I have been M.I.A but for really good reasons. Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition is just around the corner and we are very busy with final details and working very hard towards the big day(s). I will tell you more about it shortly. That being said, I am participating in a great group show at Harbourfront Centre with a number of phenomenal artists this summer. Dwell, curated by Melanie Egan and Robyn Wilcox invites us to examine dwelling as both a physical and psychological concept and how that effects our relation to objects, space and the body.
My response: Since I started the #collagediet at the end of 2015, I have been dwelling on subtleties, small gestures, vignettes of thought and floating fragments. I have put myself on a rigorous research into minimizing, simplifying and stripping down to essentials in different aspects of my life, mainly in my art. It has not been easy. But I think I have managed to crack the code with these collage works. The attention here is on these very small fragments that are simple, minimal yet still possessing rich characters.
You will have a chance to see a selection of my collages along with the works of Diyan Achjadi, Helen Liene Dreifelds, Stephanie Flowers, Michelle Forsyth, Amanda McCavour, Suzanne Nacha, and Jocelyn Reid.
joins us for the opening night on Friday, June 23, 6–10pm. This is a free public opening party for Harbourfront’s Summer exhibitions with a cash bar and snacks 😉
Exhibitions run from June 24 – September 17, 2017.
This is my second year in my role as Executive Director of Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition and I have to say it has been a rich, intense and insanely fulfilling experience that has stretched me in so many directions.
I am passionate about what I do and I wear many different hats but I spend a good chunk of my time fundraising for the artist awards (for which I initiated a significant increase last year) and other things. Oddly enough, it is the first time throughout my arts management career that I enjoy fundraising and it comes naturally to me. First, it’s because we have an incredibly generous roster of supporters who wholeheartedly believe in what the Exhibition does for the artists. Also, as an artist myself, I get an immense joy facilitating artists getting the recognition and support they deserve.
I firmly believe that the role Toronto Outdoor plays for the artists, and the public is an important one. It is truly an art discovery platform for independent and entrepreneurial artists and makers. The premise of the organization from the beginning has been about artists having the right to sell their art directly to the public at a civic centre! The civic centre has had a particular significance because the founding members set up the first Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in response to the removal of artists from the City Hall property when they tried to sell their work there in 1961.
A lot of effort is spent on marketing the Exhibition to bring the public in direct contact with the artists, to encourage dialogue between artist and public and encourage an exchange of some kind. We know for a fact that people spend over 2 million dollars on buying art over those three days. Yes, the Exhibition is also a sales platform and some might look at it as only a platform for commercial art, but it is not only that! Thousands of successful artistic careers have been launched for the past five decades from those white tents. We have to keep in mind that there is always some sort of a transaction associated with any works of art. There are layers and levels of transactions, whether a work of art ends up in a permanent collection of a museum, commissioned for a public gallery, lands on a cover of book or magazine, or ends up in the possession of a seasoned collector or in a humble art lover’s home! .Our role is to make these exchanges happen more frequently and help our artist community thrive artistically and economically!
I also think one of the other important roles Toronto Outdoor plays, is removing the fear and the barrier of buying art for the public. Art is accessible to people from all walks of life with all sorts of budgets. The show is an opportunity to take some of the amazing work, that for the most part can only be seen in galleries by a smaller number of people, out in the open, under the bright sunshine (not necessarily good for some works though) and put it in front of a hundred thousand people.
It is a great reminder for everyone that original art is not only for art collectors. It is not even about collecting. It is about adding quality to everyday life. It is about seeing the world around us, the objects, the concepts and our environment from different perspectives. It is about bringing in a bit of energy, creativity and soulfulness to our personal surrounding. I have made a pledge to myself to save on a monthly basis so that I can do just that this coming July. I encourage you to do the same thing.
Below are the two prints I got last year from Daniel Paterson, the winner of Founding Chairman’s Award and Japneet Kaur Saini, Winner of the Best of Exhibition that I cherish!
Please join me on July 14 – 16 at Nathan Phillips Square and discover some great art for you!
It is Design Week/Month in Toronto and there is buzz everywhere from Toronto Design Offsite, Interior Design Show to DO Design. My busy schedule doesn’t allow me to see all the awesome exhibitions that are out there, I am seeing a few but there is no way I can catch up with the buzz. However, this energy always makes me look at January as Design Consciousness month and it is a perfect timing as I am reflecting on life and setting the threading theme for the year.
