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“Texture… in its fullest sense belongs to neither the contents of ‘our minds apart from the world nor the world apart from us…” – Jonathan Weidenbaum

FEELS If Western culture as a whole has historically favoured the visual above all other senses, it could be argued that material practices favour the tactile.i We are preoccupied with the sensation of touch, with the hand, with the nuances of surface, and yet it’s not enough. We want to push the definition of texture. The language of tactility is also the language of our inner emotional worlds. In order to better know our surroundings, we desire to touch them— and in reaction to events and exchanges, we are touched. The term “feels”, invented and popularized in Internet meme languageii, refers to an emotional experience that is overwhelming, or even incapacitating, furthering the notion that the emotional translates itself into the visceral.


Feeling occurs both through the mind and through the body. The work in this exhibition reflects the diversity of ways in which this dual experience of feeling can manifest. The materials draw us in through their spatial, participatory, aural, olfactory and tactile engagement. Texture is no longer limited to the nerves of the skin, but expands to include all varieties of sensory input. In viewing the work, the multi-sensory experience creates a heightened sense of the body, its structures and actions. Following the sweeping, endless bentwood line of April Martin’s I Will Bring This Colour Home on My Lips, we feel movement, and we are moved. Similarly, Similarl Veronique Tremblay’s Cartographie du corps desirant has us run our hands over an animal-like body that is also a landscape, mapping through feeling.

A sense of comfort is evoked by Tremblay’s sleeping form that runs through other textures of the exhibition. We find ourselves crawling into shelters, such as in Hope Erin Phillips’ Naptime Tent, or inserting our heads into containers or orifices in Isabel Prado Caro’s soft sculpture. Our bodies are swaddled in material, scent and sound, closing off the mundane stimulation of the world. We feel safe, or perhaps we feel restricted.

This collection of works suggests that moving through the world has the potential to be an exercise in the bodily experience of tactility. This is about the senses communicating our world to us. This is about sensing texture. r. smyth

There is space here for conflicted feelings. The scent of lavender in Prado Caro’s Please Stop creates a vastly different bodily response than the scent in Rebecca Smyth’s Black Box. The feelings evoked by the acrid odour of ash that emanates from the box may very well be the ones we are running from when we escape into Prado Caro’s work.






April Martin


Rebecca Smyth


Veronique Tremblay


Isabel Prado Caro


Hope Phillips




I Wi l l B r i n g T h i s C o l o u r H o m e O n M y L i p s , 2013

Wood, Plasticine 26 x 52 inches


This work engages with the senses of memory and weight. The wooden frame became a stand in for my body; the pink plasticine pressed into the cracks marks my memory of the colour of the sky. Inspired by the clouds above I took my drawings off the page and bent them in space. The cloud form transformed to a portrait with the addition of the plasticine that traces the pressing of my fingers, smoothing edges and filling gaps.

I use the single line to suspend moments of time in space. Collected together these threads create nets, webs, skeletons and coverings. My work is made up of details that amass to freestanding forms. They drip with fringe, explode with shards, or grow out of clay and felt on top and over themselves. For me the deepest truths and inspiration come from nature's colours and sensations. I seek to give emotions solid presence in the world, to valorise and translate what is ephemeral into tangible forms that can be held, touched and contemplated outside of my own mind and body.


I Wi l l B r i n g T h i s C o l o u r H o m e O n M y L i p s , 2013 Wood, Plasticine 26 x 52 inches




A “black box” indicates an object or system whose inner workings are inaccessible and unknown. The only information we have about the internal process is the input and the output. A mailbox is generally a site of reception, and shouldn’t involve any inner workings that would modify the input material. Yet the output is the pungent odour of ash and burnt wax, indicating that the box has in some way transformed the information of the mail. The result the enveloping bodily is experience of scent—a sense closely tied to memory, and open to free association by each viewer.

The Black Box is the conceptual and material descendent of Inheritance, a piece consisting of over forty hollow packages rendered in craft paper and beeswax. These packages were burnt inside the mailbox in order to reduce them and allow them to be presented as minimally as possible.


The Black Box (Inheritance II), 2013

Found mailbox, ash, beeswax


The Black Box (Inheritance II), 2013

Found mailbox, ash, beeswax




Les oeuvres présentées mettent en scène le corps comme un territoire physique et mental, où la notion d'animalité émerge en tant que symbole de forces pulsionnelles inconscientes. Transposé en paysage, il devient un espace paradoxal, oscillant entre le sauvage et le domestiqué, entre le déploiement organique et la retenue, la contrainte.

M y t h o l o g i e i n t i m e , 2013 Céramique, objects divers, étiquettes.


La nature sensorielle et sensible du corps en font également un lieu inscriptible, témoin direct et support des expériences humaines; un lieu, en quelque sorte, habité d'histoires à déchiffrer, dont on peut retrouver la trace ainsi que le chasseur piste sa proie en interprétant les signes de son passage.


E n c l o s ( P r i s e s n o . 1 , n o . 1 , n o . 3 ) , 2013

Cire, fourrure, bois, mĂŠtal


E n c l o s ( P r i s e s n o . 1 , n o . 1 , n o . 3 ) , 2013

Cire, fourrure, bois, mĂŠtal



Absorption, 2013 Linen/Cotton, Ink Please stop,

2013 Spongy fabric, Lavender scent


My aim is to explore and analyze the intertwining relation between the mental and the physical body. I present a challenge to the viewer by introducing new perceptions and new ways of conceiving the body in relation to its internal and external landscapes. This opens up the dialogue of the multi faceted self, composed of complex interconnections.

We exist in a time that is extremely demanding, mentally, physically and emotionally. We are pulled in multiple directions, until we become fragmented and eventually very much separated from our true selves. I invite the viewer to consider the gravity and importance of the body, which will ultimately allow one to explore ones full potential. The viewer exists in this liminal space, where all is white, all is still and distractions cease to exist.

Presently, through the digitization of the everyday and the rise of social media, visual stimuli are all encompassing while the rest of the body and other senses are suppressed. Inside this simulated environment, the viewer is presented with an uncomfortable and imposing optical illusion. This constructed space aims to illustrate the immersive nature of virtual reality and highlight the disregard of physical presence.


Please stop, 2013 Spongy fabric, Lavender scent



Absorption, 2013 Linen / Cotton, Ink




Naptime Tent is an experimental pop-up mock-service offering a small portable space designated specifically for napping (or sitting, recharging, talking quietly) – a cozy personal mini-retreat bubble inside of a communal space for anyone to benefit from. My research for this project is preoccupied with the concept of safe(r), more inviting communal spaces, as well spaces of sensory immersion as retreat and self-care. This project is an exploration of active creation of these spaces through feedback and input of communities.

It has previously been installed in two locations around Concordia University, and any new installations will draw upon collected feedback from those installations (mostly to add even more cozy things inside). A sound element has been added since the original installation so the viewers can listen to white noise (whale sounds have also been requested!), and complimentary hot cocoa is sometimes served to complete the naptime experience.


N a p t i m e Te n t , 2 0 1 3 S i l k o r g a n z a , f a u x f u r, a l u m i n i u m t e n t p o l e s , p i l l o w s a n d b l a n k e t s .





Feels catalog  

"Texture ... in its fullest sense belongs to neither the contents of our minds apart from the world nor the world apart from us..." - Jonath...

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