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May 15 - May 18, 2013
An RV is a tiny space. It can also be seen as an object in flux, a temporary living space on wheels, or with Mobile Canada in mind, a gallery. Similar to the way artists work with traditional jewellery styles and ideas the RV has been given a new purpose and re-contextualized. An RV, like an individual piece of jewellery, can lack permanent space. It is designed for a specific purpose though spends the majority of its life living outside of this designation. Is it at odds with its intended use as it sits unmoved, on display waiting to be used? Perhaps it is these qualities of jewellery: space, permanence, purpose, that we as artists, curators, collectors find so interesting.
Mobile Canada represents 13 young and skilled artists who all approach work from different angles. Themes of identity, nature, history and place are often explored. While this work focuses on concept, respect for craftsmanship and strong execution is not sacrificed. The work in Mobile Canada is just a small sampling of Canadian artists. It’s a tiny space, with tiny work from a very large country.
– Suzanne Carlsen
This exhibition is presented by Harbourfront Centre as part of the inaugural Toronto International Jewellery Festival (TIJF) in conjunction with Meta-Mosaic, the 2013 Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) Conference.
My work is about ideas. In opposition to concrete statements, the work can be attributed to thoughts or suggestions and exist as proposals for consideration. Scale is ambiguous within my work; these pieces could exist at any size. That said my preference of scale is that of little things, a world of the minute, of discarded fragments in my day to day experience. In my work I value the quiet personal moments of the day in which I construct small works that simulate a place for wonder and contemplation.
As an artist I am a collector of objects as much as I am a maker of objects. I see myself as an archivist of a world of found objects; collecting and reassembling objects to create new meaning and new possibilities. My practice engages a playful balance between humour and formal issues; size and perception of scale; and longevity and ephemerality; and how these relationships inform value of work.
As a child, Micah Adams enjoyed creating maps while exploring local woods. Originally from Nova Scotia, Adams began his formal art training at John Abbott College in Montréal and later received his BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design,. Upon graduation in 2008, he pursued a three year residency at Harbourfront Centre. He is looking forward to participating in the Visiting Artist Residency at the Museum of Glass (Tacoma, WA) in December 2013.
Pilar Agueci’s technique of working reflects her formal training as a goldsmith, while encompassing contemporary design development, investigation and experimental processes. Agueci appreciates hand-crafted work showcasing precision, while maintaining the importance of a quality finish. She is particularly interested in the role of creative processes and the development of new techniques and enjoys working in multiples, layers and with colour.
Pilar Agueci was born in Canada in 1984 and received her undergraduate degree from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Following graduation, she pursued an Artist Residency at the Glasgow School of Art. She continued to refine her skills through technical and conceptual workshops at renowned institutions including Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School (Florence, Italy) and with contemporary jeweller Ruudt Peters in Holland.
Agueci is currently based in Montreal, where her professional practice consists of private commission and production work, teaching and technical development and fabrication for established practices. She works for internationally renowned jewellery designer Janis Kerman, for Bande des Quatres, and has recently co-founded the contemporary jewellery laboratory, Atelier L’Echoppe, with Gabrielle Desmarais.
Jewellery’s proximity to the body and relationship with the surface of the skin creates a dialogue between art and biology. The human body provides the site and context for my jewellery. I work with our common internal biological structures as sources of uncelebrated beauty and inspiration constructing jewellery pieces that are a marriage between art and science.
Catherine Allen is a jewellery artist living and working in Halifax. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science from Dalhousie University (1995). She completed the jewellery arts program at George Brown College in 2000, after which she became an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre. In 2003, she opened a working studio and retail gallery, in Toronto, that created an inspiring and educational environment shared with other artists. She received a Masters in Fine Art from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in 2007. In addition to her professional practice, Allen has taught at Ontario College of Art and Design University and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Her combined studies in psychology, architecture and metal provide her with a unique foundation for jewellery design. Her work is exhibited and sold in galleries across North America.
While creating wearable objects I strive to emphasize the harmony of form in relation to the human body.
Through using both traditional as well as contemporary metal forming techniques I am able to explore formal elements while working directly with the qualities of the material.
– Marina Babić
Marina Babić graduated from the Jewellery Arts Programme at George Brown College and was an artist-in-residence for three years in the metal studio at Harbourfront Centre. She also studied at the Art Centre of Central Technical School where she specialized in figurative sculpture. She is a recipient of various national and international awards for jewellery design as well as technical achievement. Babić works out of Studio Huddle in downtown Toronto.
