Exchange Piece
Jan 22
Feb 28 2021
DesignTO projectdigital exhibitiondigital project

‘Exchange Piece’ explores collaboration as an act of care through an exchange between 10 early career and senior artists and designers working in pairs to explore how care in the creative process affects the way we relate and position ourselves to what we create. 

The practice of care can be found in all aspects of our lives. From objects and places, to ideas and policies, and people and communities, care in the creative process affects the way we relate and position ourselves to the things we create and interact with.

Going beyond function and aesthetics, care is also a practice that considers our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others. Who or what requires care? How does our concept of care change in consideration of different practices and communities? What relationship can be formed through these dialogues between creators? What can one discover about their own practice through engagement with a different perspective?

The exhibition features the work of Khadija Aziz, Jennifer Chan, Leigh Dotey, Laura Kay Keeling, Kristine Mifsud, Moira Ness, Tiffany Shaw-Collinge, Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, Amy Wong, and Florence Yee and Arezu Salamzadeh as the Rice Water collective, who are exploring concepts of care and coming together in pairs to collaborate on an exchange piece.

This exhibition is curated by DesignTO and co-presented with Harbourfront Centre. It is generously supported by Lemay. Thank you to our external jurors Beau Gomez and Melanie Egan.

ARTISTS & DESIGNERS

Khadija Aziz is a Toronto-based textile artist and educator who makes glitch art using textile-making techniques in collaboration with digital technologies. Through the manipulation of images and fibres, she creates unexpected surface outcomes that are guided by material explorations. She received the 2019 Award of Excellence in Community Arts Engagement from the Ontario Museum Association for her work at the Textile Museum of Canada. In recognition of her creative practice, Khadija has most recently received the Shanks Memorial Award in Textiles from Craft Ontario and the Creative Promise Award from the Surface Design Association in 2020.

Jennifer Chan has been working in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years. In her various roles, she is typically a designer, facilitator, and researcher. Jenn’s practice was built on a foundation of design principles infused with ongoing learning and unlearning of anti-racism, anti-oppression, and equity-based design. Jenn holds a Bachelor of Architectural Science from Ryerson University, and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD U. Jenn currently has two jobs, one as Co-Founder and Director of Programming at the Department of Imaginary Affairs and one as the Innovation & Experimentation Coach at North York Community House.

Leigh Dotey is a designer and maker who lives between Toronto and Philadelphia. They graduated from Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Craft and Design Furniture Program and have been working with unlikely materials and processes creating objects that surprise the viewer and challenge preconceived ideas of form and function. Leigh has extensive experience working with artists all over the globe from Nepal to India to the US. As a gender queer, non-conforming maker, Leigh is committed to challenging assumptions through their material entanglements.

Laura Kay Keeling is a Toronto-based artist whose work encompasses analog photography, video, collage and installation-based projects. Her work explores how we form connections with each other and nature. Exploring and unpacking emotions through the creation of new work, while examining concepts related to “the visitor” as spoken about in Rumi’s Poem ‘The Guest House’. Laura feels very connected to and at peace in nature; her new works explore ideas relating to plant sentience and reciprocal care. 

Kristine Mifsud’s sculptural practice stems from an awareness of materials, making from what already exists as spent or used, and self-made materials. She received her BA in Visual Studies from the University of Guelph, and continued studies at OCAD U (2012). Kristine received an emerging artist grant from the Toronto Arts Council Visual Artists program and Ontario Arts Council Project grant in 2017 to pursue the practice of tar-making. Recent exhibitions include ‘spacetime’ at Nuit Blanche, Toronto (2019), ‘After the Pedestal’ at The Sculpture Centre, Cleveland (2019), and ‘this will never end’ at Support Gallery, London (2018).

Moira Ness is an interdisciplinary visual artist from Toronto. She makes conceptually driven work concerned with relentless archiving, pattern generation, and tracing comprehensive lines through her own personal history. Data mining her collection of personal correspondences and connections, Moira creates confessional and romanticized text by wielding word-organizing algorithms. In late 2019, Moira collaborated with the Esprit Orchestra for a performance at Koerner Hall in Toronto. The new classical piece “I Hit My Head and Everything Changed” was written by Brian Harman and Moira provided the accompanying video projection of her algorithm-generated text work. Moira is on the Arts Etobicoke’s Board of Directors, as well as their gallery committee, and is a mentor through RBC’s Newcomer Artist Mentorship Program. Moira works out of the 888 Dupont building in Toronto. 

Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (Métis) is an interdisciplinary artist, curator and architect based in Alberta. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University and a Master of Architecture from the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc), and is currently working at Manasc Isaac Architects. Oscillating between digital and analogue methodologies, Tiffany’s work gathers notions of craft, memory and atmosphere. Her practice is often guided by communal interventions as a way to engage a lifted understanding of place. Among her public art projects, Tiffany has produced several notable transitory art works and is a core member of Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective. 

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are New York- and Toronto-based artists who have worked collaboratively since 2004. Both artists have MFA degrees from the University of British Columbia, where they met in 1996. Their sculptures are often all surface, life-scale, and presented as models that are ambiguously bracketed off from the world they depict. Generated by laborious, drawn-out working processes and often ephemeral, their work focuses attention upon its coming into and out of existence.

Their work has been shown extensively throughout Canada, and in the United States, Spain, Japan, Italy and Germany. Mahovsky has written for catalogues and journals such as Artforum and Canadian Art. Their work is represented in public collections including Musée d’art Contemporain de Montreal, Vancouver Art Gallery, and the National Gallery of Canada. Currently, their outreach video project Crafts Abyss is hosted by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City. 

Amy Wong (b. 1981, Toronto) is an angry Asian feminist disguised as an oil painter. Her practice ranges from painting-based installation to collaborative projects that explore the politics of making noise, and conditioning spaces that allow for “thinking through together.” She completed her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal, MFA at York University in Toronto, and post-graduate studies at De Ateliers in Amsterdam.

Florence Yee and Arezu Salamzadeh as the Rice Water collective

Florence Yee is a Cantonese-struggling visual artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Tiohtià:ke/Montreal whose practice focuses on the intimacy of doubt. They use text-based art, sculpture, and textile installation to question the stoicism of assimilation, by holding space for personal and intergenerational failure. Their work has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario (2020), Mackenzie Art Gallery (2020), Gardiner Museum (2019), Centre A (2019), and Art Mûr (2018), among others. They have participated in residencies at the Gay Archives of Quebec, the John and Maggie Mitchell Art Gallery, La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario, and the Ottawa School of Art. Along with Mattia Zylak, Yee co-founded The Institute of Institutional Critique™ in 2019, co-founded Rice Water in 2020 with Arezu Salamzadeh, and is currently the Co-Director of Tea Base. They obtained a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from OCAD U.

Arezu Salamzadeh is a Mississauga-based artist who creates things for people to touch and spaces for people to move through. She is interested in examining diasporic culture and identity through a combination of entertainment, play, nostalgia and humor. Her installations often double as interactive pieces that examine the commodification and attainability of art to the general public. Arezu received her BFA with Honours from the School of Visual Arts, NYC, in 2016. She has since exhibited at the Xpace Cultural Centre, the Small Arms Inspection Building, the Gladstone Hotel, the School of Visual Arts, and other galleries, museums and venues throughout Canada, the US, Italy and the UK. She is currently a Master of Visual Studies candidate at the University of Toronto.

Digital exhibition website to be released.

Participants

Khadija Aziz, Jennifer Chan, Leigh Dotey, Laura Kay Keeling, Kristine Mifsud, Moira Ness, Tiffany Shaw- Collinge, Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky, Amy Wong, Florence Yee and Arezu Salamzadeh as the Rice Water collective

Acknowledgements

Accessibility

Exchange Piece
Tiffany Shaw Collinge, 'Her'. Documentation by Paul Litherland.
Exchange Piece
Rhonda Weppler Trevor Mahovsky, 'Mirror'
Exchange Piece
Moira Ness, 'really did cry'
Exchange Piece
Leigh Dotey, 'self care'
Exchange Piece
Florence Yee and Arezu Salamzadeh as the Rice Water collective
Exchange Piece
Laura Kay Keeling, 'When It Gets Dark I Have Shallow Breath'