Ronald Ceuppens

I have found many new artists to explore from perusing the amazing things posted on Pinterest. I never expected it would become such a source of inspiration for me and my work. I have discovered a handful of incredible print artists there in the last little while and I am excited to share them with you.

The first one is Ronald Ceuppens, a Belgian printmaker. Unfortunately for me, his site is in Belgian and I cannot quite grasp the exact impetus for his work but that hardly matters once you see it. I am particularly interested in the arrangement of print fragments and collage elements in his "collections". I am also fascinated by his mixed media work about children.

His work is excellently crafted and evokes a sense of memory or dream although the results are often unsettling. I am drawn to the Dreamchild object, what appears to be a doll body encased in leather with ceramic branches for arms. It is unclear if this "child" is a memory or manifestation of birth or death or a physical representation of an imagined spirit.

Many of the pieces below are available in Ronald's Etsy Shop Fleurografie. I highly recommend having a look at the work he has posted there. If you would like to see more of Ronald's work be sure to visit his blog.

I discovered this little description in English on his blog though I am unsure of the source:

He likes long walks, hiking in the mountains or simply exploring the city. The itineraries of his walks are found in his work, reduces to their abstract form. Using sketches, drawings and objects collected during his walks, Ronald makes the designs for his prints. Reproduced in a repetitive manner they give rise to serial work in which each work speaks individually. The reconstructions of images made up of such fragments is a way of preserving the memory of a place The artist manages to translate nostalgia for the past into a search for future pleasure. Ronald Ceuppens creates an abstract world, filled with the sensitive melody of silence and serenity.


Roxanne Goffin

Roxanne Goffin is an artist currently completing her MA at University of Western England. Her series Disembodied combines paper cutouts layered over experimental etchings using paint stripper on acrylic plates to create an effect similar to traditional acid etching techniques.

I am fascinated by the way the cut forms interact with the random patterns created by the chemical reaction on the plate. The patterns remind me simultaneously of landscape and decomposition. The way the cut paper creates such fine borders and edges around the space yet seem to hover over or create a surface above the chaos. I love the idea of internal chaos whcih suggests both the anxiety of society in dealing with topics of death and the chaos resulting from mans attempt to place rigid forms upon the natural.

I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future. Visit her website and have a look at some of her other work.


Rose Marie Scanlon

I can't even remember where I stumbled across the works of Yukon artist Rose Marie Scanlon but once I saw the first delicate watercolours about hunters I was hooked. When I think of watercolour I think of flowers and seascapes and delicate landscapes that play with light. Rose Marie's watercolours play more with darks both in tone and theme. I really really want to see these in person up close because there is no way these tiny digital images are doing these justice.

If you have been reading this blog for any length of time then you know I have a soft spot for dead things, hunting, taxidermy and fine Canadian craftsmanship. Rose Marie Scanlon has created a series of works that look as if they are the antithesis of typical watercolour. The paintings seem to depict scenes of night, the subjects appearing like transparent ghosts in the darkness. The landscape evokes a northern feel and reflects her home in Yukon Canada. The themes are definitely Canadian and specifically rural in content. These paintings evoke the age old struggle between man and wilderness and have layer upon layer of narrative familliar to almost any rural-living Canadian.

The masked figure appears in at least two paintings looking out directly at the viewer. I am intrigued by this figure. Who is this hunter? And what's with his sweater?! Presumably he is  the one who has shot and killed the deer in the back of the pickup. Why is his face covered when most photos of a hunter with his bounty are not generally taken in disguise.

Every time I look at these paintings I see something I didn't see before. Unfortunately the images just aren't large enough to really see the details and so I guess all I can do is go to Whitehorse and hope to see them up close.

What do you think of these? Is there anything that stands out for you or that leaves you with questions?

Await the Thunder


Bang Bang

Big Hunt


Shadows of the Alaska Highway

The Hunt


See a Banksy Exhibition for FREE

Work posted to @banksyny instagram account October 2, 2013
If you are a fan of Banksy, street art, graffiti or just clever digs at "the man" you are in luck this month because Banksy is hosting an entire exhibit in NYC: Better Out Than In. For his street residency, he will be creating a work a day for the month of October. The best part? He is using social media to document it and share it with those of us outside the art mecca.

Each piece is documented and posted on Instagram by user banksyny. Each artwork is also accompanied by a phone number which the "audience" can call to hear a description of the work. This exhibition is being presented in its entirety online at Banksy's official website where you can listen to the phone messages by clicking on the link under each piece. you can even follow him on Twitter @banksyny and if you happen to see an original work (before it gets painted over) you can tag post it and tag it #banksyny.

Although the first piece has already been painted over, it is unclear whether the clean up crew knew it was an original piece of work possibly worth millions of dollars. Original Banksy works chiseled from their original locations have sold for millions at auction despite the fact that taking a piece of public art and making it private (and bloody expensive) seems like a crime against the entire intent of the work.

In my opinion this is a brilliant idea for a "residency" and exhibition. Not only is the art "out" on the street but it is also out in the sense that it will not belong to any one person as it is shared and ahred across social media and the internet. Any person with access to a cell phone or a computer now has access to watch and participate in an exhibition by a contemporary artist.

I will be watching this exhibit unfold with excitement and anticipation and will be very interested to see how social media will contribute to the exhibition. The implications on the art world by making the art accessible and interactive may also be the beginnings of a shift away from the gallery world and essentially give art back to the people who need it most.

