Material Redistribution – A Collective Endeavour
Panya Clark Espinal
June 9, 2023 – July 22, 2023
Historic Toronto/Tkaronto was once built mainly of wood but, after several devastating fires, brick became the building material of choice. By 1912 there were 34 brickyards within the city’s proximity. With modern building developments in the 60s, 70s, and 80s much of the city’s clean demolition waste ended up forming the Leslie Street Spit. It was here that Panya Clark Espinal gathered a variety of bricks.
Material Redistribution – A Collective Endeavour is the second phase of a multi-phase project exploring the use of brick dust to make printing inks. The bricks collected at the Leslie Spit were ground to a fine powder and employed as the pigment in oil-based inks that were rolled onto custom-shaped aluminum plates. Each image required multiple passes through the printing press while retaining consistent levels of moisture in the paper to ensure accurate registration.
For Material Redistribution – A Collective Endeavour four emerging printmakers, Alize Zorlutuna, Amber Williams-King, Nami Ueno, and Leeay Aikawa, were invited to join artist Panya Clark Espinal and master printmaker Laine Groeneweg for four days of collective printmaking. Working together, the collective produced more complex compositions than had been created in the primary phase of the project, and on the final day, each of the participating printmakers was given the opportunity to push the imagery in a direction of their own choice.
As we reformulate our understanding of what sustains the vibrancy of our city, bricks that once signalled settlement and a weighty permanence float in suspension – particulate, transparent, light, and full of possibility.
Panya Clark Espinal is a Toronto/Tkaronto artist with a diploma in Experimental Art and Sculpture Installation (1988) and an MFA in Criticism and Curatorial Practice (2019) from OCADU. Her 30-year practice as a multi-media artist has explored mechanisms of representation and their influence on perception. She has attempted to bridge a gap between the world as seen in images and that of tangible experience. Through site-specific installations, exhibitions and public commissions, her work has focused on bringing renewed intimacy to the act of looking while raising questions about authenticity, reproduction, and display.
Solo exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian Embassy (Tokyo), the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the National Gallery of Canada, Oakville Galleries, and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery. Public art clients include the Toronto Transit Commission, City of Mississauga, BMO, and Covenant House. Her work is included in private and public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada.
Produced with the support of the Toronto Arts Council.