Visiting Artists Exhibition: Caitlin Erskine-Smith and Joy Walker
Each year, Open Studio selects four professional artists with or without printmaking experience to create works in the print medium of their choice, working collaboratively with a print media artist. These exhibitions by Erskine-Smith and Walker are the result of this intensive work period.
Caitlin Erskine-Smith’s work deals with the ideas surrounding the use of the spoken and written word and the way in which intended and communicated meaning can be estranged. Her work in textiles incorporates traditional techniques to consider modern conflicts of identity, language, and change. Erskine-Smith has exhibited in numerous juried exhibitions in Canada and abroad. Demonstrated—the work carried out by Erskine-Smith during the Open Studio Visiting Artist Residency—questions the multiple narratives surrounding violence that play out in our city everyday, and the manner in which power and authority is exploited to legitimize violence or criminalize acts of resistance. In particular, it seeks to explore the notions of voice and agency by questioning who is deemed to be a legitimate speaker and whose voices are marginalized. The piece uses a quote from Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair to highlight the manner in which fear is evoked to justify mass arrests. Blair’s voice mirrors the silence of thousands without power, who are lost under the dominance of trusted authorities. A text by Owen Coggins accompanies the exhibition.
Joy Walker studied textile design at OCAD and, for over twenty years, has designed and produced printed textiles for retailers and design consultants throughout Canada and the U.S. Her artwork reflects her interest in pattern, repetition, geometrics and the ephemeral, using a variety of methods, including printing, photography, drawing, stitching and cutting. Walker has exhibited widely and her work is included in both private and public collections. She is also the programmer of *QueenSpecifc, a window exhibition space on Queen St. West in Toronto displaying site-specific art installations. She is represented by MKG127 gallery in Toronto. Created during Walker’s Visiting Artist Residency at Open Studio, the Crush series began when Walker noticed a piece of lined paper on the floor of her studio. The paper had been crumpled and crushed; as a result, a random pattern of lines had been created on its flattened surface. Deciding to forgo intentional pattern-making in favour of chance, Walker has created a suite of screenprints based on enlarged versions of crumpled-up lined, grid and dot papers. A text by Gary Michael Dault accompanies the exhibition.