What do you think? Are you excited to watch this unfold? Does it give you any ideas for how you might next interact with your audience?


Daphne Wright

Daphne Wright makes the most extraordinary delicate sculptures. Her work reminds me of both Beth Cavener Stitcher and Kate McDowell's pieces. These are not ceramic however, they are a combination of marble dust and resin. Some pieces include silk embroidery thread and paint. I am particularly interested in the death masks she created from the corpses of animals. The pieces are beautiful and eerie and exist in that space where beauty and tragedy co-exist. 

I suppose what really draws me to a lot of work is that very thing: the juxtaposition of two seemingly opposite ideas grappling for superiority the same space. Is the subject matter more overpowering than the beauty of the execution and rendering? For some people it will always be so and then I think it will be impossible for them to see the beauty of the object, in this case the body of a dead animal.

Daphne Wright's work is simultaneously an homage and a criticism. It is poetic and damning and beautiful and horrifying all at the same time. I absolutely love that you can feel the weight and flaccidity of the hanging lamb, fox and piglet despite them being cast in marble dust. 

Unfortunately there is no artist website to link to though she is represented by Frith Street Gallery in London.


Heather Benning, firestarter.

I found out about Heather Benning's Doll House project only after she set fire to it. I stumbled across the CBC story quite by accident but I am glad I did. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to see the project in real life though there are a number of You Tube videos documenting it. The initial project converted an old farm house into a life sized version of a doll house. The house was open to view through plexiglass on one side and filled with ephemera from the 1960s. If you happened across it in the middle of the prairie it might appear as if the occupants had perhaps fled from it. The house stayed exactly as Benning (re)created it for nearly six years.

I am unsure why it was burned down instead of torn down though I do really like the idea of fire erasing it from the landscape. It seems to me to be a more authentic and natural form of erasure than tearing it down or letting it be destroyed by vandals. It is interesting too that fire isn't necessarily something one associates with a doll house so to set fire to a representation of childhood seems to also imply something a bit dark. I like that.  

If you have been following this blog for a while then you know how much I love narative projects. Whether the narrative is implicit or implied I love being able to imagine countless scenarios for a particular piece of work. I suppose this work allows me to imagine two separate bnarratives; the house as a museum on the prairie and the motivation and spectacle of a house fire.

I love imagining the people who may have lived there; What did they do? What celebrations and tragedies did they experience during their time in the house? Where did they come from? Where did they go? What sorts of secrets are hidden in the walls?

The Dollhouse is like a three dimensional memory. It makes me think of a half remembered dream you could re-visit over and over but access to specific and tactile information is denied by the plexiglass – much like one feels days after an intense dream. The Dollhouse project was also really interesting for me because I grew up on the prairies. My grandparents house was a lot like a museum; there were many artifacts kept alive within the walls of that prairie house. Pioneer spirits seemed to be content to lie quietly inside closets and in boxes tucked away under beds and and in basements.

Heather Benning captured perfectly the prairie life and preserved it for passersby and pilgrims who traveled out of the city to recollect a piece of Canada's past. Her new work continues to explore memory, landscape and the idea of home. You can see more of her work on her website


Goody-B Wiseman

It's been awhile since I've had the luxury of snooping the corners of the internet for inspiring artists. I stumbled across this amazing and wonderful artist named Goody-B Wiseman who reminds me of a Yukon artist I will post about a bit later. Her small scale bronze sculptures are awesome and I really really hope that she is making more of them right now!

I discovered that Wiseman attended NSCAD for her undergraduate degree before moving to San Fransisco to complete her MFA. I could not determine whether she is Canadian or American, not that it really matters, but it is interesting for me to track themes I am interested in across Canadian artists. She now lives in Maine and is working at raising a baby and building a home with her partner. And yes they are doing everything themselves.

Goody-B Wiseman makes tiny bronze sculptures of children dressed as animals. That isn't ALL she does, she also makes works on paper and films but these little pieces have captured my imagination. The photos unfortunately are crap. Here's hoping that with the 30 or 40% take the gallery has they will invest in a competent photographer to do justice to their artists' work. (ok short rant over).

I scoured the internet looking for more information about Goody-B but couldn't come up with very much that was recent or interesting aside from this little excerpt from an interview with Akimbo:

3. Old People & Animals
I like old people and animals more than other people and other things. They are wonderful, they are true, and they have excellent stories.

Old people are, in general, in a better position to be good people and they are good people much more often then younger people are. They’ve lived longer lives and have had time to practice patience, empathy, observation, kindness, and generosity. Old people have more and often better and longer stories. Stories are essential, keepers of stories are precious, and patient and generous keepers of better and longer and truer stories are my favourite.

Animals are, in general, in a good position to be better than people. They don’t lie or cheat. They do steal, but I don’t mind. Animals activate some ancient nature-magic for me and connect me to mythology. I prefer anything that involves animals, especially stories.

After reading this am interested to know why the pieces are made with what appear to be child figures when she obviously has such an affection for the elderly. I wonder what the pieces would be like if the animators under the masks/costumes were old people instead of young people.

I find Wiseman's work and approach to life fascinating and I love the implicit narrative at work in her pieces. I love that they work together or as individuals and the story can change depending on which pieces are together or isolated. I also love that they fit in the palm of your hand and have weight. It is like when I was a kid and had some comfort carrying around a secret idol in my pocket that held a story only I could tell.

You can see more of her work at the Gallery Page and Strange  or try to see the art via really shitty photos at Katharine Mulherin.