ruppert-Dazai, Lois Schklar, Laurie Siblock, Angela Silver, Karen Thiessen, Barbara Todd, Karen Trask, Arlene Turkington, Angelika Werth, Tessa Windt, Lily Yung

Cambridge Galleries are pleased to present the 20th anniversary of Fibreworks. Since 1986, Cambridge Galleries has organized 11 Fibreworks exhibitions in response to the role that textile manufacture played in Cambridge and as a means of developing the Cambridge Galleries' permanent collection of contemporary Canadian fibre art. This year the jury selected 35 artworks from over 400 submissions by artists from across the country. The exhibition acts as a barometer of exciting new developments in the medium and provides a unique opportunity for fibre artists to share their work with a wider community.
Admission is free of charge.
Cambridge Galleries, Queen's Square, 1 North Square, Cambridge, Ontario
Gallery Hours: Mon-Thurs 9:30 am-8:30 pm; Fri & Sat 9:30 am-5:30 pm; Sun 1 - 5 pm
Info: 519.621.0460 or
Image: Arounna Khounnoraj, Paper Wall Rice Forms, 2005

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Book review- Blackstock's Collections

Blackstock's Collections features excerpts from the life's work of artist Gregory L. Blackstock, an autistic who's art involves the creation of meticulously detailed "visual lists" of everyday things. I bought this book a few weeks ago, and found it to be not only a treat visually, but interesting in that it gives us a rare look at the unique gifts and abilities often associated with autism.

The following is an excerpt from the book's inside cover:

MODERN LIFE IS AN EVER-ACCELERATING barrage of people, buildings, vehicles, creatures and things. How much can a curious mind take in? And what can it do with all the data? Gregory L. Blackstock, a retired Seattle pot washer, draws order out of the chaos with a pencil, a black marker and some crayons.
Blackstock is an autistic and an artistic savant. He creates visual lists of everything from wasps to hats to emergency vehicles to noisemakers. In the spirit of the Outsider Art of Henry Darger and Howard Finster, Blackstock makes art that is stirring in its profusion and detail and inspiring in its simple beauty. He has never recieved formal training, yet his renderings clearly and beguilingly show subtle differences and similarities- enabling the viewer to see, for example, the distinctive features of a dolly varden, a Pacific Coast steelhead cutthroat, and fourteen other types of trout.
Each collection is lovingly captured in Blackstock's unique hand with text that reflects facts from his research as well as his passions and preferences. Blackstock's Collection's contains over a hundred examples of his splendidly original taxonomy, offering a unique look inside the mind of a man making sense of his life through art.

Monday, August 28, 2006


Fidget is the project I have been dedicating most of my spare time to for the past month. The installation will eventually be comprised of several strands of handmade worry beads (komboloi), modelled after the traditional ones known and used in Greece as a tool for relaxation and meditation.

My intention with Fidget is, as with other works of mine, to address the ways in which we use repetition and repetative acts to desensitize ourselves, and to allude to the constructive and destructive implications of this instinct.

I'll be submiting this piece to a show called Insomnia, which will take place at Red Head Gallery during Toronto's Nuit Blanche festivities. (Saturday, September 30th, sunset to sunrise)

More pictures, and possibly as short statement to come soon...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Upcoming Shows/Events

September 2006- The Business of Art: a panel discussion with guests Lynne Wynick (Wynick/Tuck Gallery), Wil Kucey (le. Gallery), Nicole Collins (Moderator) and myself at Toronto School of Art
October 2006- From Russia With Love (solo) at Fly Gallery, Toronto
October 2006- Fantasy Fashion Show 9 (Gallery 1313 benefit) at Gallery 1313
November 2006- Shadow Box Exhibition (group) at the Textile Museum
November 2006- TSA Alumni Exhibition (group) at TSA Gallery, Toronto
December 2006- Holiday Show and Auction (group) at Bobby Five Gallery, Toronto

Friday, August 11, 2006

From Russia With Love

Here are some additional From Russia With Love images I took a few nights ago. They are neat because they are the the only documentation I've made of the process so far. The lower of the two images is of my source material, exactly as I see of two or three Russian bride websites I haunt regularily for images. The other picture is of the first sixteen-or-so portraits I did, laid out on my floor

similarily to how they will be installed (side by side) in the storefront window. It's funny that from far away- like from across the road from the installation- the subtle drawings will probably just look like dots, evenly spaced out.

I'm actually in the middle of a three-week break from the Russia project because I am tied down to a sculptural project I have to have done by the first week of September. I find that my mind always wanders back to this work, though. I can't wait to start the bookwork aspect of From Russia With Love...seeing a book or zine come together, especially one of substantial size, is always exciting. The bookwork multiple of this project will eventually be for sale through me for about $10 each.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Me, published?

