I know what I said.
racticum a vanguard Ten, twelve, floor where
classes are a cohort category that implodes in every direction. Each yearâ€™s class cosists of cell of high-achieving undergraduates hived away in the upper reaches of the art building. perhaps fifteen (or more) students are selected out from among their peers and migrate to the third they subdivide the larger studio space into a warren of semi-enclosed work areas. In September
the caravan settles in for an eight-month squat and soon the place feels like a long stop-over on the road to Tartary. As a rule, visual arts majors spend a large chunk of their academic life in a single building. Practicum concentrates this topocentrism even further, pivoting everything around room 300, where the dramaturgy of becoming a professional artist gets its first sustained audition. By the time Spring rolls around, the actors are polished up and the caravan moves its act down the building’s architectural vectors for a thronged, year-end exhibit in the Artlab Gallery. The separate studio spaces of room 300 are like quantum corners of Smithsonesque ambiguity. All sorts of things lying around: works in progress, defunct projects, slumbering computer screens, sofas, photos, tools, paints, bottles, wires—you can’t tell whether it’s an entropy or anti-entropy environment. In a more humanistic age, one would have invoked Yeats’s paratactic kettles and irons, and that “foul rag and bone shop” of the human heart in which “all the ladders start.” In any case, this rheostatic and (to me) semi-lugubrious setting proves endlessly fertile, like a vacuum whose palpitations of being and non-being eventually shape themselves into a cosmos. I’ve spent a fair bit of time around there over the years, at different hours of day or night, talking with students and touring the ruins of their several niches. As the months wear on, you watch as each Practicum class stamps place and time with its own graduate- year gestalt. On days when everyone’s hanging out, there’s a kind of happy kibbutznik quality to the whole thing. On other occasions, with night and snow sealing the windows, and only two or three souls afoot, it’s a laboratory for cenobites, each churning away in search of her own special revelation. Take note of the third person pronoun, feminine inflection. It’s no mere gesture toward the gods of equity and inclusive grammar. This year’s class forms an all-female roster. Their individual names and practices are adduced elsewhere in this pamphlet. I’ve had the pleasure of teaching most of them in my third-year “Art Criticism” course, which masquerades as a hip studio offering, but is actually more akin to an overland march through the arduous landscape of old-time aesthetic theory, an Ozymandias-style terrain of colossal fragments emblazoned with the names ‘Kant’ and ‘Hegel’ (it’s not all canon-mongering, though; there’s newer stuff too, Kristeva, Groys, and Claire
Fontaine). I’ll leave the supervising professors, the battery of mentors, and the artists themselves with the happy task of explicating the ample experimentation that’s gone on in 2012-13. For my part, I like the title of the group’s big, warmly celebrated send-off show: I know what I said. It’s full of posturing and pugnacity, and it lays claim to emerging artists having a right to their idiosyncracies. But at the same time it bundles together two broad tendencies. One half of Practicum lives by wit and instinct. The other half advances a cooler, analytic ethos. These are their deep signatures. I like scanning the collective output and seeing the sensibility shift from artist to artist. Some are ludic and selfdeclaring, mining deeply into their own peculiarism, while others carry off a more systematic and cerebral air. It’s really a question of how your art transmutes the world: do you plunge into the world’s warps and wonders or do you cut and categorize its constituents and reap your artistry through that? I’m oversimplifying, of course. There are always intermediate states. Reality is more extensional and open-ended than any polar model allows, particularly for emerging artists in the first phases of their maturity. There’s no dictating the future. Yes. True. But even as boundaries blur and all things flow, fair ratios show through, and so there you have it, aesthetic foxes and conceptual hedgehogs. I’ll let the individual students figure out where they belong in this schema. Room 300 will soon be a bland vacancy with all but a few tell-tale traces scrubbed out by the university’s maintenance personnel. None of the students are coming back this way, at least not anytime soon. But before we all depart into the world’s seething flux, I’d like to note how metonymies and ghostly paradigms permeate our lives and cultural imaginaries. Thinking of these pivotal upstairs spaces, how can we not mention that most famous of upper rooms—a place where a same-sex gathering was held aeons ago and then commemorated, ages later, in a famous refectory fresco, and echoed yet again in a feminist dinner party from the twentieth century? And speaking of that century, wasn’t there another upper room from about a hundred years ago, where the women were said to come and go, talking of Michelangelo? We all know that the art game’s changed quite a bit since that first flush of the avant-garde. The Practicum classes that I’ve seen
come and go are mostly made up of women, but their talk no longer belongs to the world of Eliot’s late-Edwardian satire. The new ‘discourse’ is digital and eco-critical, and not long ago it was queer and post-colonial (and still is). As for me, I can’t recall how many times I’ve found myself in the stairwell on the north side of the art building, striking a Prufrockian pose on my way up or down. Do I show my face and accept the invitation to write a foreword, as I’ve had the good fortune to do this year, or do I descend and shoulder on into the midst of mid-life, with Augustinianism creeping up like a hound from heaven: cor nostrum inquietum est, donec requiescat in te.?* Dr. Lorenzo Buj
*our heart is restless until it rests in you.
