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Tag: Miles Collyer

Miles Collyer Featured CONTACT Exhibition at Open Studio

Mike Brick, 2015 © Miles Collyer

Mike Brick, 2015 © Miles Collyer

Join Miles Collyer at his featured CONTACT exhibition, ‘The Inhabitants of Space’, on view soon at Open Studio. He will be showing work alongside Derek Coulombe, Erika DeFreitas, and Alexis Dirks.

When: May 13–June 10
Where: Open Studio, 401 Richmond Street West, Suite 104, Toronto, ON
Opening Reception: Friday, May 12, 6:30pm–8:30pm

For more information, visit the CONTACT website.

Illusion of Process

Congratulations to Photo alumni Miles Collyer and Marvin Luvualu Antonio on their upcoming exhibition at AGYU:

Illusion of Process
Marvin Luvualu Antonio, Miles Collyer, Maggie Groat
Jan 19 – Mar 12, 2017
Opening: Thurs, Jan 19, 6–9 pm

Surrounded, as we are, by a never-ending construction site, we’re never really sure what the end result is going to be. Just outside the doors of the AGYU, a new subway station is taking shape. We’re told that the subway is going to come. We’ve been told this one for years, and before us already it was being told. We’ve been teased with “artist’s renderings,” with photo-ops, with scale models. Nevertheless, construction seems to be going nowhere, the promise always put off another month, another year.

That’s exactly the way the built form evolves, though. Only in stepping away for a bit, defamiliarizing one’s surroundings, can we actually see change as it happened. That subway? It’s coming, it’ll come, and then … instead of stopping, the changes will continue. We won’t necessarily see them, being too close, but they will continue to happen.

The work of Miles Collyer, Marvin Luvualu Antonio, and Maggie Groat all fit together. They are not, of course, the same. Far from it. But somehow, they do fit together. Their work shares a strategy, but it’s not only that.

To start with, Miles, whose work appears to be about violence and the destruction of the built form. Of more importance, however, is the route that he takes: he is not representing violence, either to or for us. His source material is not crumbling concrete and twisted rebar: instead, it is the incidental representation of such. Fragments caught in the background of the evening news; snippets of real destruction mediated for our consumption as spectacle. Aspects of warzones, in a constant state of de-construction, are re-constructed in the gallery as new objects of contemplation. Miles is offering us the representation of the representation of violence. He concretizes for us, in the most real way possible, the mediated image. On display is the extensive materials-based research he undertakes, from a concrete wall juxtaposed alongside the gallery’s own walls, to the revealing of a lattice of support columns via a wheat-pasted, monolithic photocopy.

Marvin, on the other hand, is not so bound to mediation (although consideration of the spectacle? that he shares with Miles). Instead, he is, using the most economic of means, setting a stage on which he will, during the opening, literally project his familial history in a performance titled “Death is a Tunnel.” Chains delineate the boundary of the stage, sand defines the floor, brick and concrete the stage sets. His intention is not to represent to us a connection of him and his father across time and space; his performance is the making of that connection real, immersive, present. He occupies, and redefines, the confines of the gallery space, challenging the purposes to which he as subject is often put. After the opening, when the sound and fury of the opening performance are gone, the stage will become a site onto which the viewer can meditate on their own phantasies of wholeness.

And then Maggie, whose chosen material practice cleaves most closely to the edges of the construction site. We see discarded materials, cast-off and dejected. Or at least that is the starting point. She does, indeed, collect, scavenge, and reclaim her materials from various sites (including the storerooms of galleries) but this material is not merely recycled and repurposed. She is saving it, reclaiming it from the profane cycle of the commodity, inventing it anew on its own terms. Hers is a practice of new materialism in material form, borrowing from the past to construct a future that will then be built again in another form. Through acts of assembling, modifying, and transforming these found and salvaged materials, sculptures and collages are created as tools for determinate uses; as visions of possible futures and/or utilitarian objects to be activated for uses not yet imagined.

To return to all three together, though, their work shares not with the construction site (even if the materials put into play, the rebar and concrete of Miles, the chain and brick of Marvin, the detritus of cultural-products past of Maggie,) but rather with the site of the construction site. More specifically, the hoarding around the site. And even more specifically, the artist’s renderings that adorn that hoarding, whose promise is the future, the ideal, and an end to the endless rearranging and shifting, the uncertainty and noise.

Certainly, they borrow from the construction site (one can think of their studios as reserves of material to be deployed), but once the work is installed, it takes on the timeless quality of a rendering—the finished product in preternatural stasis. The illusion is two-fold, then. An illusion of finished state, of existing just-so for an undetermined period of time, fixed as it is. Then, the illusion of the process, the various components in an unending dance, a dance to which we pretend to have access. Put in another way, we see the stasis in the work on display, but the stasis promises that solidity and permanence is always … impermanent.

As is our ongoing relationship with the city in which we live. At any one point, the urban environment is fixed and eternal, but at the same time, it is always changing, at a pace just slow enough to escape detection.

Departing from the formal qualities of the material these three artists use to deconstruct and reconstruct monuments and sites, the urgency of meaning is inherent in the building materials they use. The abstract collection of matter and objects transform through use and proximity, articulating the complexities of built space and the never-ending construction of meaning. Political discourse is inherent in all of these artists’ work without the articulation of overt narratives, allowing the power of the conditional material to do the heavy lifting.

As for that subway, it is coming. We can feel it.


Miles Collyer’s work has been published and exhibited widely. Selected group exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth), Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney), Open Space (Victoria), The Power Plant (Toronto), and the University of Toronto Art Museum. Collyer is the Career Development Coordinator at OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers and holds a MBA/MFA from York University.

