“Synesthesia” is a public artwork comprised of two 9’x100′ murals on the east and west walls of the Davenport Road underpass at Dupont Street in Toronto. The west wall is an interactive installation which offers a synesthetic experience to passersby. The above video demonstrates demonstrates the effect of the interactive aspect of the work.
On the west wall the mural’s composition is derived from sound recordings of trains made on site at the mural location. A sound-based artwork was arranged from these recordings and then translated into an abstract visual representation painted onto the walls. The interactive component of the project encourages visitors to engage directly with their surroundings. By calling a phone number posted at the site one can listen to the sound recording while imagining the relationships of colour and shape within the artwork. Dial 416-222-4897 to check it out.
Synesthesia East Wall – Typogaphic installation
Connecting back to my roots in typographic experimentation, the east wall employs a rhythmic grid to imply the movement of the vehicles and people moving over and under this bridge. The word Synesthesia flows through the diagonal grid which derives inspiration from the painted locomotives of CP and CN rail.
As an exploration of anonymous presence, this project attempts to document a tag by each of the graffiti writers currently active in the Parkdale neighbourhood. An archive of the tags is then presented to members of the general public and they are recorded reading/deciphering each written tag aloud. These recordings are then compiled and played back via loudspeaker concealed within an inconspicuous element of city infrastructure.
Project developed as part of Telling: An Audio Survey of Parkdale curated by Tara Bursey and Phil Anderson of Gallery 1313 in Toronto.
While living in Montreal in 2010 I worked as an artist in residence at SKOL Centre Des Arts Actuels in the Belgo Building. It was a collaborative residency based on the structure of a relay race: each artist created a work in response to the documentation of a work by another artist. With each stage of the process artists worked inside the gallery and then in public space. This lead me to research current public space issues in Montreal and I found that there was a Supreme Court battle going on regarding the right to poster in public places. The only legit spaces for postering were on temporary construction hoarding – you wouldn’t know it since these hoardings are dominated by a private promotions company named Publicite Sauvage. My response to this controversy was to paste white paper over their posters on a burned out building – my glue mix was infused with lotus oil – I wore a T-Shirt printed with references to Montreal’s postering by-laws in both official languages. This installation lasted 2.5 days before nearly the same configuration of posters was replaced.
Materials: bond paper, wall paper paste, lotus oil, over existing paper advertisements.
A video abstraction of this project was created by Simon Benedict, another artist participating in the residency at SKOL Centre Des Arts Actuels.
Architecture of Community was co-curated by Phil Anderson and Elizabeth Underhill group exhibition which called upon artists to reflect on issues relating to public space and the impact our built up world has on a community.
“Environment” is an intermedia installation which explores surface and structure by projecting video through a kinetic sculpture onto 3 faceted walls of the gallery. The work is both physical and immaterial while defining the geometry of the space it occupies. The experience of this installation landed between hypnotic and meditative.
Materials: watercolour paper, motor, plastic gears, salvaged x-ray viewer light box, projector, video, on custom plinth.
Site specific intermedia installation as part of “The Dressing Room Project” at Fashion Art Toronto, alternative arts and fashion festival.
As one entered the small room light flickered and reflected across the space. A stop motion animation filled the fragmented mirror with gradating white and blue patterned light. Audible sounds from headphones suspended from a geometric structure mounted overhead lead visitors into an alternate reality. The accompanying soundscape produced in collaboration with sound designer Estelle Hebert moved along paced with the kinetic light. Low lying organic surfaces were inviting places to sit and take in this constructed experience
Materials: plywood, printed paper, steel, salvaged wood, zip ties, adhesive vinyl, mirror glass, carpet, video, projector, audio, headphones
The Open Canvas Project is a collaborative painting intervention in public space. Since 2001 this project has appeared spontaneously in over 150 locations on three continents. The evolving project has been developed into classroom workshops for students of all ages as well as team building events for a variety of organizations.
Mobile Open Canvas Project – “in piazza”.
Open Canvas Project – Distillery District Residency with Charlie green.
While in Barcelona en route to an artists residency in Prague in 2009 I was introduced to two french film makers, JC Lacour and Clemente Bamelou of ProtoFono, by a gallerist I had shared my work with. They had been collaborating with visual artists were looking to continue a series of videos they were working on. During our initial meeting, at some point between beers, while walking up Las Ramblas we found a book full of temporary tattoo designs lost by a beach vendor who would draw these impermanent artworks on sunbathing tourists. Witin 24hrs of discovering this collection I worked to transform this book into a temporary intervention on the doors of a pre-school located in Plaza de Sant Felip Neri.
This video is the result of our time together and documents the creative process:
This painting explores the compositional geometry of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling painted by Michelangelo at the Vatican. The site of this work is at “Bartelby” Bologna, a vacant building squatted/occupied by University of Bologna students.
The Open Canvas Project is an ongoing series of unsolicited public interventions which were initiated in 2001 in collaboration with Charlie Green.
Working with the public and consulting with community has been part of my practice for over a decade. The
Open Canvas Project has evolved from a spontaneous intervention into public space to classroom workshops and
corporate team-building events. Driven by the notion of collaboration, members of the public are offered paints
and brushes and sent forth to create a layered composition of imagery, text and symbolism. This direct contact
with the public informs much of what I do. In recent years, my experience working with children of all ages has been broadened through projects with the TDSB, Luminato Festival and Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education grant.
Please visit the Open Canvas Project website for a brief video of the process: opencanvasproject.com