I Wish I Knew
I Wish I Knew
I have been thinking about scale after seeing the beautiful audio/video installation by David Blatherwick at St. Anne’s church as part of a new exhibition throughout the building. The main choir is a grand space decorated by 3 of the members of the Group of Seven. There is a large central dome which is impressive for it’s monumental scale and the clear site lines it provides. Despite not having spent much time in churches in my life, I am always drawn to the clarity and serenity they evoke.
I made a site specific work for this same space as part of NetherMind collective’s show Mirabilia in 2012, so I have a sense of the demands of of such a scale. My strategy was to enclose a smaller space within the larger architectural volume to avoid any competition with it’s grandeur. Blatherwick has taken different approach but the similarity is that he too has found a way to work small and compliment, rather than compete with the architecture. By focusing on the acoustic nature of the space, his work uses sound to occupy the full volume and has kept visual elements to the minimum.
On a fall day that way uncharacteristically warm I entered the church, to be surprised by the sound of birds. In my search for the source of the sound I discovered a series of small video screens scattered throughout the space. Each was situated high above the viewer. On each, a member of the congregation’s choir could be seen. Each had learned to whistle the song of a particular bird, and was depicted in a vertical portrait format.
The other interesting aspect of the piece was the way it drew my attention to the images of plants and flowers in the decoration of the arches and apses. Blatherwick, by working small and scattering pieces throughout this grand space, managed to occupy it with a lightness of touch as well as a depth of thought and commitment.
The power of small.
Remnants and I Wish I Knew
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, Noon to 6:00 p.m. from November 24 to December 22, 2013
St. Anne’s Church
270 Gladstone Avenue
Toronto, Ontario M6J 3L6
A series of guest blog posts by Lynne Wynick
While in the Independent Studio Residency program at TSA and with the guidance of my advisor, Lyla Rye, (also the head of the program) I was encouraged to push the boundaries. Anything could happen as part of this open learning and working experience. Each day, towards the end of the time in the studio or perhaps in a moment of discovery, I would collect the studio detritus and place one or more items on a small 3 x 3 inch cardboard box. The ensuing project, Daily Studio Boxes, was an integral part of the year-long residency.
I was in the process of refining my studio/practice blurb and could not remember the spelling of spontaneity. One of my studio mates came to my aid with two possibilities written out on a small piece of paper. It seemed logical that this scrap should end up on a box. My colleagues had come to realize that anything entering my work domain could end up in a work.
Wynick, Daily Studio Box. Img.0966, 2007, ink jet print, 11” x 8½”
Wynick,Fly Gallery Model Sequence #9, 2007, ink jet print, 11” x 8½”
creativity: integral to being
Also as part of the Residency program the five participants were to produce an exhibition for the Fly Gallery Window exhibition space. I chose the Daily Studio Boxes. I asked Toronto artists, Tanya Scott and Scott Carruthers, whose window it was, (fronting their private space) to collaborate and add to the studio boxes.
In the process of thinking about the space I built a model of window. As in the Box Project the model became a space to try out various bits and pieces from around the studio and play with scale. The photographs of the model became the “Other Fly Gallery”.
Gallery54 Jpeg Ring Sequence, 2007, digital prints, size variable
process: where one finds inspiration.
Every step of the process in my work is part of my practice. Very little enters the garbage before it is considered in several different ways. Once again the Daily Studio Boxes mini installations and photgraphs became fodder for future work. As I was producing many digital images I need a way to save and document the work. I utilized the Adobe Photoshop contact sheet program. One thing led to another. The image strips became works and the strips of paper with the image identification became “leftovers”. Some of these ended up on a box and led to several photographs as below.
I then used the box and strip in an installation for the TSA Gallery 54(locker #54). The viewer had to look through the rungs in the locker door to see the work lit with a LED light. In documenting the work another series of photographs happened and they eventually were installed on a wall outside my studio space.
All this came out of so called detritus!
Images from my installation in progress for Erratic Room at Typology - Nov 19, Toronto - http://typology.ca/artist/lyla-rye/
To set up my video installations I make brightly coloured, stable videos. The piece, Erratic Room, is actually black and white.
I do really like the saturated colour and geometry of these videos so my next big piece (September, Toronto) may explore this. Unexpected discoveries, even when they are “mistakes” are actually gifts in disguise.
A big congratulations out to Tara Bursey - artist, zine maker, curator, illustrator, etc.
She is written up in glowing terms in Blog TO’s:
"10 artists raising the bar for indie culture in Toronto"