What was said before Sophia Quick
Included in the exhibition I know what I said. is the work of five emerging artists whose practices make the familiar unfamiliar. Their works hold an underlying suspicion of what is assumed as known. They know what has been said, what theyâ€™ve said â€“ but question whether what was said before needs to be unsaid or said differently. The work of Rachel Goodwin, Alayna Hryclik, Diana Marcus, Keely McCavitt, and Nicole Patrick problematize what is expected of sites, objects, the body, language, and experience. Their works are interventions into the ways in which things are usually done, seen, spoken or understood. The material form provides a space to tease out these ideas. Our spatial engagement is interrupted by reupholstered chairs in institutional spaces and immersive spaces created by questionably two or three-dimensional objects. Our familiarity with the body is complicated by video fragmentation and multiple displays. Pixilated colours and digital manipulation break down linguistic barriers and subsuming categorization. Anxieties and fears are reconstructed and are witnessed through humour and narrativity. Rather than repeating and reiterating, these works unravel convention.
The works vary from textiles, print, photography, digital manipulation, woodwork, painting, performance and video. But each practice is laborious in process, method and making. The practices of these five artists have undergone many layers of production. Each artist experiments with materiality, crossing from one medium to another â€“ all working through the conviction that what has been said before needs to be said better. Whether in agreement or discordance, artistic practice is a way of working through what has been said before. The process of making â€“ like a conversation â€“ poses questions, hesitates, quotes, develops, and builds upon exchanges. The work produced by the graduating artists of I know what I said. is result of a diligent dialogue with materiality and experimentation.
Born in London, ON, Rachel Goodwin’s passion for the arts began at an early age with private instruction. Now a fifth year student at Western University, Goodwin near completion of a BFA, Honours Specialization in Studio Arts. Recently, some of her audio-based work has toured to galleries in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Wishing to pursue a career in studio arts, Goodwin plans to travel out West as far as British Columbia and Washington to obtain more experience as a practicing artist.
Though primarily a video and sound-based artist, Rachel Goodwin explores inter-disciplinary streams of sculpture and installation art. Fascinated by the human form, the artist often finds the body to be at the centre of her explorations. Her interests consider the body as a machine; a vehicle for expression as well as that body’s relationship to its environment. It is for this reason that performative elements frequently emerge within her work. For Goodwin, performance is often coupled with the manipulation of ephemeral materials, an aspect that is greatly informed by her concern for the fluidity and temporality of lived experience. Be it adaptation, transformation or even deterioration, such processes are always at the forefront of Goodwin’s investigations as a studio artist; for they have the potential to be transgressive and disrupt notions of social order.
Born in Saskatoon, SK, Alayna Hryclik spent much of her childhood living in British Columbia, and Manitoba. She currently lives, works and attends school in London, ON. Studying at Western University, She is en route to completing a BFA Honours Specialization in Studio Art with a double major in English Language and Literature. Upon completion of both undergraduate degrees, she plans on pursuing the trade of upholstery as an avenue to further her technical skills and as a continuation of her fine art practice.
Alayna Hryclik has always been interested in the handcrafted, learning to sew from her mother and watching her grandmother knit; textiles have always been a part of her life. Experimenting primarily with fabric, Hryclik employs her technical skill in textiles to produce sculptural forms. Currently, the artist focuses on attributes of layering, ethereality, and trapping in her work, using these ideas to construct site-specific fabric art installations. Hryclik creates encounters through site-specificity, encouraging viewers to interact with their surroundings in new ways. Giving fabric more of a presence, underlining its delicateness, using it as a highlight, or leaving it as a trace, she provides a new lens for viewing existing sites. Her objective as a contemporary artist is to establish a connection between herself â€“ and her current works â€“ with the discourse of traditional textile art. Hryclik intends to produce works that pay homage to this discourse while also challenging conventions of contemporary art as pertinent to sculpture, site-specificity and installation.