Suzanne Carlsen creates jewellery objects that balance hand embroidery and metal, commenting on ideas of value, status and ornament. What appears to be merely a cute miniature ultimately reveals itself to be an icon of memory; commemorating our surroundings, imitating our everyday life, and questioning our traditional ideas of home and place.
Google Flight 636 is a series of necklaces that comment on our loss of identity due to globalization and the metal work investigates ideas of appropriation and assumption – two things that are ever apparent in our shrinking global community.
Suzanne Carlsen graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a Bachelor of Design in jewellery and metalsmithing (2006). Upon graduation, she was an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto until 2009. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and had her first American solo exhibition in 2011 at Quirk Gallery (Richmond, VA). In 2010, Carlsen initiated and co-curated Mobile Canada – Bringing Canadian Contemporary Jewellery To You in conjunction with the 2010 Society of North American Goldsmith conference. She has received numerous grants, awards and scholarships, most recently from the Ontario Arts Council.
My objective in creating jewellery is to render each piece of precious metal into a thing of beauty. But it is equally important that it should be admired not only for and by itself but also in the context of its purpose: to be worn. I therefore construct each piece with the precision and care which will guarantee that it is elegant, sophisticated and flattering, but never forgetting that it should also ultimately ‘feel good’ to wear.
Hannah Cowan attended the University of Western Ontario where she specialized in visual arts, laying the foundation for her ultimate interest in designing and creating fine jewellery. After graduating from university, she successfully completed the three-year Jewellery Arts Programme at George Brown College. She currently works out of her Toronto studio where she combines her artistic pursuits with launching her own jewellery business.
Jewellery is a vehicle to express creative ideas and observations, especially when unbound by rules and traffic lights of convention. In the series Driven I use the idea of driving as a metaphor for life. The car is symbolic of you: your heart, the way you work, the way you think, the way you want others to see you. Here I present three metaphorical cars that are very driven, but will follow different paths, at different speeds. What does your car look like? Think about what kind of driver you are, and how you navigate your life. Are you a speeder, aggressive, or are you cautious and safe? Have you made a right turn, or are you looking in the rear view mirror?
Emily Gill is a Toronto-based designer, native to Montreal. She specializes in contemporary jewellery. She graduated from NSCAD University in 2009. Her work presents handmade metal jewellery as alive and dynamic, worn as a playful symbol of constant growth, beauty, and elation. From lost wax casting in silver, hand cut sheet metal and fused glass enamel over organic shapes, Gill’s jewellery is a frolicsome product of material and imagination combined.
Whether it is through a pin that names your favourite band, a ring that you wear on a particular finger, showing off a little or a lot of ‘bling’, or a symbol worn as a pendant; the jewellery you wear speaks for you and communicates something about you to others. By wearing jewellery, one can express themselves, give social cues or affiliate themselves with something they feel strongly about. The communicative power of jewellery makes it the perfect medium for Lim to express themes of identity, community and value.
Margaret Lim attended OCAD University in Toronto majoring in Jewellery/Metal Smithing. She graduated in 2007 and was accepted into the Artist-in-Residence Programme at Harbourfront Centre. She has exhibited her work both nationally and internationally and has received awards and grants through OCAD University, the Ontario Crafts Council and the Ontario Arts Council. She continues to maintain her studio practice at the artist run multidisciplinary craft-based project space, Studio Huddle
Anna Lindsay MacDonald
Since moving to a Canadian Military base in 2011, I have met several women who have been endeavoring to rise through the ranks of a male dominated system. Often their politics are more opaque than most of their male counter-parts, as popular notions of womanhood have been folded into their loyalty to the Country and her citizens. The works in dazzle are composites of an identity. Fragments of flag iconography, military iconography and camouflage are cut and forced together to compose strong, resilient structures.
–Anna Lindsay MacDonald
Anna Lindsay MacDonald received a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing from NSCAD University (2004). From 2004 – 2007 she was an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre. She graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with an MFA Studio, Designed Objects (2009). Since graduating, MacDonald has been a metalsmithing and design instructor at the NSCAD University, at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery (Saskatchewan) and the Neil Balkwill Centre for the Arts (Regina, SK). She is exhibiting currently in Australia as a finalist in the Love Lace exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum (Sydney), curated by Lindie Ward, and has been published most recently in Lark Books’ 500 Rings, curated by Bruce Metcalf.
