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MAKES SENSE ON THE BODY Curated by: Melanie Egan

The Makes Sense on the Body Exhibition Would like to thank the following:

-All the residents of Studio Huddle -Melanie Egan -Harbourfornt Centre -All the wonderful people in the Toronto Craft Community

Pantone version

Cover and Back Page Images - Anu Raina Page 6 Image (curatortial statement) - Malcolm Halley

CMYK version


table of contents Acknowledgments -------------------------------------page 2 About STUDIO HUDDLE ------------------------------- page 5 Curatorial Statement------------------------------------ page 7 Stephanie Fortin & Label--------------------------------pages 8-11 Malcom Halley --------------------------------------------pages 12-15 Grant McRuer---------------------------------------------pages 16-19 Eric Petersen----------------------------------------------pages 20-23 Anu Raina -------------------------------------------------pages 24-27 Victoria Yez------------------------------------------------pages 28-31



Studio Huddle

Studio Huddle (formally Elevator Art Lab) is a group of 13 artists who share a 2000 square foot creative space in downtown Toronto. The space is comprised of the artists’ studios, as well as a large common area which functions as a gallery and event space. We are a collection of contemporary artists working in contemporary craft who broaden the potential for intersections across artistic disciplines. We achieve this through education, exhibition, collaboration and dedication to experimentation within our practices. It is our goal to strengthen the scope of our personal creative culture, share this culture with our community and enhance Canada’s artistic spectrum. The objective of Studio Huddle is to capitalize on the cross pollination of personalities, trades, ideas and resources. We believe artistic practices depend on an inclusive and cooperative community to flourish. At Studio Huddle, we are able to pursue our individual creative pursuits, and develop distinct visual vocabularies in a supportive and active environment. Our collective began in 2009, we came together out of a common interest to build an environment which would be more than just artist studios. Huddle is a space where artists have the opportunity to collaborate, engage in open dialogue and debate, and further the craft community. All the artists at Studio Huddle graduated from a craft, art, or design program at a Canadian college or university. Eight of us are former Harbourfront Centre artists-in-residence, having each spent three years benefiting from our collective experience. It is through the collaborative spirit of the Craft Department at Harbourfront Centre and its excellence in craft programming that Studio Huddle finds its roots. Our long term goal is to become the first craft based non-profit artist run centre in Canada. Within our collective, we share common ties and connections with Harbourfront Centre, the Ontario Crafts Council, the Glass Art Association of Canada, Metal Arts Guild of Canada and to Sheridan College, OCAD University and George Brown College. As such, Studio Huddle finds itself near the centre of a dense and vibrant craft community. Half a dozen times in the past two year we have held well-attended public events in our gallery space to connect the larger community with our activities, whether it be workshops, pop-up shops or visiting artist exhibitions. In the time when there is no special programming in place we have an on going exhibit of Studio Huddle artists. With every event we invite the public to share our excitement and creative culture. 5


The tacit relationship with the body is the common ground shared amongst these designers. It is truly when their work is worn, that it comes alive. The swish of a hip on the runway or street; the flutter of a finger or the toss of the head is when the “wow” happens. This happy relationship between fashion and jewellery is mutually beneficial and unique to both practices. Contemporary jewellery, fashion and accessories need the body to be fully understood. Fashion, regardless of how radical, fares well as it is promoted and championed by a dynamic industry that includes glossy magazine layouts and theatrical runway shows. Contemporary jewellery is niche and more challenging to interpret without the body. Jewellery gets displayed and photographed extensively but the representation is not always ideal. A disembodied brooch on a white plinth can be …well, what is it exactly - a small sculpture, objets d’art, or the dreaded ‘wearable art’? It is only when you pin that brooch to your natty jacket, does it definitively communicate, “I’m jewellery, just wear me!” - thus all ambiguity disappears. It is the body that mediates the full experience. Exhibiting jewellery and fashion in a gallery context presents some difficulties. Others have grappled with similar problems with mixed results. How to avoid the works being interpreted as simply artifact or object? How to enliven the works and imply the body? How to avoid the gimmicky display mount that overshadows and detracts from the work? This exhibition circumvents some of these challenges and in doing so presents the work in a lively, animated way; referencing the body, even in its absence. I want to thank all the designers participating in this exhibition. Anu Raina, inspired by new beginnings saturated with colour; Eric Petersen who pays homage to the hip-hop urban experience; Victoria Yez whose nature inspired works hearken back to the glamour-days of the1940s; Stephanie Fortin + LABEL who ingeniously blend historical hand-techniques with contemporary chic; Malcolm Halley for his street-savvy, sartorial style and Grant McRuer who epitomizes industrial elegance.