Diana Marcus grew up in Waterloo, ON and currently resides in London, ON. Marcus is in the final year of her Undergraduate degree in Visual Arts at Western University. She hopes to obtain an MFA with a concentration in printmaking and installation.
Diana Marcus is interested in the history of printmaking as she believes that in a contemporary setting, printmaking struggles to find a name next to sculpture and non-depictive, conceptual art. Marcus is interested in raising questions of originality and edition within the tradition of printmaking while also finding ways to establish a dialogue between print and installation. Material articulation, repetition, and sequence are key concepts in her installation works as the printmaking process is a prevalent part of her art practice. Marcus creates immersive installation spaces through her use of print. Within each work, the viewer is encouraged to contemplate a monotonous process as well as speculate the conversations between the notions of two and three dimensional space.
A London-based artist born and raised, Keely McCavitt is attending Western University for her BFA. Encouraged to pursue art by her creative family, an academic endeavour in this field was a logical step. The artist currently volunteers at Forest City Gallery, and hopes to become a greater part of her local art community. McCavittâ€™s future plans are to enroll in the Arts Management program at Western and obtain an MFA degree in Canada.
For Keely McCavitt, the process of making art is a means of dealing with her personal fears. McCavittâ€™s work often includes themes or images that she finds frightening, undercutting them with the use of self-deprecating humour. Though the artist considers her practice quasiautobiographical, her work encompasses a much wider conceptual field. Recent research has led her to experiment with the use of wooden cut-outs as stand-ins for real people. Building scenes populated by these characters creates a strange atmosphere in her work. Alongside her investigations of representation and narrative, the artistâ€™s work shows an emphasis on abstraction and the physicality of painting. Her more abstract works are painted loosely and with the nature of the paint itself as the main focus. Often utilizing inexpensive materials, McCavitt finds their rough and unrefined quality supports the conceptual underpinnings of her work.
Nicole Patrick is a London based artist, currently in her final year at Western University where she is completing a BFA with Major in English Literature and Language. Her works have been shown in group exhibitions including the Western Annual Juried Exhibition, at the Artlab Gallery, as well as The Cities of Opportunity! at the Anna Leonowens Gallery, and Museum London’s Public Art Symposium at the London Public Library. Patrick hopes to continue to participate in engaging exhibitions once she has completed her education.
Nicole Carolina Patrick
Nicole Patrick approaches the human body as a communicative platform, investigating the categorization of people into specific ethnic, racial and gender visual codes. The artist is interested in engaging with the almost ritualistic social trend of identifying people by colour, which renders them as the Other, while also investigating the relationship this process has to physical appearance. Fascinated by the semiotic limitations of verbal language when describing the colour of skin, Patrick’s work addresses the taboos surrounding descriptions of skin tones such as “black” and “white.” She encourages not a larger colour vocabulary per se, but an abolishment of colour categories of skin, challenging existing stigmas and constructing new visual space to better understand personal identity. Digital photography is the tool by which she illuminates the absurd relationship between individual complexions and the overly-simplified vernaculars used to describe them. Ultimately, Patrick’s current studio practice is inspired by autobiographical events and encounters yet maintains very real socio-political consequences.
