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Yael Brotman, 'Mnemonic Stoop' (detail 'The Teacher's House'), 2009-10, etching on Kurotani paper, BFK, archival tape, 8" h x 24" w x 17" d (20.32h x 60.96w x 43.18d cm), photo credit Peter Legris

Ho Tam, 'Fine China' (detail), 1998, screenprint on architectural blueprint paper, 42"h x 30"w (106.68h x 76.2h cm), photo credit Ho Tam

Penelope Stewart, 'La Grande Ruche', 2010, acrylic on Mitsumata tissue, 10'h x 10'w (3.76 x 3.76 m), photo credit Toni Hafkenscheid

Christopher Hutsul, 'Looking eastbound at the corner of king street west, queen street west, roncesvalles avenue, and the queensway', 2010, lino block on paper, 44"h x 34"w (111.76h x 86.36w cm), photo credit Libby Hague

Libby Hague, 'My one and only life - so far' (detail), 2010, woodcut with hand colouring and pleating on Okawara paper, 8'h x 10'w x 4"d (2.44h x 3.05w x .10d metres), photo credit Libby Hague



Miner for a Heart


Curated by Yael Brotman

Nadine Bariteau, Yael Brotman, Janet Cardiff, Libby Hague, Christopher Hutsul, Ed Pien, Richard Sewell, Penelope Stewart, Ho Tam, and Jeannie Thib



Building B, Level 6, Room 47



The exhibition, Miner for a Heart, brings together ten print-based artists whose work and histories have intertwined with the print community at Open Studio in Toronto, Canada. The ten artists are Nadine Bariteau, Yael Brotman, Janet Cardiff, Libby Hague, Christopher Hutsul, Ed Pien, Richard Sewell, Penelope Stewart, Ho Tam and Jeannie Thib. Their places of origin vary from international (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Israel and USA), to national (British Columbia and Quebec), to provincial (North Bay and Brussels, ON).  All of the artists who relocated to Toronto mirrored the immigrant narrative that was being enacted on the broader societal stage.

The artists, then, all have dual allegiances, a common element in the diasporic experience. Perhaps this has freed them to experiment with cross-disciplinarity in their practices. They move fluidly from flatwork to sculpture to video to installation and back to printmaking, exploring print’s concern with support material, matrices, repetition, mark making and the impact of technology.

The works included in the exhibition reveal a connectivity that is multi-layered and multi-dimensional. Hutsul and Cardiff show work that is hyper-aware of newness and urban overstimulation. They focus on the senses of sight and sound. Thib’s work suggests touch in its look at body ornamentation. Sewell’s installation connects conceptually to sound engineering and speaks to aspects of migration, while Bariteau’s installation captures the anxiety of feeling surveilled. Tam comments on the politics of his old home from the vantage point of the diaspora. Stewart, Pien, Brotman and Hague also discuss aspects of the personal versus the political. Their focus moves from observing the implications of a highly structured society (Stewart), to personalizing and contemporizing an ancient mythology (Pien), to examining social experiment from commune to suburb (Brotman), to remarking on the surprising trajectory of an immigrant’s life. (Hague).

The curator of the exhibition Miner for a Heart is Yael Brotman, a practicing artist and a Lecturer at the University of Toronto Scarborough. She has gathered together work by artists who have printed at Open Studio, the foremost printmaking facility in Toronto. These artists had arrived from elsewhere, joined the community of Open Studio and their work is now found in the Studio’s archive. Richard Sewell (b. USA) was one of the founders of Open Studio in 1970. In the 1980s, Janet Cardiff, (b. Brussels ON) Libby Hague (b. Montréal PQ), Jeannie Thib (b. North Bay ON) and Yael Brotman (b. Israel) began printing there. In the 1990s, Penelope Stewart (b. Montréal PQ)), Ed Pien (b. Taiwan) and Ho Tam (b. Hong Kong) produced print projects at the Studio. Most recently Christopher Hutsul (b. Abbotsford BC) and Nadine Bariteau (b. Montréal PQ) have become involved. The artists were chosen because of the cross-disciplinary nature of their practice: print is one tool in their media boxes and is mixed with photography, sculpture, drawing, video, audio, writing, performance and immersive experiential installation. All the artists continue today to produce and exhibit actively.






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