-Melanie Egan, Curator



Stephanie Fortin & LABEL

STEPHANIE FORTIN Coeur De Lion Textiles

Stephanie Fortin graduated from NSCAD University with a BFA focused on textiles and art history in 2009 and an illustration diploma from Sheridan Institute in 2004. Fortin creates unique hand dyed and printed textiles, incorporating itajime shibori, immersion and removal dyeing with contemporary practices of silk screening. She is interested in the interaction and play between line, shape, colour, form and pattern. Fortin has been an artist-in-residence in the Textile Studio at Harbourfront Centre since 2011. She recently launched her company Coeur De Lion Textiles offering a line of home and fashion accessories and has shown her work in exhibitions with NSCAD University, Harbourfront Centre, The National Ballet of Canada and the Design Exchange.

LABEL Designers Shawna Robinson and Natalie Sydoruk have collaborated since 2009 on their clothing line, LABEL. The idea was born out of their mutual desire for quality clothing that fit their unique lifestyles. Shawna, a freelance wardrobe stylist and aspiring artist, and Natalie, a Ryerson fashion design graduate and model, both desired clothing that was intelligently designed with comfort, sustainability, and wearability in mind. What emerged was clothing that resists the urge to define its wearer, and instead invites the wearer to characterize the clothing. Label reinvents the basics, providing essential building blocks for each seasonal collection, inspired generous styling and wardrobe play.


Untitled, Stephanie Fortin, 2012

Tencel, itajime shibori 200cm L x 162cm photo credit: S.Fortin


Spring/Summer 2013 Hair & Makeup: Earl Simpson Model: Anna Stephenson (Sutherland) Photo credit: Jaclyn Locke


Bleach Tunic -Shawna and Natalie from LABEL



Malcolm Halley

Growing up in Toronto, Malcolm Halley had an interest in art and design from an early age. This passion led him to Textile studies at Sheridan College’s Craft & Design program, where he is currently in his final year. Malcolm recently completed a summer residency at Harbourfront Centre’s Textile Studio. In addition, Malcolm launched Madrad, a textile company which produces one-of-a-kind bags and accessories. Malcolm’s label, Madrad, produces quality, hand-made bags and accessories designed for everyday use. Malcolm sets the bar high, ensuring expert craftsmanship and attention to detail in all of his limited production collections. Natural dyes and hand crafted leather play a big role in the production of Malcolm’s work. It is all about refined functional design for this young maker. While Malcolm often finds inspiration in the simple and functional design of traditional military uniforms, the series featured in this show was inspired by the iconic Bison Plaid – a familiar Canadian textile.


Bison Weekender, 2012 Naturally dyed canvas (10oz), bison plaid, leather 41cm x 17cm x 40cm photo credit: Malcolm Halley


Bison Tote, 2012 Naturally dyed hand waxed canvas (10oz), bison plaid, leather. 34cm x 10cm x 26cm photo credit: Malcolm Halley



Grant McRuer

Grant McRuer has a long history with jewellery design having studied at both Georgian and George Brown Colleges in Ontario in the 1990s. In the late 90s after a 1- year hiatus from school he returned to complete a BFA in jewellery at NSCAD University. Upon completion of his degree he plans to pursue an MFA in the near future. His work looks at the serious and whimsical sides of life. With the use of nontraditional and traditional materials he fashions his interpretations of what he witnesses in his travels, the knowledge gleaned through reading and what he hears in the daily media. He does not seek to replicate them, but through thoughtful manipulation of materials bring forth objects that reflect his experiences. It is not the original idea that is most important but the amalgamation of past ideas with new interpretations that bring forth creativity.