Re-Enactments Kim Neudorf
To recent visits with several students in their Practicum studios (in addition to presentations and critiques), I brought with me an original list of key words meant to anchor my subsequent notes and questions. These key words immediately went into sidelong tangents, changing key and place and time, making private decisions and then testing out theories in the background of my progress. What follows is not simply an extended form of note-taking, but an attempt to find the possible material logic within each student’s studio practice and reenact it in a different space; these short texts are like question-recipes (but recipes which hopefully yield more recipes). The inner logic of these re-enactments are about instances where the crystallization of an idea relies on a certain (temporarily) conditional understanding, or the question: what needs to come together, what needs to be in our proximity, what do we collect and devise and stretch until it fits, in order to give form to our ideas? free-form: Upon nubby, plaster-coated table surfaces: the taking stock and laying flat of the results of a material exploration – these items, objects, and component parts are the tools for future material actions. A couch-centric facing-towards becomes a turning-away. Self-editing. What persists in objects can be seen in slices. Hips and prosthetics. This is about replay – following the steps already followed to their limits by a family of objects – how do you find yourself in a space of gestures left in play rather than simply played out? walk-like: An accidental childhood book, somehow not anointed as useable or claimed as truly ‘mine’. A book of puns and riddles and nonsense poems. A book of patterns made material, like stripes and shapes you can’t quite see in
the dark. A poem-form stands out in memory, its punch-line flat and squat. When is a house in trouble? When the basement has fallen downstairs. A reverse-poltergeist, referring to a basement as clumsy, its domestic and accidental fate of falling which led to its funny and terrible demise. own up: The resulting words are the scratches left from scouring, the stolid forms or residue left at the end of the day, the shelf-life after the novelty wears off. Materials - not just the daily floors we walk on - which respond and give. “This is news to me.” Spelling things out but also calling someone out ; taking someone to task. Miles and inches are given and taken. Compiled and compressed into the compulsive circuits of stress relievers. Reaction / Response. Control group. When does provocation become a true invitation? static / charged: When every day conversation becomes territorial, it can be astonishingly anti-conversational and airless, as if in an old movie where the hidden villain snips the wires which connect the telephones, cutting off all outside communication. In other instances of speech, explanation must conform to storytelling, which does not usually include gaps, rambling, or lapses of memory. These are moments when we appear (verbally) outwardly static, but are, to our despair, inwardly (uselessly) charged. Who (what) else can we address our thoughts to (through), and how do they address themselves back to us? balloon / portal: Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky wrote of the discovery of a way to speak metaphorically without resorting to schmaltz or certain conventions. A revelation made into a base object. A sudden idea. Such as a ‘homemade’ hot air balloon, somehow made operational in the Middle Ages. Something strange enough to work, to make sense in filmic time. “[T]o transform the literary scenario into a new fabric.”* An open-ended pointing towards meaning, an unfinished motion, a half-turn, a portal. *Andrei Tarkovsky. Sculpting In Time: Reflections On The Cinema (London: Faber and Faber, 1989), 18.
Julide Cakiroglu is a Canadian artist, born and raised in London, ON. Currently in her final year at Western University, she is studying to obtain her BFA Honors Specialization in Studio Arts. Cakiroglu is a passionate and involved member of the local artist community, volunteering for Forest City Gallery and Editor for the VASA Zine of Western University. She plans on attending Fanshawe next September for the 3D Animation and Character Design program.
In her practice, Julide Cakiroglu is interested in connecting viewers to a state of the imaginary through animation, sculpture, and installation. Constructing narratives in her work, the artist suggests beginnings, but leaves the story to be continued. Cakiroglu creates settings charged with the energy and mood that everyday objects can hold. Anything from wood and paper to found items such as porcelain dolls and pig hearts have been used by the artist in her work. Her fascination with the imaginative realm is a response to the tendency many have to lose touch with the imaginary over time. For the artist, the imaginary is a sensibility often associated with childhood and can become increasingly neglected, as adulthood demands an entrenchment in reality. Through the use of colour, object, and experience, diversions are created in Cakirogluâ€™s work, forming an alternative to reality that is as honest as any material truth.
Danielle Fricke is a BFA student at Western University, and currently resides in London, ON. Following the completion of her undergraduate degree, she is interested in persuing an MFA as well as exploring her potential music career.
Danielle Fricke explores the physicality of material, the process of creation, and the transformation of form in her practice. Establishing a set of guidelines for creating a work, Fricke begins by analyzing inherent properties of a material through a series of experimentations. Her sculptures question the relationships between different forms and material such as plaster, wood and metal. The result is often a sculpture that plays on notions of balance, as each element becomes reliant of the others in order to stand. Fricke approaches her work with the idea that everything combined is meant to work cohesively as one, otherwise the process is incomplete. she maintains hints of subtle detail throughout her work by layering, building, and ultimately deconstructing forms. Colours appear residual in her sculptures, as parts have been ripped and chipped away leaving various tones and textures. She is interested in these details as components of a broken narrative about the creation process. Her work is never limited to a set narrative as the artist is far more interested in playing with the viewerâ€™s expectations of time and process. Frickeâ€™s sculptures provide for the viewer a still moment in time, alluding to a transitional state where gravity could take over.
