The Study, a group exhibition was recently hosted in the Learning Zone February 5th through to 16th, comprised of small works or studies by nine OCAD U students from the disciplines of Drawing & Painting and Integrated Media, organized by Emily Waknine.
The collection was comprised of a range of media — paintings, collage, mixed-media and photography. Featuring the works of Tom Colleran, Emma Edghill, Stephanie Hier, Paul Moleiro, Wendy Nichol, Hazel Ottley, Sam Pedicelli, Sarah Turner and Emily Waknine.
What inspired your idea of organizing an exhibition based on small art?
Marta Chudolinska, the Learning Zone Librarian, approached me to see if I would be interested in organizing a two-week exhibition in the Learning Zone. I was immediately inspired to create an exhibition based on small works and studies. Small studies are integral to the final production of a larger body of work and they are also very beautiful works in themselves, that do not get much recognition.
I contacted my peers, whose work I was drawn to and shared common similarities in terms of colour. All of these works were made outside of the classroom, as material and technical explorations.
It appears that the artwork was created independently, but installed with a deliberate interweaving with respect to the positioning of the pieces. You’ve brought together artwork from people with different purposes, and created a new narrative that is overlaid. Can you speak about this layer?
All of the projects installed are of small scale and self-directed explorations that seem to have an interesting conversation in the LZ space.
When I collected each of the artists’ work, I discovered interesting similarities amongst them — colour choices, patterns and materials. So, I decided that instead of grouping the works by each artist, I would install similar works together grouped either by colour or technical exploration, creating a new narrative of the original work. The exception were the digital paintings by Tom Colleran and Paul Moleiro’s darkroom prints, I decided to keep all of their works grouped individually but overall the exhibit looked very cohesive — as if it was collaboratively created.
Hazel Ottley’s plaster heads had a very soft quality to them, similar to my soft watercolour landscape paintings and Wendy Nichol’s highly detailed repetitive patterns used in her acrylic panel paintings, which I paired well with Sam Pedicelli’s explorations in embroidery and textiles.
There is a conversation between Paul’s darkroom prints and Tom digital paintings — Tom’s work is digital printing which grew from traditional film practices. Tom’s works are digital paintings representing photographs, whereas Paul works in the darkroom. I thought that these were captivating ways of inverting what we would normally see out of traditional or digital print.