Nick Novak Fellow: Michelle Forsyth
In this moment, there is no sound
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Each year, Open Studio awards two yearlong residencies to artists of merit. The Nick Novak Fellowship is awarded to an artist currently involved with Open Studio as an artist member. More information about our residencies, including benefits, eligibility and requirements, is available here. Michelle Forsyth was awarded the Nick Novak Fellowship in 2019-20, which was extended into 2020-21 due to the pandemic.
The recent photographs of Toronto-based artist Michelle Forsyth document her performative engagement with objects made and collected during the pandemic. The ten works chosen for In this moment, there is no sound, form a meditation on her time spent alone. Furthering her exploration of reproduction, pattern, and repetition, these works record the creative potential of the artist’s tremor in dialogue with the fine motor skills of her hand. At first glance, these artworks appear concise. The image elements, however, reflect the imperfections of touch through the handwork of the textiles, sculptural objects, and painted surfaces, and through hand-written contextual notes. Forsyth is interested in handcrafts as they pertain to irregularity, inefficiency and as the manifestation of haptic knowledge. The physical rhythms of making are time-consuming, and for the artist who lives with a progressive disease, she seeks to highlight the preciousness of time. As her physical capabilities decrease, each mark or stitch is cherished as a record of then.
Michelle Forsyth holds an MFA from Rutgers University and a BFA from the University of Victoria. Her work has been exhibited internationally in both group and solo exhibitions, and she has been the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and The Toronto Arts Council. Her work in print has been supported by awards from the Larry Sommers Memorial Fellowship (Seattle Print Arts) and the Nick Novak Fellowship (Open Studio). Michelle Forsyth has been a resident at the Frans Masereel Centrum (Belgium), The Banff Centre, The Textile Centre (Iceland), and The University of Southern Maine (USA). She teaches at OCAD University (Toronto) and is represented by Corkin Gallery (Toronto).
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