Unmade | Curated by Jill Price

Unmade Jill Price

June 26 – July 14, 2019

UNMADE is a curated exhibition of forty-two works from thirty-five artists that examines “unmaking as a creative act” for an exhibition at Propeller Art Gallery, June 26 — July 14, 2019.

As part of this self-reflexive journey that considers what it means to consume, make and curate in a moment of deep ecological crisis, I conceptualized UNMADE, an exhibition ‘hailing’[i] artists to move outside of colonial capitalist systems that encourage mass production and therefore the mass destruction of environments that sustain us.

Pushing the idea that ecology is “predicated on the principle that every creature is connected to every element that composes the environment, so that all living things depend on the balance of a complex system of growth and decay,”[ii]  UNMADE invited artists to examine “unmaking as a creative act” and deliberate on how all art and design, by virtue of their material nature and processes, is Earth Art or Land Art as it is from the environment we acquire materials and it is to our landscapes work eventually returns.

Also cyclical is this way of making. Working on a “RE-Craftivism Manifesto as part of my PhD research, “unmaking” echos concepts, beliefs and practices found within past art movements such as Dadism, Fluxus, Relational Aesthetics and Craftivism in order to arrive at sustainable modes of making and presentation.

[i] (Louis Althusser, Mapping Ideology: Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses, 1994)
[ii] BOETZKES, AMANDA. The Ethics of Earth Art. NED – New edition ed., University of Minnesota Press, 2010. 

Exhibited Works

  • Kadi Badiou, Building with Bulging Blocks, Wire fencing, Plaster of Paris, 13” x 5” x 9.5”, 2019,
  • Amy Bagshaw,  Within/Without Perimeters, Burlap and finishing nails, 2019, 
  • Claire Bartleman, Did Grandma make this?, Pulled apart found painting and cotton thread, 30″ x 24″, 2015, 
  •  Ball of Painting, Pulled apart found painting and cotton thread, 6″ diameter, 2015, 
  • Michael Becker-Segal, Untitled (2018),  Concrete Sculpture, 5″ x 3″ x 3″, 
  • Ben Benedict, Prairie Construction, Acrylic on assembled found boards, 15″ (w)  x 42″ (h) x 2″ (d), 2011, 
  • Christopher Bradd, Untitled (Hole IV), Pigment print on archival paper, 18″ x 24″, 2019, 
  • Paul Cade, Bed Unmade, Reclaimed metal grid and felt panel mounted on wooden support, 62″ X 81″, 2019, 
  • Sarah Carlson, Chrysalis I , Retired climbing rope, 48″ x 36″ x 36″, 2018, 
  • Anita Cazzola, Constant State of Becoming: Between Surface & Form, Patchwork fabric, eroded asphalt, steel, 2018, 
  • Emma Chorostecki, The Peacemaker, Walnut, Velvet,  Shellac, Horsehair , 22″ (w) x 3″ (h) x 1″9 (d), 2018, 
  • Steph Cloutier, I try and I try, Video, sound, (08:00), 2019, 
  • Justin Cosman, I Ruined The House For You, Mixed Media (wood, cardboard, spray paint, nails/screws), 61″ x 31”, 2019, 
  • Jacques Descoteaux, I Read the News Today, Mixed media image transfer on Mylar, 22″ x 15″, 2019, 
  • william boyd fraser, untitled spirit 1, Pine, 45 x 45 x 4 cm, 2017, 
  • untitled spirit 2, Pine, 45 x 45 x 4 cm, 2017, 
  • Megan Green, Plastic I, Sculpture (Melted plastic recovered from the 2016 Fort McMurray Horse River wildfire, bone, acrylic, carved plastic, altered found footstool), 12″ x 12″ x 10″, 2018, 
  • Brian Groberman, Imminent Danger II, Photograph, pigment print on archival paper, 13″x 24″, 2019, 
  • Gunnel Hag, Leslie Spit Revisited, Rusted recycled cotton sheet and rusty chain, 17.5″ x 20″, 2019, 
  • Denise Holland, 94 CALLS, Glassine paper, sharpie, 1320″ x 60″, 2017, 
  • Sam Jones, Life Forms (Belly) No. 3, Panty-hose, clay, found fabric, kidney beans, nail polish, vitamins, 18″ x 10″ x 10″, 2019, 
  • Dagmar Kovar, Unexpected Poems, Cotton, stone, indigo, 17″ x 15″x 2″, 2018, 
  • Craig Mainprize, Boothia Uplift, Books, gravity, 30″ x 4″6 x 1″8, 2019, 
  •  Sarah Moreau,  Extricate, Video (09:55), acrylic yarn, and natural materials, 2017, 
  •  Joseph Muscat, Le Fil d’Ariane, Colour Photograph, 16″ x 20″, 2016,
  •  Mutate, Colour Photograph, 16″ x 20″, 2018, 
  •  Totally Unmade, Colour Photograph, 16″ x 20″, 2018, 
  • Pamela Nelson, Untitled 2018, Ceramic, rope, 2018, 
  • Marcel O’Gorman, Treachery,  Video Still, Digital Video File, Video HD Widescreen, 2019, 
  • Theresa Passarello, Ivory Tower, Piano keys and wire, 132″ x 18″, 2019, 
  • Frances Patella, Grounded, Photographs, 4′ x 5′, 2019, 
  • Caroline Popiel, Couch Creature Cuddle, reclaimed fabric, various stuffing material, 2017-2019, 
  • Doris Purchase, Piece unmade, Mixed Media– canvas, wood and alloys, 2’5” (w) x 2’1″ (h) x 6″ (d), 2019, 
  • Laurie Skantzos, Pink Stitching, Oil paint, paper, plywood, staples, thread, 9″ x 8″, 2019, 
  • Jessica Slipp, Becoming Rock, Video performance (1:13:17), 2019, 
  • Janice Turner, sticks and stones will break my bones and so do words, old bibles, paper mâche glue, 4″ x 4″ x 33″ (h), 2019, 
  • Dori Vanderheyden, The Dying Flame of Desire, Mixed media, 5.5″ x 1.75″ x 1.75″, 2017, 
  • No Strings Attached, Mixed media, 5.5″ x 1.75″ x 1.75″, 2017, 
  • Andres Vosu, When a Basket Lets its Hair Down, Cane & Wood Splints, 15″ x 15″, 2019, 
  • Kim Wilkie, Rug Painting, Multi-media waste, 18″ (diameter), 2019

william boyd fraser, Megan Green and Dagmar Kovar move beyond the figurative and unmake the idea that we can speak on behalf of or represent the complexity, power and beauty of nature.  Both looking at fire as a medium and burning as a method, Green and boyd fraser allow the affected materials to communicate their truth.  boyd fraser’s Untitled Spirit 1 & 2, burned out cut-offs of fence posts, poetically draw attention to the pre-existing form and life of the trees cut down to create unnatural boundaries. Green’s preciously presented melted plastic salvaged from the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfires, dismantle any preconception that we might be able to control or prevent the wrath of the elemental. Silent, still and sure to survive us all, Kovar’s carefully wrapped stones in Unexpected Poems unmake our limited understanding of language and communication, encouraging us to pay attention to that which cannot be put into words or explained to the fullest extent.

– Jill Price

Special thanks to our community partners and sponsors. 

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