Friday, May 23, 2008

Shary Boyle- Otherworld Uprising at DM Books

I will be excitedly attending the launch for Shary Boyle's long awaited monograph Otherworld Uprising
this Sunday at David Mirvish Books. Shary will be signing books from 2-4 pm. The book will include a selection of Shary's more recent work, from her incredible Lace Figures series (see above) to her polymer clay sculpture, drawing and painting.

From Jessica Bradley Art + Projects website:

Shary Boyle’s
extraordinary book Otherworld Uprising, arrives mid-April. Published by Conundrum Press, Montreal, in collaboration with the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, this full-colour volume includes over 100 illustrations, an introduction by Art Gallery of Ontario assistant curator Ben Portis and essays by National Gallery of Canada curator of contemporary art Josée Drouin Brisebois and award-winning fiction writer Sheila Heti. The artist will sign books at David Mirvish Books on Art, 596 Markham Street, Sunday May 25th.

For more of Shary's work, check out her website:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Robert Rauschenberg R.I.P.

"A painter, photographer, printmaker, choreographer, onstage performer, set designer and, in later years, even a composer, Mr. Rauschenberg defied the traditional idea that an artist should stick to one medium or style. He pushed, prodded and sometimes reconceived all the mediums in which he worked."

Robert Rauschenberg, American Artist, Dies at 82:

Building on the legacies of Marcel Duchamp, Kurt Schwitters, Joseph Cornell and others, he helped obscure the lines between painting and sculpture, painting and photography, photography and printmaking, sculpture and photography, sculpture and dance, sculpture and technology, technology and performance art — not to mention between art and life.

Monday, May 12, 2008

World Washi Summit

I'll be participating in at least one of the scheduled events of the first ever World Washi Summit. Galleries across Toronto and vicinity will be showcasing the work of artists working with Japanese paper as a way of honouring and celebrating washi and it's makers. Galleries such as Edward Day, Loop, Lonsdale Gallery, *new* gallery and several others, and numerous artists will be participating in the festivities. Keep your eyes peeled for printed schedules in associated galleries and stores, or check out the official WWS website (at the bottom of this entry) for all the details...

World Washi Summit
Art comes alive on Japanese paper

June 7-15, 2008
Toronto & Vicinity

What is washi? Washi is the Japanese word that refers to the traditional papers, made by hand from indigenous renewable plant fibres, which have been continuously produced and refined in Japan for 1400 years. With modernization, the future of this craft is endangered.

Why the Summit? For centuries, washi has been indispensable to daily life in Japan and each of the hundreds of types and sizes of Japanese paper has had a very specific use. Pure white paper for sliding shoji doors, persimmon-dyed paper as floor mats, lustrous gampi for court calligraphy: the special qualities of washi have been continuously employed to make life both more convenient and more aesthetically pleasing for the citizens of Japan.

Over time, speeded up during the 20th century, most of the many traditional uses of washi have lost their relevance and the papermaking industry has been decimated. At the turn of the 19th century there were some 80,000 families making paper by hand. Today there are roughly 320 individuals who carry on the tradition.

Though the domestic use of many types of washi has been drastically reduced, the discovery of the papers and their potential by creative people around the world has given new hope for the continuance of the craft. This has inspired whole new genres of art. Because of its special qualities - great wet and dry strength, translucence, malleability and absorbency, washi is experiencing rebirth in the hands of open-minded artists everywhere who are interested in “new” materials that expand their creative expression.

Goals of the Summit

  • to draw attention to the vast creative potential of washi
  • to underline its practicality and sustainability – for 1400 years - in a vulnerable world
  • to encourage the perseverant papermakers in rural Japan, to show them how artists worldwide are inspired by their paper
  • to honour artists from around the world who are discovering and using its unique characteristics in excepti


The World Washi Summit will be an international gathering of Japanese papermakers who make washi, those who distribute it, artists who produce art with it, curators who exhibit it and the art-buying public who are eager to learn more about it. Scheduled for June 7-15 2008 in Toronto, Canada, Summit events will honour quality craftsmanship, sustainability and artists’ creativity in Toronto and around the world.

For more specific information, please visit the official World Washi Summit website:

Friday, May 02, 2008

Pleasure-Purpose at the OCC Gallery

I will be participating in the following exhibition, Pleasure-Purpose, this month at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery. Read on for more details...

May 8-June 6, 2008.
Curated by Janna Hiemstra
at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery
990 Queen Street West
Opening Reception: May 8th, 5:30-8:30pm

Featuring contributing artists: Alain Belanger, Ann Mortimer, Anne Barros, Carolyn Scandiffio, Janna Burford, Keith Campbell, Kevin MacLean, Lily Yung, Maciej Dyszkiewicz, Michael Fortune, Peggy Mersereau, Roger Wood and Tara Bursey.

From Curatorial Statement:

"Craft is a slippery entity. Occupying multiple spaces, it is able to take full advantage of its flexible margins to play with materials, techniques and its creative rationale. Craft can delight, comfort, confront and satisfy in more ways than one.
At the same time, attempts to pin craft down often result in defined categories of materials, processes and uses. A common approach situates craft somewhere between art and industry - a place where craft objects are not quite required to accommodate the contemplative relation between form and content, but rather operate as either decorative or functional pieces.

Within this framework, craft is often associated with a creative skill developed in terms of specific materials like ceramic, fibre, glass, metal and wood. These skills and materials further include the notion of the ‘handmade’, which carries with it implications regarding craft processes and purposes such as originality and authenticity, locality as well as anti-industrialism. As an aesthetic discipline rooted in the arts and craft movement of 19th century Europe, in turn influenced by the industrial revolution, these implications are not surprising.

However, along with many other things in creative culture, borders have been crossed, and lines blurred. Contemporary craft easily negotiates the territories between functional, ornamental, sculptural and conceptual genres. One indication of this is the capricious category of ‘mixed media’ where materials converge, new materials like plastic are used, and found objects make an appearance. Craft can also be found across the cultural map in museums, galleries, schools, magazines, and the fashion industry; and is made, used, displayed, contemplated and discussed by a large and diverse mix of people.

In response to this seemingly amorphous area of making, PLEASURE-PURPOSE is an attempt to navigate craft and question its contemporary role; leaving space for the work to speak for itself, and allowing contradictions between different approaches to surface. With an array of multidisciplinary work by both emerging and professional craftspeople, different objectives and uses are contrasted to challenge boundaries and create discussion concerning the pleasure we find in craft and what we perceive its purpose to be. For all intents and purposes, craft is a unique embodiment of creative expression that needs to be explored."