I am looking around me to get a better idea of what my design diet consist of. I don’t have much expertise in the field except for great appreciation of good solid design and having developed an eye or taste for it (in certain areas). I have become more and more focused and selective about what I surround myself with. I am a sucker for clean, simple, minimal and functional objects. I don’t have space in my home nor my brain (more so than my home) to spend it on managing stuff. And still I find most of my non-work time is spent in the department of Stuff Management. To get myself out of the constant state of de-cluttering, I am constantly changing my consumption habits and I am gravitating more and more to implementing good design in every aspect of life. Even my wardrobe is moving more towards becoming a capsule closet filled with essentials. I have been sticking to a very minimal colour palette of black , white and grey with a pop of colour as a rule of thumb for everything for quite some time now. My focus over the years has shifted to quality vs. quantity. It has been liberating and efficient and I am becoming even stricter with it. This is a wave everywhere (or maybe in some areas trendy but one of those good trends) and it is a good way of living. To do more with less! It is hard but it is so good if I can stick to it.
As you have seen over the past year, this thinking has trickled into my collage work and has changed it drastically. In the research phase I took on myself, I aimed to reduce and minimize my previously dense collage explorations to essential, minimal forms, lines and characters and try to take the attention to simplicity of small fragments. It has been a good practice.
Partial gallery will be featuring some of my works from last year’s #collagediet at the Interior Design Show. This is one of my favourite shows of the year and I am very happy to be represented as part of Akin Collective artists. For those of you who are researching material for your next renovation project, sourcing the coolest furnitures and appliances or working on an awesome interior design project, make sure to drop by booth #2242 and get the perfect artwork for your interiors. Partial Gallery has been listed as top ten favourites of stylist, Christine Dovey, at #IDS17. I have also updated my profile on Partial’s website. Take a look of what will be available at the show.
Hello everyone! I hope you are enjoying the twinkling lights at this beautiful time of the year and getting ready to launch into 2017 with great energy, new inspirations and fresh ideas. I have come to the end of my year-long journey of the #collagediet! You might know already that I committed myself to create three collages a week throughout the year and ended it with a daily countdown in December. As I had written about this a year ago, these are collage works on watercolour paper – 6″ x 6″ and 8″ x 8″. The cut-outs come from Vogue magazine, my one and only muse for years now. They are pieces of clothing, objects, body parts that I distort into an abstract form, maintaining a kinetic, life-like energy without referencing the body itself. The drawings are my responses to the exciting textures and lines in the cut-outs or whatever inspires me to build on them. I have to admit that towards the end, it was very hard for me to keep up with the challenge. I felt stuck in the format and I didn’t have enough space in my brain or much time this year to break away from it and change it up. There were a lot of ideas that I had planned to explore but never got a chance. I did take a very fascinating printing course at Open Studio, called Collograph in the hope to incorporate some new techniques and medium into my work but I realized I needed much more learning and practice to do that. Despite the fact that I was dragging my feet in the past two months, a lot of interesting forms, shapes and compositions emerged from this whole exercise. I ended up with 191 entirely different collages this year and 100 from December 2015 when this whole madness started. Not all of them are great, and sometimes there is repetition but I have a lot of interesting and intriguing pieces as a result. This process has changed my visual language significantly. I enjoy the simplicity even more everyday! I was immensely satisfied with the subtle fragment exhibition that I had in September with Helen Liene Dreifeld and I am hoping to build on that concept. Overall, it was a very productive and exciting year with having this challenge on my plate and my role at Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition which started simultaneously in January 2016. I am happy that I made it to the finish line no matter what! At the moment, I don’t know what is next in my practice. I think I would like to take a break and actually take the time to go through the works, ponder over all of last year and digest what happened. I never got the time to step back and evaluate. I need time to think about how to expand on some the ideas that emerged and continue learning about printing. I also want to consider exhibiting these works in different set-ups and groupings other than the Instagram/digital format. They are very different and have much more character in person 😉. Lots to think about but for now I am just resting my scissors and getting our fancy champagne glasses out to celebrate the end and new beginnings in style!
The pink pieces here turned out to be my favourite ones. I really like the simplicity and folds of the third piece here. More pieces to come as I am closing this challenge! Follow the end of this #collagediet on instagram.