Fine Art

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Dayna Gedney

Dayna Gedney is an artist and furniture maker, a graduate of the Sheridan College Craft and Design Furniture program. Dayna’s work is sometimes functional, sometimes whimsical, but most often speaks to the nature of materials. The interplay of opposing elements, most often in their simplest form, is a constant source of inspiration in both design and art. In her functional furniture you’ll find intersecting circles and squares, in her art; themes of strength and softness, loss and gain. She was born and raised in Toronto, and currently resides in Hamilton, ON. She works with her husband, also a furniture maker, and teaches woodworking and clay handbuilding classes to children and adults.

Feather Wall Hanging Dayna Gedney
Feather Mobile Dayna Gedney

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Olga Wieczorek

 
Olga Wieczorek in her studio
 

Olga Wieczorek graduated with a BFA from OCADU in 2011, specializing in printmaking. She has since founded Kiss The Paper, a letterpress print shop operated from her home studio in Caistor Centre, Ontario. Apart from producing letterpress stationery and custom work, she produces limited edition woodcut prints. These prints are carved by hand and printed with one colour and one sheet of paper at a time. Her work is inspired by nature's bounty; whether plant or animal, and the natural habitats they find themselves in. She teaches workshops on letterpress and relief printing in Hamilton and Toronto, and hopes to keep this antique form of printing alive and thriving. Follow Olga online by following @kissthepaper

Birch Trees Olga Wieczorek
Chamomilla Olga Wieczorek

Olga is one of nine Canadian artists invited for our Spring Exhibition Flora & Fauna. Come see her works in person during the opening reception on April 13 (7-9pm). Exhibition runs April 12 - 26, 2019

Olga Wieczorek Studio

Flora & Fauna: Featuring Lesley Bergen

 
Lesley Bergen

Lesley Bergen

 

When describing Lesley's artwork one might use words like energetic patterns, lively colour and detailed dot work. Lesley's subject matter varies, but mainly consists of creatures of the forest, both feathered and fur.

Lesley's love of nature came to her as a young girl living on a hobby farm surrounded by acres of forest in Northern Ontario. She often would forgo Saturday morning cartoons to instead explore the woods around her home. In those early years drawing and art were always a favourite pastime and have continued to be till present day. Today living with her husband in Calgary, Lesley still finds the same inspiration from frequent visits to nearby Banff and Kananaskis regions of Alberta. 

LesleyBergenGreenBird
LesleyBergenBirdPurple

When creating her dotted acrylics Lesley enjoys working with different support mediums, not limiting herself to any one type. These include canvas, paper, wood panel, wood cut-outs, carvings and most recently papier-mâché. Influenced by the bold, bright cartoon colours of her early animation years after art college in Vancouver, Lesley likes to think of her current work as a fusion of folk-art and contemporary-pop. Her other artistic interests include sketchbooking, digital drawing, and the needle arts. She enjoys swimming, running, hiking and spending time with family and her dog Scarlett. You can follow Lesley and her studio practice online @lesleybergen

Lesley is one of nine Canadian artists invited for our Spring Exhibition Flora & Fauna. Exhibition runs April 12 - 26, 2019

 
Lesley’s studio space in her home of Calgary AB

Lesley’s studio space in her home of Calgary AB

 

Niki Kingsmill of Niki Kingsmill Fine Art and Illustration

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INTERVIEW:

How did you get into your art/craft?

I’ve been painting and creating since I was very young. Both my mum and grandmother painted themselves, so I grew up watching them. I was always making something.

What do you love most about your process?

I love how freeing it is. I can’t really explain how it feels to have an idea, execute it, and be so energized by what I’m doing!

How has your practice changed over time?

When I was younger, I was painting or drawing occasionally when I had time, but never took it too seriously. I then took a 4 month course at the AGO in Toronto while I was in high school. We learned all sorts of painting and drawing methods. It was a fabulous course that introduced me to so many new ways of making. I think this is when I realized I wanted to pursue art in University.