Kasia Knap is an emerging artist from Kingston, ON. When she is not personifying bodiless hands or filming eyeballs with operatic inclinations, she is busy with VOLTA, a London-based student publication for which she is Co-Editor. Knap is currently in her final year of undergraduate study at Western University. She plans to complete an MFA after graduation.
At the centre of Kasia Knapâ€™s work are cultural ideas concerning the female body. The artist is interested in how individual and collective identity forms in relation to social construction. A common theme prevalent in her work is violence; how it manifests in respect to bodily aesthetics and commodification has become a recurring question. Recently, Knapâ€™s projects have delineated into absurdist representation. In her work, staged fictive environments play host to the many different personas of disembodied body parts. Housing these alter egos of the artist, the psychological spaces expose rather than rationalize the nonsensical, deconstructing notions tied to the gendered body. Physically manifesting such processes that cannot otherwise exist in a corporeal reality subverts that reality. Through such exploration, Knap strives to complicate relationships between desire and fear, what is socially acceptable and that which is uncomfortable.
Siona Stenhouse was born in Montréal, QC, and currently resides in London, ON. She is an Undergraduate Student at Western University, completing her BFA Degree. Stenhouse’s love for art education has influenced her decision to continue her studies at teacher’s college in the fall, where she will be able to share her passion and knowledge of the arts.
Siona Stenhouse’s work is a critique of the self-help and actualization movement. Stenhouse explores these ideas through her use of simple structured texts that confront the viewer. Her methods of display vary from hand-outs, posters, cards, and signage. Stenhouse appropriates well-known motivational sayings in her work, and through the use of adaptation, she subverts them from their original meaning. Stenhouse uses these texts as interventions on the existing conditions of a particular space, further complicating their meaning. Stenhouse is critical of the systems of distribution in a highly consumerist culture and how the promises of self-help and actualization create a sense of false-hope. Her aim is to invoke critical thought in the viewer and for them to be more conscious of the digestibility in positive messaging.
Caitlyn Stogrin-Voisine is currently in her final year at Western University obtaining a BFA with a Minor in Psychology. Recently the artistâ€™s work was featured the Die Akustischen Akademie audio exhibition. Following completion of her degree, Stogrin-Voisine plans to continue her fine arts practice while also obtaining a degree in Art Therapy.
Caitlyn Stogrin-Voisine grew up in a rural area of Ontario, and has lived there for most of her life. Being far from family and friends led to finding alternate routes for communication when face to face contact was not possible. A vast majority of the time, technology intervened in these interactions, sparking interest in the many issues that arise from being so dependent on that technology. She explores the conflict between having reliance on technology to facilitate human interaction, and the potential for failure both within the person as well as the technology itself. Stogrin-Voisine employs various digital mediums in her practice, including audio and video components, though the works are more often described as mixed media installations.
The Next Layer Neil Klassen
Aesthetic responses are a result of the suggestions found in artworks and the connections made by viewers given their understanding of art, previous experiences, personality, and state of mind. Specifically, layering elements in artworks can suggest an ironic comment on the world, inspire creative thinking, or reach into the unconscious to reveal personal meaning. Layers hold the potential to function in grounding critical discourse in materiality and process. Art critic Jan Verwoert uses the word ‘emergence’, as a way to suggest how a work comes into form derived at through a steady, searching method of coming into existence.* The emergent components cannot happen by looking at the individual elements and so the finished artwork represents an unexpected result that only reveals itself once the work is done. ‘Emergence’ explains a condition under which something comes into being out of need, at times when a decision is required. It quickly becomes a trace, a recording — a layer of awareness. There is a conscious refusal to address all possible solutions in favour of conditional decisions. In other words the artist arranges criteria or systems to guide the process and to help set up a state of openness and self-reflection. Working in layers as a strategy then, is a decision that may employ various approaches with multiple effects and consequences… Like adding additional dimensions to architectural spaces of a Late Renaissance cathedral, lost forms become present like layered interacting temporalities. Then, excavating these spaces by sanding and scratching, paradoxically reveals their subjective state; people will choose to see what they see.