I just recieved word that my "recipe" for record sleeve notebooks will be included in the upcoming book "Making Stuff: An Alternative Craft Anthology." I got the spot through my old friend Vikki in England, who I know from a vintage clothing store I used to work at years ago. The book is due out in October in the UK and November in the US and here, and will be released on London's Black Dog Publishing. It should be available at Pages and David Mirvish Books as well as other new book retailers. Keep an eye out for it this fall!

Check out a preview of Making Stuff on Black Dog's website:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Calls for Submission

These two calls for submission came up in my email over the past month or so. Both themes are really provocative, and I intend on submitting work to both shows. I've reprinted both calls, in case anyone else might be interested..

Call For Submissions:
Insomnia at the Red Head Gallery
DEADLINE: Postmarked September 8, 2006 ($20 application fee)
LATE DEADLINE: September 15, 2006 ($30 application fee)
Insomnia at the Red Head Gallery seeks work which explores sleeplessness as a physical, cultural, political or psychological state. Emphasis will be placed on the ephemeral, the multiple and the obsessive. All media will be considered but please keep in mind that we do not have equipment for video, audio or electronics and artists will need to make the necessary arrangements.
EXHIBITION DATES: September 27-October 7, 2006
Insomnia at the Red Head Gallery is part of Nuit Blanche Toronto, September 30 to sunrise on Sunday, October 1. Encounter the city in a unique way and explore Toronto through public art commissions, all-night exhibitions, live performances and creative programs featured throughout the city. This cultural rendezvous opens the doors to hundreds of museums, galleries, institutions and unusual spaces each featuring free art programs all night long. Visit for more details on Nuit Blanche Toronto.
ENTRY FEE: The entry fee is for Insomnia is $20 (Canadian) for a maximum of two entries per artist. The late deadline entry fee is $30. This fee is non-refundable and must be mailed with the entry. Cheques or money orders should be made payable to: The Red Head Gallery.
1. Send up to two (2) works in any media to the Red Head Gallery by September 8, 2006 (postmarked) with $20 (Canadian), cheque or money order.
2. Include a short biography and artist statement.
3. Include a price list if applicable: the gallery will take a 50% commission on all sales.
4. We do not have the resources for electronic or other media works. Work must be sent ready to install with any necessary equipment.
Works should be sent directly to the gallery. Artists in the Greater Toronto area should pick up their unsold work by no later than November 1, 2006. Artists from outside the Toronto area should include return postage. After November 1, 2006 the Red Head Gallery cannot be held responsible for unclaimed works.
If you would like your work returned, please include a self-addressed package with sufficient return postage. Works must include return packaging and proper postage. The Red Head Gallery is not responsible for lost or damaged material.
Founded in 1991, the Red Head Gallery is one of Canada's most respected artist co-operatives, showcasing a broad range of contemporary visual art by emerging and established artists.
Contact: Mark Schilling, Director
The Red Head Gallery
401 Richmond St. W, Suite 115
Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
416.504.5654 |
For information on the Red Head Gallery, please visit:

Call for Submissions: Do Hands Make us Human
Hang Man Gallery
Hands are expressive of many things... Hands can be beautiful or ugly, smooth, rough, wrinkled, gentle, powerful, weak, helpful, hurtful, strong, playful, blunt, seductive and creative. And ultimately our hands make us human. For artists, hands can define both who we are and what we do in our work.
The Hang Man Gallery is calling all artists to consider your hands, the hands of your friends and family and those of strangers. Are they beautiful or ugly? What do they say about a person? How do people who work with their hands feel about them, and is that different from those who don't work with their hands? What do they say about our potential for kindness and cruelty, playfulness or seriousness? How important is touch? How have hands been portrayed historically in art? As an artist, what do your hands mean to you? How do they allow you to connect with the world around you?
We are asking artists to go beyond a straightforward representation of hands to answer some/any of these questions and express your point of view through painting, drawing, photography, mixed media, sculpture - whatever is the best medium for you.
SHOW DATES: September 26th - October 15th
FEE: $30 with a maximum of 3 pieces.
Please drop off your finished work(s), ready for display, on Tuesday, September 5th or Wednesday, September 6th at the Hang Man Gallery (756 Queen St. E near Broadview) anytime between 11am and 5pm. The programming committee will contact artists by September 13th with its decisions.
Additionally, please include the following with your submission:
- Short statement of how the work relates to the theme (maximum 100 words)
- Bio / CV
- Contact information
For more information please call the gallery: 416-465-0302, or contact James MacLean ( or Robyn Drage (, or visit our
The Hang Man Gallery is the gallery face of the Artists' Network of Riverdale, a non-profit incorporation that strives to help professional artists become more self-sustaining through their art. As well, we aim to educate and grow enthusiastic art collectors. Lastly, it is our goal to establish South Riverdale as an arts destination.