Marvin Luvualu Antonio has recently been published in Every Object Has a Story: Extraordinary Canadians Celebrate the Royal Ontario Museum and was selected for the 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Scholarship Program. Selected group exhibitions include Stevenson Gallery (Cape Town), CK2Gallery (Montreal), Jackman Hall Institute, and XPACE Cultural Centre (Toronto). He has a BFA from OCAD University and is represented in Canada by Clint Roenisch Gallery (Toronto).

Maggie Groat’s work has been included in exhibitions at Western Front (Vancouver), The Power Plant, Mercer Union, Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), and Rodman Hall (St. Catharines). She is the editor of the anthology The Lake, published by Art Metropole in 2014. Groat was an Audain Artist Scholar in Residence at Emily Carr University in 2014 and nominated for the Sobey Art Award in 2015. Groat studied visual art and philosophy at York University before attending the University of Guelph, where she received an MFA in 2010. She is represented by Erin Stump Projects (Toronto).

Illusion of Process is curated by AGYU Assistant Curators Suzanne Carte and Michael Maranda. The work of Miles Collyer is supported by the Toronto Arts Council and the work of Maggie Groat by the Ontario Arts Council.

Miles Collyer – Rumble

Congratulations to OCAD U Photo Alumni Miles Collyer on his upcoming exhibition with Leigh Bridges at Paul Petro Contemporary Art!

September 9 – October 8, 2016
Opening Reception, Friday September 9, 7-10pm. Artists present.

Miles Collyer Rumble Seven 2016 inkjet print, edition of three 16 ¼ x 10 ¼ inches

Miles Collyer, Rumble Seven 2016 inkjet print, 16 ¼” x 10 ¼ “

The photographic series Rumble is a document of civilian deconstruction, wreckage artefacts, scarred and stirred urban landscapes. The work follows Collyer’s recent solo exhibition at YYZ Artists’ Outlet, how do you surrender to a drone?; an installation of interrelated artworks that included painted metal sculptures, experimental photo–based forms and large photographic murals adhered directly to the gallery walls.

In Rumble, Collyer draws parallels between isolated surface details found in local demolition zones to the static aftermath of warfare and aerial bombardment depicted in satellite and drone photography. He associates the qualities of his captured images to those observed in the media, intending for his photography to act as a proxy in a study of ballistic targeting and depopulated territory. These are landscapes which, possibly only moments prior, experienced the piercing of their condition or some related violation. A connection to a referenced circumstance is drawn through an aesthetic condition shared between surfaces.


Miles Collyer (b. Toronto, 1983) is a visual artist who works with images and sculpture to challenge the traditional boundaries of photographic practice and aesthetics. His work commonly examines socio-political matters and references visual sources located in the media. Most recently he explores specific materials, forms and surfaces and their potential to resonate the condition of contemporary conflict in the absence of an explicit narrative or subject.

Collyer’s work has been published and exhibited across Canada. Selected group exhibitions include the Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth); Australian Centre for Photography (Sydney); Open Space (Victoria, BC); and The Power Plant (Toronto, ON). His photographic mural was included in the exhibition Showroom at the University of Toronto Art Museum (2016). Collyer currently serves on the Board of Directors of Mercer Union, a centre for contemporary art, and is the Career Development Coordinator at OCAD University’s Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers.

Canadian artist Leigh Bridges lives and works in Winnipeg and holds a Master’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Victoria. Bridges was based in Berlin from 2005 to 2007. While in Germany, her exploration of collage vis a vis painting developed in dialogue with the “Leipzig School”, with a particular emphasis on aspects of the sublime in landscape depictions. Bridges’ most recent work both expands and complicates these established directions, intersecting modernist forms, schema for do-it-yourself sustainable technology, and landscape.

Additional information about Leigh’s practice and work on display




Salon 44: opening Mar 4, 6-10pm

Dianne Davis, Untitled from ‘green, dripping, glistening, gorgeous’, 2016, 11” x 8.5”, Edition of 6, $330

Dianne Davis, Untitled from ‘green, dripping, glistening, gorgeous’, 2016, 11” x 8.5”Salon 44


Friday, Mar 4-Sun, Mar 20th
Opening Reception, Mar 4, 6-10pm

 Salon 44 is Gallery 44’s annual fundraising exhibition in support of their education and exhibition programs. Representing the best in Canadian photography, Salon 44 brings together an incredible collection of over 70 established and emerging artists with works priced for both new and seasoned collectors alike.

OCAD U is prominent in the selection of artists, this includes:

Kotama Bouabane (Faculty & Alumni)
Miles Collyer (Alumni & Career Development Coordinator)
Nathan Cyrpys (Alumni)
Dianne Davis (Alumni)
Jonathan Groeneweg (Faculty)
April Hickox (Alumni, Faculty & Founding Member of Gallery 44)
Brendan George Ko (Alumni)
Surendra Lawoti (Faculty)
Jennifer Long (Faculty)
Darren Rigo (Alumni)
TEK (Alumni & Photo Technician)
Lauren Vaile (Alumni & Admissions and Recruitment Assistant)
Nicholas Vo (Alumni)

Additional artists Please see salon44.tumblr.com for online gallery.

401 Richmond Street West Suite 120
TorontoOntario M5V 3A8

Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography is a non-profit artist-run centre committed to photography as a multi-faceted and ever-changing art form. Founded in 1979 to establish a supportive environment for the development of photography, Gallery 44’s mandate is to provide a context for reflection and dialogue on contemporary photography and its related practices.

Gallery 44 offers exhibition and publication opportunities to national and international artists, award-winning education programs, and affordable production facilities for artists. Through its programs Gallery 44 is engaged in changing conceptions of the photographic image and its modes of production.

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