Purview artist talks at Modern Fuel

Defining art through human experience

Artist Andrew Rabyniuk during the talk.
Image by: Kevin Rodgers
Artist Andrew Rabyniuk during the talk.

The Purview artist talks offered Kingston artists a think-tank setting for to share new ideas and criticism on their projects and future endeavours. 

During the talks, Kingston artists Tara Lynn MacDougall and Andrew Rabyniuk spoke to an audience of artists from the Kingston community about their recent projects in painting, sculpture and performance art. The event was held at Modern Fuel Artist Cooperative and Gallery on Oct. 27.

The talks, organized by Modern Fuel’s artistic director Kevin Rodgers, aimed to generate conversation within the Kingston artist community. Since his emergence on the arts scene in 2013, Rodgers has worked to stimulate the program by focusing on broad themes and questions about what it means to be an emerging artist. 

“It is a place for artists who might not be comfortable speaking about their work to give it a try— to learn and just talk about what concerns them working in the city,” Rodgers said.

“What I do is pair a couple of artists each time who might complement one another or who might contrast, in the hopes that some discussion might emerge.” 

Tara Lynn MacDougall opened the evening. She began her talk with a print from her series entitled “Home is Where the Art is”, a series that documents the progression of human history, family life and its place within history. Using a collection of documents left behind by her deceased father, MacDougall mapped his personal history to draw attention to family lineage and human existence within Canadian social history. 

“This project was based on my interest in documenting an aspect of someone’s life, and my fascination with celebrity culture,” MacDougall said. “That if you die young [like my father] you sometimes become more famous.”

MacDougall also presented another series titled “Same as it Never Was”. The research-based project unites both her experiences as an autoworker with her experiences as an artist. 

During the project, MacDougall asked current and former autoworkers to rewrite one of Chrysler’s marketing slogans on sheets of paper to demonstrate the ways in which context alters the meaning of language. 

“Removed from their slick marketing aesthetics, the slogans become vague and open to broad interpretations,” her personal website states.

The second speaker of the evening was Queen’s Masters student Andrew Rabyniuk. Andrew, who specializes in Cultural Studies, addressed several of the art projects he has been working on over the past few years.

One of Rabyniuk’s early works included in the exhibition, “Material Correspondence: Circulation,” focused on human interaction and its effects on the environment. For this project, Rabyniuk created a two-piece, 

large-scale sculpture entitled, “Edging” and “Boundary” respectively. Both parts of the sculpture are composed entirely of ripped, crumpled paper. 

The intent of this work was to explore texture as an aspect of social experience, Rabyniuk said. The two sculptures “Edging” and “Boundary” occupy the majority of the gallery space, which restricts the available circulation space for the spectators. In this way, Rabyniuk says his work considers how objects inhabit space and the effects of limiting available space within the gallery. 

“What I was trying to do was limit the amount of circulation space that was available to people to walk in the gallery,” Rabyniuk said. 

Rabyniuk also spoke about a series of small sculptures focused on knotting. Most recently, he embarked on a surveying project called “Site Survey”, which uses land surveyors’ tape to install knot sculptures in abandoned lots around Kingston. 

He said the project is meant to consider ways in which space can be measured using units of time. This also reclaims abandoned space in Kingston by incorporating artwork into spaces that are often overlooked, he said.


Art, Cultural Studies, History, Masters, talk

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