Traces – Nick Novak Fellowship Exhibition
Each year, Open Studio awards scholarship/fellowship residencies to artists of merit, as chosen through an annual juried selection process. The Nick Novak Fellowship is awarded to an artist currently involved with Open Studio as an artist member. In addition to rent-free access to Open Studio facilities for a period of one year, materials assistance, professional development assistance, and tuition-free access to Open Studio workshops, recipients present a solo exhibition of the work they have made during their tenure at Open Studio during our annual Scholarship/Fellowship Exhibitions. An artist’s talk by each recipient accompanies the exhibitions.
Hazel Eckert (Nick Novak Fellow) is an emerging multi-disciplinary artist and printer based in Toronto. Her work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions, 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.
Hazel Eckert’s practice is a form of visual research: a process-oriented investigation of her environment. Her days are spent in a commercial letterpress print shop working with analogue technology; she scavenges materials off of the floor and out of recycling bins, and these discarded offcuts and by-products constitute an ever-expanding collection of fragments and ephemera. During her tenure as Nick Novak Fellow, she has continued her work with collage and ephemera. In her recent series, Glass Slide Compositions, collages made from salvaged debris created during the printing process are suspended between sheets of glass. By appropriating printer’s materials and limiting the number of elements involved, Eckert produces fragmented, self-referential works with found textures and readymade colours. She has also begun scanning materials associated with analogue photography and applying halftone filters for CMYK four-colour separations: lo-fi commercial textures to create flat and unified letterpress and screenprints. She is fascinated by the gradual deterioration and alteration of image quality as an object or source image is subjected to successive methods of reproduction. With their aura of authenticity, these obsolescent technologies have become boutique forms of print production—obscuring the division between high and low art. She 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 kind of reverence for these artefacts.
Click the button to download the accompanying brochure, with an essay by Toronto-based artist and writer, Kristie MacDonald.