Music Man Moon, from the portfolio Pages of the Sky 2021
pigmented inkjet prints on archival rag (20 works each 21X29inches)
This work will be on view in the Exhibition Anthem: 15 expressions of Canadian Identity, at the Canadian Language Museum in Toronto Canada in October 2021. The idea was first proposed by Derek Besant for the Gallery at the Library of Alexandrina, in Alexandria Egypt, and will now travel there in 2022 (Postponed for 2021). The exhibition became a collaboration between Elaine Gold and her team at CLM, Derek and the participating artists. (Participating artists include, Libby Hague, Yael Brotman, Sean Caulfied, Liz Ingram and Bernd Hildebrand, Tanya Harnett, Jewel Shaw, Davida Kidd, Walter Jule, Karen Dugas, Tracy Templeton, Joanne Lanneville, Alexandra Haeseker and Derek Beseant)
I begin by searching for images and texts from the oceans of documents within and between cultures over the past 600+ years. The images are simultaneously technological time markers, material culture and records of humanities rich and yet complicated past. I search archives, antiquarian books stores, libraries, and more recently online to locate source materials. I use digital tools to reconstruct, combine and distort the fragments. They are often tied to our problematic colonial past, while also revealing the evolution of a shared fascination with natural, medical, or theoretical science. I then translocate the selected findings into a new arrangements and reload them into a printing matrix (digital file, etching plate, or lithographic stone). Sometimes the play yields a form of alchemy or "mashup" by chance or calculation. The reintroduction often activates new agency, and the images become part a field of possibilities to be traversed by the viewer who brings their own unique perspective. The goal is to invite speculation, or find a conversation through formal and aesthetic play. The compression of the images into a printing matrix allows the broad range of subjects from the environment, to philosophy, politics and fundamental ethical questions to confront each other.
Within some works such as The Ledge_ Suite I have used ephemera found in my own families archive dating to 1895. The accounting ledger, with an "r" in ledger missing made a readymade backdrop to work within. The tome, a metaphor for a decaying capitalist democracy became the "ledge" we are all on now. In these new arrangements, the past is bound to the present and the nature of our contemporary condition in which we struggle to reconcile past injustice becomes and rich visual journey for the viewer that is hopefully filled with questions.