Like complex MRI or CAT scans, superimposed image over image echoes the act of visualization. Each and every compounded image stages the possibility of moving forwards and backwards while shifting in meaning along the way. Overlapping paint blurs any intricacy by delicately giving just enough information to allow a thorough examination. Like a surface of necessity and simplification, a simple statement through positioning reflects the essence of an object. Layers of absence reveal layers of ideas. Like conceptual laminate, thoughts cover these objects while gently propping them up in the world. Like the dissection of a flat surface, deep and multiple layers speak to the illusionary aspect of the canvas. It is a process, an investigation leading to errant, fractal folds becoming increasingly complex and deconstructed as the materials and composition assert their own logic. Additional layers expressed by folding and unfolding – a sense of repetitious accumulation and of contiguous movement. Through materiality and process layering becomes a synthesis of thought. More than a record of multiple applications, the layering is itself a metaphor for various layers of meaning. Viewers who are prepared to look beneath the surface, both literally and figuratively, will share this conviction. It is more than any individual element or any one layer. As a contingent decision, working with layers heightens the ability to work with and understand the emergent components, both below and above the next layer.
*Jan Verwoert. “Emergence: On the Painting of Tomma Abts.” Tomma Abts (London: Phaidon, 2005), 42-3.
Born and raised just outside of the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia, Rebecca Chin traveled over three thousand kilometers across the country to study visual art at Western University. It is here that her artistic practice has evolved though much of her work remains influenced by the mountains she calls home. She plans to return to British Columbia and continue developing her practice on the West Coast.
Many of Rebecca Chinâ€™s works function as evocations of landscape manifested through process. Long periods of time spent mountaineering have allowed a close encounter with vast physical landscapes that bear the marks of trace and time acting upon surfaces. One manifestation of trace that Chin is fascinated by is glacial striation, marks left by now-melted glaciers that scraped away at rock formations. The glacier itself is of great interest to her as a constantly moving, changing, and folding entity. Her work incorporates elements of staining, scraping, soaking, folding, and stitching of canvas to explore and mimic such forms of trace. Chin wishes to continue experimenting with canvas material and process in the upcoming years.
Originally from Cali, Colombia, Gina Duque immigrated to Walkerton, ON, Canada with her mother at the age of eleven. Duque is an emerging artist currently attending her final year at Western University for her BFA Honours Degree. Her work has been featured on the cover of Current Oncology medical journal and was included in the Art as a Healing Force exhibition, City Hall, Toronto, ON. Duque plans on continuing her practice to further her professional career as an exhibiting artist.
In her practice, Gina Duque explores the relationships between human biology, spiritual beliefs, and humanistic psychology pertaining to illness. She focuses on this concept in her painting by exploring the physiological effects manifested through visualization techniques and subconscious thinking. Her imagery, often large-scale portrayals of microscopic subjects, derives from various medical imaging devices. For the artist, medical imagery also serves as a foundation for investigating visualization methods from a scientific perspective. Such methods are an intuitive yet structured approach to the depiction of cells, tissues, and systems of the human body. Despite their scientific roots, Duque strives to create a sense of ethereality and vitality in her works. Material, design, and colour choices are made conscientiously as a way to bridge the physical and emotional experiences of illness with ideas of healing, strength and fragility. Through the use of additive textural effects, Duque produces a sculptural quality in her painting as an effort to create visceral, tactile moments between the viewer and the work.
Born in Mississauga, ON, Rachel Newton’s artistic education later began in Bracebridge, ON, at Bracebridge & Muskoka Lakes SS. Upon her graduation, she received the Jean E. Macdonald memorial award from the Muskoka Arts & Crafts Association. Newton currently attends Western University in pursuit of an Honours BFA, as well as a Minor in Mathematics. In the future, she plans to obtain her BEd and travel to New Zealand or England to pursue a career in teaching while maintaining her art practice.
Rachel Newton’s background in art and mathematics has brought her to seek a harmony between the visual and the statistical in her practice. Using statistics, Newton examines the inner actions of consumerist society and how our excessive consumption is ultimately our destruction. In her work, she breaks down broad political and societal issues into specific statistics that focus on exposing the extensive waste caused by human want. Newton translates these concepts through visual abstraction, severing easy access to the original content. Her work is a source of reflection on human behaviour—a space for contemplation. Newton strives for the viewer to draw their own conclusions on her work as she believes that you cannot force change; it must come from within.
