January 27 - March 18, 2007
Curated by Beth Alber in collaboration with the Ontario College of Art & Design
The five artists in this exhibition are superb examples of the recent graduates of the Material Art & Design program at the Ontario College of Art & Design. As artists and designers, they are all closely attached to their material discipline and to the processes associated with the field but the concept or idea embedded in their work is the overriding driving force. The concepts behind these individual bodies of work all mirror major concerns facing each one of us as citizens of the world and as observers; they force us to reflect on these conditions whether the issue may be about the environment, politics, education and creativity or our own family history.
Material Art & Design at OCAD challenges students to change perceptions of the status quo in their medium through extending personal statements and concepts into an art or design form. Whether the work has been produced in the time-old traditions, or using the latest technological advances, the commitment and physical responses to the material are always evident and connected to the work. Makers in clay, fibre and metal are grounded in history. From the first bone carved into a piece of body adornment, a fragment of clay vessel used to carry water, or a few threads remaining from a shroud wrapping an ancient emperor or beloved family member, the human hand has been evident in that work. Celebrating, grieving, ritualizing, protecting, servicing the routine of daily life are marks of that time. The historical production of these works is connected to the present and is used in current practice to visualize and critique the contemporary issues of our society and culture.
Suzanne Carlsen is a Craft Studio Resident at the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, developing work for shows at *new* Gallery and Studio Works.
Carol Xavier’s work in silver and found objects turns on notions of play as a device for human interaction, communication, and expression.
Kate Jackson is another Craft Studio Resident, working with embroidery, bleach techniques and video.
Andrea Hildebrand works in natural material and forms like clay, wood and poetry, expressing the earth’s cycles and constant transformations.
Amelia Musselman is inspired by nostalgic fashions and the modern female paradigm, creating art to wear and focusing on a woman’s secrets and fears.