Visiting Artists Exhibition: Katie Bethune-Leamen & Mitch Robertson
Each year Open Studio selects four professional artists with or without printmaking experience to create traditional and/or experimental works in the print medium of their choice, working collaboratively with a print media artist. The Visiting Artist Residency, in operation since 1983, is a popular program that receives applications from artists from around the world. In conjunction with the residency, each artist exhibits the work produced during their period in the Studio, and gives an artist talk. These exhibitions are the result of this intensive work period. Click below to download the accompanying brochure, with essays by Kari Cwynar and Earl Miller.
For Hologram Tupac. Other Things. ALL-ONE!, Katie Bethune-Leamen worked with collaborative printer, Meggan Winsley, to create a series of screenprinted images elaborating and extending her ongoing consideration of abstracted, undefined, or inchoate objects, in relation to a slowly accruing cast of specific references/characters. This towards creating sculptures that can be inhabited as costumes, shifting installations to propositional play forms, exhibitions considered as dress rehearsals and conversational accumulations of objects and images. In this exhibition, these new print editions are presented in tandem with sculptural work—larger scale papier mâché works, and smaller porcelain work—which literally support, underpin and otherwise relate to the prints.
Katie Bethune-Leamen works in installation, sculpture, video and drawing. She received a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) and an MFA from the University of Guelph. She has exhibited across Canada, in Iceland, Japan, France, Australia, the USA, the Netherlands, England, Australia, and other countries. Recent solo exhibitions include Shiny Object Person (Art Gallery of Ontario). Recent residencies include Fogo Island Arts (Fogo Island, NL), and SIM (Reykjavik, IS), with ones upcoming at the Illulissat Art Museum (Ilulissat, GD), and The American Museum of Natural History (New York, NY). In 2012 Richard Rhodes, editor of Canadian Art magazine, listed her as one of the “Top 3 of 2012.” She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Her writing has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Border Crossings and others.
Mitch Robertson’s Star Values is a series of hand-coloured prints derived from six maps from the 1890’s. The original maps, taken from an astrology atlas, depict all the stars and constellations as seen from earth and include arcing grids of latitude and longitude lines. By interpreting these latitude and longitude lines to be “property boundaries”, a value system is then applied to the prints. Each set of prints has a unique colouring system as the information the maps provide is interpreted in various ways such that one set of prints establishes luminosity as the most valued while another set is based solely on the quantity of stars within each grid. The choice of colours is akin to most modern real estate maps in which warm colours like red, then orange and yellow denote a higher importance or value than cooler colours like green, blue or violet. This same hierarchy of colours was established by Sir Isaac Newton in reference to rainbows. While the black lines of each map are screenprinted, the various colours are applied by hand, in the tradition of early map making. With five unique versions of the prints available, the series parallels the writers of history, in which the same set of facts can be interpreted in a variety of ways to suit our own goals. Our desire to conquer and own what we do not fully understand yet is depicted through the clear disregard of the infinite depth of field in each lot, like a futuristic reconsideration of the earth when it was assumed to be flat.
Mitch Robertson is a conceptually based artist using photography, sculpture, the internet, installations, print making and drawing to create work that considers the intertwined paths of religion and superstition with globalization and consumerism. With over sixty exhibitions since 1998, Robertson has shown regularly across Canada and New Zealand as well as in the USA, Switzerland, N. Ireland, England, Germany, Scotland and Australia in public, artist run and commercial galleries. His work is in the collections of private, corporate and public galleries & institutions across Canada. He is represented by Birch Contemporary in Toronto.