Julia Puzara is currently living in London, ON, completing her BFA at Western University. Her work has been included in several group shows, most recently the Western Annual Juried Exhibition. Following her graduation, Puzara will continue to develop her painting practice.
A painting can communicate the idea of pictorial space to a viewer, while physically existing as a flat surface. Julia Puzara engages with this aspect of the ontology of painting, juxtaposing perspectival systems developed during the Renaissance, with the collapse of pictorial space brought about by Modernism. Through a repetitive process of appropriating architectural forms, layering paint and sanding, Puzara aims to locate a tension between illusionistic space and the flatness of her canvas. The resulting paintings complicate a viewerâ€™s conclusive understanding of how to interpret a painting as either spatial or flat. The purpose of this is to provide an opportunity for the viewer to negotiate where and how space exists in painting.
Practicum 2012/2013 Practicum is a culminating course for the BFA program. It prepares students for having a career in art by giving them the time and space to develop their practices within a context of intense dialogue about contemporary art and the choices inherent in making visual work. Asking questions is a critical component of this process, leading to an awareness and articulation of one’s choices, and the consequences of those decisions. The blend of practice and theory allows for an engagement with highly complex forms of communication, while acknowledging a spectrum of abilities and a multiplicity of intelligence. This discourse revolves around each student’s own work, so knowing what you said, and having a position on what matters is key. During a class discussion someone said something awkward. Realizing the need for follow up or to provide explanation, “I know what I said” was offered. The class unwittingly had the title of this exhibition. A statement, a defense, a provocation: it serves as a meaningful moment in the discourse which art produces. On the Western Arts & Humanities webpage the prominent tags ‘think critically, think creatively’ exemplify what Practicum is all about. Well, not all, there is also making – making critically and making creatively and it is not always easy to put making and thinking together. Sometimes we do something because it feels like the right thing to do – and we can’t immediately
explain it. Potentially enfolded within “I know what I said” is knowing what works. But this doesn’t just happen. Locating the relationship of meaning and material in any artistic practice, let alone a developing one, is a challenge. It requires a lot of time and exploration, patience, rigour and risk. But when feeling and thinking and making and knowing come together, visual art can offer remarkable insight into ourselves and our world. In addition to making art, Practicum also involves professional development. This year the students showed their considerable skills at fundraising, grant writing, organizing, promoting, and designing (this catalogue!). A trip to New York City in February was the research highlight of the year. From Matisse to MOMA, Dieter Roth to Ragnar Kjartansson, seeing such a vast range of ambitious art was an eye opening and awe-inspiring experience for all of us. We also had studio visits with two young Canadians who are making names for themselves internationally. In her Brooklyn studio, Julia Dault remarked that although there are so many things an artist must be good at to succeed, she puts at least 75% of her efforts into making; exploring in the studio and working with her materials are crucial, otherwise, her art wouldn’t develop. Likewise in Practicum, their studio work is the result of long days and nights in the studio, an effort that is never without a question: should I paint this shape, install that text, sand that wood, collect that junk, add that jar, amplify that sound, edit that scene, sew that fabric, use these colours, take your picture, crush that plaster, press that button, crumple these pages, iron that fold, … I know what I said. We hope you both enjoy looking and thinking about the exhibition while perhaps asking yourself, what does this new generation have to say? Patrick Howlett & Colin Miner
Text: Essays as attributed to author, all artistâ€™s text by the artist Editor: Colin Miner Design: Kasia Knap Photography: Colin Miner, Siona Stenhouse Cover Photo: Gina Duque Copyright 2013 the artists, authors, and the publishers
Acknowledgements The Practicum class would like to thank Patrick Howlett and Colin Miner as co-instructors of the course and curators of the exhibition. A sincere thanks to Dr. Lorenzo Buj, Neil Klassen, Kim Neudrof, and Sophia Quick for contributing essays. The class would also like to express their gratitude towards Joy James, Susan Edelstein, and Marlene Jones. Mentors: Sky Glabush Jason Hallows Kelly Jazvac Dave Kemp Neil Klassen Maryse Lariviere Steve Lyons Anna Madelska Patrick Mahon Kim Moodie Chris Myhr Kim Neudorf Daniela Sneppova Thea Yabut Kelly Wood
Technical Staff: Julia Beltrano Brad Issacs Andrew Silk Jennifer Slauenwhite Financial Support: Arts & Humanities Student Donation Fund USC Grant Fund artLAB Gallery