To date, my work has been predominantly influenced by Western history and culture; Victorian mourning jewellery, memento mori, erotica/pornography, spoons and taxidermy. In the past six years, I traveled to different parts of Asia and now recognize the profound influence of those journeys. From death being integral to daily life and the ancient Kama Sutra in India, to the urban fashion, traditional culture and erotic art from the Edo period of Japan, I am exploring pornography/eroticism, innocence and absence without the weight of Western culture.
I have a liberal palette to draw from and this fuels my work- paper, drawing, metal, gemstones, acrylic, wood, paint, thread, found objects, and more – my love of materials is evident. My work reflects my need for reincarnation, a constant change of seasons.
– Annie Tung
Toronto-based artist/designer Annie Tung graduated from OCAD University and completed a three-year artist-residency at Harbourfront Centre. She has been the recipient of numerous awards and grants including Ontario Arts Council, Ontario Crafts Council and Canada Council for the Arts. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally. In 2013, Tung will be pursuing postgraduate studies at the Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands.
The work in the cookie cutter collection began as a response to a bright pink warning in a bridal magazine: “Don’t be a cookie cutter bride!” It has led to a fascination with the ways in which we are all the same – and, more importantly, the ways in which we are not. My interest lies in trying to decipher the information we choose to disclose in our encounters with the world through overt signs, such as those with which we adorn ourselves.
And yes, you can make cookies with them too.
Andrée Wejsmann is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Ontario College of Art and Design. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and is the recipient of numerous awards and scholarships. Her work spans a number of media and disciplines, exploring the relativity of objects in their environment, often using narrative as a tool to investigate the construction of meaning and the permeability of signifiers. Wejsmann currently lives and makes work in Toronto, and teaches at OCAD University.
Creating a wearable object within an innovative framework is a main area of focus and alludes to an improvisational characteristic and aesthetic in these fabricated sculptural ornaments. Incorporating composite, reclaimed and re-purposed materials blurs the boundaries between natural and artificial and provides a moment for contemplation. This transformation of materials introduces a new value system and a more sustainable ethos.
Referencing components, forms and silhouettes that have origins in traditional jewellery while using new processes and materials allows for tradition to evolve organically, for example; prongs that have been removed from their original function of securing a gemstone, could now be used to suggest the absence of something positive. By these and other deconstructed processes, I am re-evaluating and redefining the visual language of the contemporary jewellery object.
Lawrence Woodford received his college degree in jewellery at the École de Joaillerie and his MFA from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. He has maintained a professional studio practice as a jewellery artist for the last 10 years and received awards and research grants.
Woodford has taught jewellery and acted as studio advisor for undergraduates at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Having participated in international exhibitions and been published in numerous anthologies on contemporary jewellery art, his contribution to this art form is significant.
He has participated in artist residencies around the world and was recently invited to Sydney College of the Arts as a guest artist and lecturer. He is currently preparing a solo exhibition.
In making jewellery, I explore materials and processes to capture form and volume in a unique and new way. My aim is always to push the boundaries and definitions of jewellery and to create work that displays strong craftsmanship and innovation in design and process. My creative practice involves a lot of hands-on exploration of a material (usually metal). While at my bench, I manipulate and combine forms, try different processes and as a result I come across various, often surprising results. My studio houses a collection of samples and experiments that I use as visual and tactile inspiration for my pieces. It is an intuitive way of working which leads to unconventional and unexpected work. Resulting pieces are ambiguous, with connotations in nature and my surroundings, while having ample room to be interpreted in other ways.
Patrycja Zwierzynska was born in Poland and moved to Toronto in 1995. An enduring interest in the arts and a desire to make things led her to pursue an education at NSCAD University, where she was first introduced to metalworking. She graduated with a BFA in Jewellery Design and Metalsmithing in 2007. Upon graduating, she completed three years at the Artist-in-Residence programme at Harbourfront Centre. She currently works at, and is one of, the founding members of Studio HUDDLE, a cooperative, artist-run studio and gallery space in Toronto. Her work has been exhibited throughout Canada as well as internationally.