Projects Spaces at Art Toronto 2023
Ari Bayuaji, "Floating on the Waves", 2023 (Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain)
Ari Bayuaji's series "Weaving the Ocean" (2020-ongoing) transforms discarded fishermen’s ropes from Indonesia's coastline into captivating tapestries, drawing inspiration from global weaving traditions. Using the plastic threads inside the discarded ropes, untangled from the roots of mangrove trees along Bali’s coast, Bayuaji transposes these colorful threads into exquisite tapestries. Bayuaji finds inspiration not solely from his homeland's rich textile culture but also from weaving traditions spanning various countries, where they are considered living cultural heritage. He has been crafting environmentally conscious textile pieces in collaboration with a traditional Balinese weaving workshop thereby providing some stability to local artisans during the pandemic. His sculptural practice also incorporates oceanic remnants such plastic thread and coral.
The works in "Floating on the Waves, 2023" were presented as part of the RiverRun Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC from April 4 - 16, 2023. The installation showcased seven textiles composed of plastic threads and found objects with six sculptures created from Indonesian boat paddles from Kalimantan, Bali, and Java. These paddles symbolize the interconnectedness of the human body, the vessel, and the water—originally fabricated as crucial fishing tools and representing the nation's history of harmonious coexistence with the sea.
For Ari Bayuaji, the foundations of the concept of "home" for all beings, whether humans or otherwise, lie in nature and architecture. He perceives this profound connection binding us together. Each droplet flowing through the water pipes of our homes reverberates, affecting our lands, rivers, and oceans. Notably, the artist is about to present significant works as part of the Cheongju Crafts Biennale 2023 and then an installation at the Busan Sea Art Festival 2023, both taking place in South Korea.
Jannick Deslauriers, Paquebot, 2019 (Presented by Chiguer art contemporain)
Reflecting on the care, work and exploitation of bodies, Jannick asks questions about vulnerability, obsolescence, repair, disappearance and (re)appearance. It's a sensitive consideration of our relationship with time: the material and existential transformations that result, carried as much by the symbolic charge of the objects represented as by the formal strategies.
Jannick was born in 1983 in Joliette, Quebec. She received her BFA from Concordia University and her MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art in 2022. She is the recipient of numerous awards and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
His work is part of the collections of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, the SEI West in Oaks, Pennsylvania, Claridge's, and several private collections in Canada, Europe and the United States.
Image Credit: Mike Patten
Maria Hupfield, Animikii Opens Its Eyes, 2023 (Patel Brown)
Maria Hupfield is a transdisciplinary artist crossing boundaries at the intersection of performance, art, and design. She is deeply invested in embodied practice, Native feminisms, and ethical collaborative processes. Her work positions the art object as active belongings, with sculptures becoming performers in a form of object choreography between artist, audience, and, art gallery; her works are engaged in an ongoing series of relations with community, places, ideas, and materials.
Hupfield is a recipient of the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize (2023) and the Hnatyshyn Mid-career Award for Outstanding Achievement in Canada (2018). She is the inaugural ArtworxTO Legacy Artist in Residence (City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation) and has exhibited and performed extensively including recent projects at: the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, The Power Plant, The Heard Museum, the NOMAM in Zurich, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Galerie de L’UQAM, the New York Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, the New York Museum of Art and Design, Abrons Art Center, Center for Art Research and Alliance (CARA), BRIC House Gallery, the Bronx Museum, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Site Santa Fe, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada. Hupfield is an urban off-reservation member of the Anishinaabek People belonging to Wasauksing First Nation in Ontario, and the appointed Canadian Research Chair in Transdisciplinary Indigenous Arts at the University of Toronto.
Image Credit: Darren Rigo
Martha Sturdy, All Fall Down, 2022-2023 (Mónica Reyes Gallery)
As a follow up to Martha Sturdy: All Fall Down, an evocative exhibition which took place in late 2022 at the West Vancouver Museum, Martha Sturdy will present a series of never-before-seen sculptures.With an unsettling magnetism, the latest works in the All Fall Down series invite audiences to immerse themselves in an installation of sculptures cast in bronze. Centered on natural cycles of growth, death, decay, and renewal, the strikingly eerie works incorporate crumbling ancient cedar logs, salvaged from a once fire-stricken stand of trees at Martha’s farm in Pemberton, British Columbia. Selected for their raw, undulating forms and split to reveal grain, composition and life-cycle, the inherent drama and imperfection of the wood is heightened by tempering and treatment, before being cast in bronze and coated in a rich black patina.
