I am a Toronto mixed media artist and have been making work for three decades. I have produced assemblages, oil paintings, sculptures, ceramics, silk screens, collages, films and videos. My work often speaks to my need for connection and of what can be found in the garbage. What can be found in the garbage? I work in this metaphor to find connection.
In these new works, I incorporate discarded hardwood off-cuts from a furniture maker into my paintings. Beautiful trees were cut down and later became fine furniture. What was left over and discarded were wooden off-cuts with their hard edges. My challenge was to place these off-cut blocks into an environment where they belong and to soften their edges. Sometimes the wood pieces touch while other times there is no physical link; light and colour are their connection.
These assemblage paintings contain figures, architecture, interiors, exteriors, urban, rural and extra terrestrial landscapes central to my imagination. They talk about how lives can seem random, serendipitous, fitting together in only place and time.
In Objets Poubelles I pay homage to an important influence on my work, the Cobra Movement and particularly Karel Apel, who coined the phrase “objets poubelles” (objects from the garbage). In the late 90s I came upon a book of the sculptural work of these Netherland artists from the 1940s. They unapologetically embraced ceramics, assemblage, sculpture, photography, film, and three-dimensional works with found objects. I especially identified with the style of Karel Appel, and his wooden assemblages.