During the first week of March, I had the pleasure to visit the RIT campus and share with students my experiences since graduation. I talked about my life as both an artist and as co-director of Circuit Gallery.
I currently live and work in Toronto, Canada, where I am able to maintain a studio practice as a visual artist by working a variety of photography-related jobs: running a commercial gallery, doing fine art printing, and exhibition documentation for other local artists.
During my visit I was also able to gain access to the High Mag lab to further explore and expand a project I am currently working on entitled Standardizing Nature: Trees, Wood, Lumber. This work will be displayed as a solo exhibition at Gallery 44 in Toronto later this year. For this project, I have chosen to use wood, and, more specifically, the commodity version of this material—lumber—as a means to take closer look at how standards shape us and our world. In North America, a majority of households are built with a wooden structure or frame made from dimensional lumber. This series is about the natural resources we harness from the earth and the form, function, and role they play in our everyday lives.
Economies and industries are built around these decisions and they ‘reverberate’ off the center as rings in the core of a tree. Those standards set the ‘tone’ for future generations.
In the High Mag lab I was able to use a microscope to take a closer look at the composition of wood as well as some of its by-products. As expected, in these magnified images of paper by-products we are able to see the basic units of wood, primarily cellulose fibers, reconstituted into new standardized structures that form material goods (i.e. 8 1/2″ x 11″ white paper, toilet paper, and paper currency) that fulfill our everyday needs.
I’m not sure where such imaging will take me in relation to this project but I have always been interested in looking at the structures and systems behind things both thematically and now it seems quite literally! To find out more, please visit Susana’s website!