Through the span of her career, Martha’s sculptural practice has focused on natural monumentality - this time in a jarring move away from her polished minimalism to a more raw and rugged practice. Her own connection to the Pacific Northwest has fostered a fundamental sensitivity towards the natural world and an appreciation of its complex relationship to human activity, as evident in this latest work.
Martha Sturdy is a contemporary sculptural artist from Vancouver, BC, on Canada’s West Coast. Her artwork includes wall, resin, brass, standing steel, salvaged wood, and coveted wearable sculpture. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she was later granted an Honorary Doctor of Letters in 2006. Her work has caught the appreciation of collectors, artists and designers internationally, and she has been featured in American, Italian and French Vogue, Wallpaper and Architectural Digest. In 2002 she was presented with a Golden Jubilee Award by the Governor General for her achievements internationally as a Canadian artist and in 2005 she was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (RCA).
Rocky LaRock, Gailan Ngan, LaRock & Ngan, (Monte Clark)
Claude “Rocky” LaRock gives form to the narratives and themes expressed by the spiritual and supernatural figures central to his culture and community in a way that renders them anew. Using chainsaws and power tools, and adorning his masks with a level of material complexity virtually unprecedented in Northwest Coast art, LaRock departs from the ceremonial form to create an altogether different kind of mask intended not to transform the identity of a wearer but to transform the condition of the viewer. His work challenges perceptions of indigenous art, moving beyond ceremonial to contemporary art. The Reach (Abbotsford) recently presented a survey of his work in ‘E’yies’lek Rocky LaRock: The Wild Inside’ (2021).
Gailan Ngan’s material based practice is largely influenced by the historically resource-rich West Coast, where she lives and works. She is recognized for her experimental approach to the ceramic medium, crafting vessels and forms that are both functional and abstract. She relies on her characteristic sense of line, texture and colour to articulate layered intricacies and optical qualities. Ngan worked closely with a digital studio to scan and produce 3D-printed variations of her signature forms in rich vibrant hues, maintaining the intricate details and textures of the original ceramic work. Gailan Ngan (b. 1971, Cumberland, BC) works and lives in Vancouver and occasionally works from Hornby Island, BC. Her practice involves pottery, sculpture and co-managing her late father, Wayne Ngan’s art estate. Her work has been exhibited at numerous institutions including Esker Foundation (Calgary), Vancouver Art Gallery, San Diego Art Institute, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery and Art Gallery at Evergreen. She received her BFA from Emily Carr University in 2002. Ngan is the recipient of the 2015 North West Ceramic Foundation Award.
Timothy Yanick Hunter, True And Functional (Extended), 2023 (Cooper Cole)
True and Functional is an ongoing part of Hunter’s practice, exploring African diasporic histories and cultural memories. In this iteration, True And Functional (Extended), Hunter continues his investigation of the glitch as a refraction of possibilities. Similar to Untitled (Polyptych), the figures in the film, drawn predominantly from archival footage, are presented and re-presented in fragments. The film almost pulses with the different iterations of the images, for example, towards the middle of the work we see re-edited footage of Nelson Mandela’s wife, Winnie, collaged and slightly disjointed. The only explicit dialogue we hear in the film is an archival interview conducted by the New York Public Library about The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A voice says “The Schomburg is an extension of me, you know. It’s an intimate mentor. It’s really an institution, almost like a temple in some way.” True and Functional (Extended) models the form and process of memory, drawing from archival footage and the work of institutions like The Schomburg to embody a process of stitching together seemingly disparate threads, creating a non-linear narrative from different beats and fragments, reveling in the beauty of echoes across imperfections and glitches.
Image courtesy of Toronto Biennial of Ar
Timothy Yanick Hunter, Untitled (Polyptych), 2023 (Cooper Cole)
Untitled (Polyptych) explores the complexities of intimacy, loss, and displacement. The work is characterized by Hunter’s repetition and remixing of the image of a smiling young couple, removed from their context in a 1970’s Ford Pinto advertisement. The posture of the couple conveys ease and joy. But with every repetition and erasure, the figures of the young, Black, car owners come to take on new meanings. Each panel becomes a possibility or intersection, as if the couple and their position in space-time is glitching. Through the process of re-arrangement, a chorus of many voices develops. An advertisement, designed to inspire consumerism and good feeling, becomes an image without a fixed meaning. In this refusal of static definition Hunter carves space for considering the nuances of togetherness, Black intimacy, and displacement across time. By bringing an archival image into the future, refracting it through the lines of technology, the glitch of repetition reminds us that there is no one way to be, one way to relate to each other or the landscape.
Trevor Baird, 2023 (Pangée)
Installation by Trevor Baird showcasing various past and recent ceramic work.