Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Joyce Westrop – Scratching the Surface

February 13 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Joyce Westrop

SCRATCHING THE SURFACE

February 13 – March 3, 2020

Opening Reception
Thursday February 13, 2020
5–8pm

“I am a contemporary artist using social critique as a starting point within the broader context of material and process. Images and objects that carry meaning in themselves are then pushed further. I aim for the viewer to be intrigued enough to question the significance of the imagery in the work and using the knowledge they already have to engage in a dialogue with the work.

I have been collecting exploded truck tire fragments from the roadside since 2000. To me the tires represent the whole system of resource mining of rubber and oil, as well as our dependence on the automobile, a combination of excess and waste. However even while we acknowledge the problems of our current system we find it difficult to adopt another one. This body of work highlights the ambivalent feelings we have towards the automobile and its co-dependent oil.

With this new body of work I have dug beneath the surface of discarded tires to unearth their shiny steel-belted lining. The arduous, time-consuming task of scraping off the rubber to expose the metallic core is the repetitive type of labour that “hewers of wood and drawers of water” from Canada’s historic economy would have been familiar. However, the unmasking of the twisted steel threads has revealed a Banker’s uniform of pin-stripes. I am using those steel threads to reference wealth. With this new body of work I have dug beneath the surface of discarded tires to unearth their shiny steel-belted lining. The arduous, time-consuming task of scraping off the rubber to expose the metallic core is the repetitive type of labour that “hewers of wood and drawers of water” from Canada’s historic economy would have been familiar. However, the unmasking of the twisted steel threads has revealed a Banker’s uniform of pin-stripes. I am using those steel threads to reference wealth

I am asking questions about the sustainability of our current system. Encasing these objects into Plexiglas boxes offers an uncritical silence yet shines a spotlight on our situation at the same time.

With such loaded raw materials I keep the motifs for my sculptures simple. The circular sculptures I have been exploring set up a juxtaposition of pure geometry as opposed to reality, Utopia versus the consequences of our technology. They are made by forcefully reconstituting the torn apart tire fragments back into their original circle (reclaiming the tire’s past utility). The grid sculptures make reference to systems; perhaps political, perhaps economical, where those systems are either held accountable or at least questioned. Cutting the tire fragments in half (breaking the pattern) and joining them back together in a different way, I am tapping into the organic past of these fragments, but by using the Plexiglas framing device the new growth is kept limited and our hopes in tension.

The exploded tire fragments when recognized as “tires” now seem both beautiful and dangerous. They have been cleaned up and presented in a civilized way, but they also have been constrained and kept behind “glass”. The Plexiglas case acts as both a frame and barrier where the sculptures hover between renewal and destruction, offering a dialogue between the two extremes.

I saw the black twisted remnants of radial tires as foreshadowing our own extinction, made possible with our continued reliance on cars and oil. Even while we acknowledge the many problems of our current dependency on oil we resist change. It is our clinging to the past and ignoring the consequences of our actions that I am challenging with my work.”

– Joyce Westrop

Dates d’exposition

13 février – 3 mars, 2020

Réception

jeudi, le 13 février 17h00–20h00

Details

Date:
February 13
Time:
5:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Website:
https://www.facebook.com/events/138741980561085

Venue

Galerie St-Laurent + Hill
293 Dalhousie Street
Ottawa, K1N 7E5 CA
+ Google Map