George Gilmour Members’ Gallery
Glass Slide Compositions
Hazel Eckert’s practice is a form of visual research: a process-oriented investigation of her environment. Eckert spends her days in a commercial letterpress print shop working with analogue technology, where she scavenges materials off of the floor and out of recycling bins. These discarded offcuts and byproducts constitute an ever-expanding collection of fragments and ephemera. Eckert’s recent work uses sheets of glass to suspend collages made from the salvage and debris created during the printing process. These forms are a result of mis-fed sheets or discarded offcuts that fall out of reach and are forgotten inside the presses and left to disintegrate by soaking up the oils and grease from the machines. By appropriating printer’s materials and limiting the number of elements involved, she creates minimal, self-referential works with found textures and readymade colours.
Eckert is interested in tapping into the archival impulse in contemporary culture—the increasing trend towards collecting, documenting, and “curating” objects, and the way this behaviour cultivates a degree of reverence for these artifacts. Encased as glass slides such as those typically used to hold objects in place for examination, the ephemera preserved in this exhibition form an archive as a process of reimagining found materials.
Hazel Eckert is an emerging multi-disciplinary artist and printer based in Toronto. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, including The Toronto Artist Project. In 2010 Hazel received The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition’s Best in Printmaking award and participated in Atelier Graff’s Insertion Project in Montreal, Quebec, which was funded in part by an Ontario-Quebec Residency Grant from the Ontario Arts Council. In 2013 she received the Nick Novak Fellowship from Open Studio, where she will be printing until September 2014 in preparation for a solo exhibition in October.