I went on to study Art History & Studio Art at Concordia University. I learned so much from my studio classes, but still hadn’t really found my own style. I believe it was only when I was out of school, and frustrated with my job in the financial industry, that I started to really experiment with the intention of doing this full time. I really wanted to get to a point where I’d feel comfortable leaving my job, and I did!

What is your favourite childhood memory?

We used to do an annual trip to Maine with my parents and brother. We would drive through Vermont and stay by the beach in Maine, and eat so much lobster! Many great memories from those trips!

What inspired you to become a craftsperson/artist?

Not sure what really sparked my interest, but I know I’ve always gravitated towards creative work. I knew I would never be happy doing anything else. And although I was scared to leave my job in the financial industry, I would have regretted it if I didn’t try!

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If you could be any character from any novel, who would you be?

My favourite books to read are Granta’s – they are a collection of short stories surrounding a particular theme, so the charcters are always changing. Too many wonderful ones to remember!

What do you like to listen to when you work?

I actually like to listen to artists like Tycho, Air, and playlists where there are no lyrics. I like to just have music on that lets me zone into my work.

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Everywhere! Online tools like Pinterest are great for inspiration. Instagram is as well because you can see people’s real photos of a particular place or subject. Usually those get me started on a train of thought, and I’ll keep notes of what’s running through my head. Just walking or driving also helps me to think, or visiting a second hand store that’s full of all sorts of unique treasures.

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Tell us about your workspace/studio.

I am very lucky to have a large home studio that lets in so much beautiful natural light. I have my prints and cards on display, room for my desk where I paint watercolour, and a corner for all my oil and acrylic painting at the easel.

Where can you be found when you're not in your studio?

I like to take a break and go to the gym, or I’m making something delicious to eat in the kitchen!

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Sean Gadoury from Group of 7 Billion

 
 

"Group of 7 Billion is collage duo Caitlin Eady and Sean Gadoury. The duo live in Hamilton, Ontario, where the collages they create are all cut and pasted by hand. They draw inspiration from their large collection of vintage books and magazines, which they use for materials, and their works often contain narratives that range from surreal to haunting to humorous."

INTERVIEW:

How did you get into your art/craft?

Caitlin comes from an artistic family and I come from a family of weirdos. After hanging out for a long time and working in mixed media, we sort of settled into our current paper collage aesthetic.

What do you like to listen to while you’re working? 

We always listen to records while we're working. Some absolute favourites are Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Sigur Ros, Deerhunter, Can, Fela Kuti.

Outside of your medium, what other types of art/design/etc are you inspired by?

Inspiration can come from many different places, such as work by other artists in the community working in all sorts of mediums, from nature and it's infinite complexity, to folk/outsider art and industrial design. From everywhere, really.

If you couldn’t be an artist/craftsperson, what would you love to be?

I would love to be a teacher because I love meeting people and sharing passion with others who have it too.

Art Print by Caitlin Eady

Art Print by Caitlin Eady

Art Print by Sean Gadoury

Art Print by Sean Gadoury

Where is your studio located?

Our studio is located in our home in lower Hamilton.

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

Hamilton has a really laid back feel where you can just be yourself. There's tons of great arts and culture

What do you love most about Canada?

We don't have to worry about Donald Trump being our Prime Minister.

If you could live anywhere else in the world, where would it be?

Anywhere there is pizza.

What brand/artist can you not get enough of?

I'd have to answer Godspeed You! Black Emperor again. Everything about their music is so awe-inspiring. Even though it's very dark and heavy stuff, their records are something that we listen to extremely often.

What's your favourite book?

Slaughterhouse 5 by Kurt Vonnegut

What do you do with your “down time”?

We have young kids so there isn't much downtime, but I like to go record shopping and drink beer.

What’s one goal you’re working towards right now?

Goals are always shifting and changing based on circumstances. With our art, we want to improve, and keep people and ourselves interested.  We love that people have it on their walls as part of their everyday lives, and are sharing it with their friends and families in their homes.

What’s your favourite thing to do over the holidays?

Listen to Beach Boys and Elvis Christmas cassettes and eat bagels with smoked salmon and cream cheese.