Single Cell Ring, 2012

Sterling silver, porcelain 2.5cm x 5 cm Photo credit: Digital by Design/Paul Ambtman


Five Cell Brooch, 2012

Sterling silver porcelain 8 cm x 5 cm x 1.7 cm Photo credit: Digital by Design/Paul Ambtman



with Marko Neofotistos wood carver

Eric Petersen

Eric Petersen is an award-winning goldsmith and designer of luxury jewellery and accessories. He graduated in 2008 from the Jewellery Arts Advanced Diploma Program at George Brown College’s School of Jewellery Studies, and was the recipient of the Louis Frankian Diamond Jewellers Award for his exceptional use of diamonds. In 2011, with money raised from his Please STOP the Violence jewellery series, Eric donated two electric guitars to Music Not Mischief, an organization that works with youth who have been in trouble with the law at a young age. Eric won two ‘Best in Design Innovation’ awards and has been featured in publications such as Jewellery Business, MAGazine (Metal Arts Guild of Canada), and Studio Magazine (Ontario Crafts Council.)

Eric Petersen blurs the boundaries between jewellery, fashion and art, creating hybrid objects that exist beyond any single discipline. These objects are elegant and bold; ignoring trends yet embracing contemporary culture. He juxtaposes non-precious materials with gold, silver and gemstones imbuing his work with a sense of both luxury and familiarity.


80s Baby Snapback Hat, 2011

Sterling Silver, 14K Gold Plated, Hat: Acrylic, Wool Hat: 26.67 x 20.32 x 12.7 cm Pendant: 10 x 2.5 x 0.1 cm Photo credit: Digital by Design/Paul Ambtman

Petersen 22

Zebrawood Chain, with Marko Neofotistos wood carver, 2012

Hand carved (solid, no seams), Zebrawood, sterling silver, diamonds 92 x 2 x 2 cm Photo credit: Digital by Design/Paul Ambtman



Anu Raina

In a short span of two years, Anu Raina has made quite a splash in Toronto’s Art and Fashion circles. After interning with Canadian textile designer Virginia Johnson, Raina graduated with high honours and several awards from the Textile program at the Sheridan College (Oakville) in 2010. She was selected as an artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre for a year. The award winning textile designer then unveiled her debut clothing collection at the Toronto Fashion Week in October, 2010. Since then she has been featured in The Globe and Mail, National Post, CBC Radio, CTV, Omni and several mainstream fashion publications. She has also been nominated for 2012 Ontario Premier’s Award for outstanding achievement by recent graduates. Her recent Fall/Winter 2012 collection is inspired by her first Autumn in Toronto in 2004. It was a profound experience filled with rich, warm colour and sweet memories. She has her eye firmly fixed on the brass ring. “Your success is determined by how determined you are.” Or in the words of her idol, acclaimed textile artist Dorothy Caldwell, “Be at it.”


Don Mills Dress, 2012

Silk Satin, wool/Polyester blend, Viscose /Cotton Jersey. Acetate lining. 92 cm Photo credit: Mike Lewis


T.O. Dress, 2012 70% Viscose, 30% cotton Jersey 110 cm Photo credit: Mike Lewis 27


Victoria Yez

Victoria Yez is a recent graduate of the Jewellery Arts diploma program at George Brown College in Toronto. She was raised in a small town in Alberta and spent many summers camping with her family. This is where she developed her passion for all things natural reflected in her unique jewellery and passionate approach to materials. The inspiration for this collection came during a weekend at a summer cottage in northern Ontario. During an early morning stroll she was struck by the beauty of the surrounding flora and the dazzle of water on a lake. She was particularly drawn to a seed pod and a bright blue purple flower she casually gathered up into her pocket. The Pod collection reflects her experience of this encounter with nature.


Y Pod Bracelet, 2012

Fine silver, sterling silver, 18k gold, vitreous enamel 20 x 2 x 2 cm Photo credit: Digital by Design/Paul Ambtman


Yez Pod Necklace, 2011

Fine silver, sterling silver, 18k gold, vitreous enamel 6 x 2.7 x 2.7 cm Photo credit: Digital by Design/Paul Ambtman


MAKES SENSE ON THE BODY Nov. 8th - 25th, 2012 Thursdays and Fridays 2pm-8pm Saturdays and Sundays 11-5 at STUDIO HUDDLE 97 Niagara Street Toronto, Ontario

Opening Reception Nov. 8th, 2012 6pm till Late for more information visit:

Makes Sense on the Body Catalogue  

Studio Huddle Presents: Makes Sense on the Body curated by Melanie Egan.

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