Inside an old warehouse of a paper strip manufacturing plant owned and formerly operated by her family, Chie Hitotsuyama crafts sculptures of wildlife, which are often life-size, in hermakeshift studio. By wetting, twisting, rolling, folding, and stacking paper, the artist compels an unlikely material out of newspaper. The ongoing effort is formally titled Hitotsuyama Studio, consisting of Hitotsuyama and the project’s creative director, Tomiji Tamai.
Lyndal Osborne, a native of Australia now based in Canada, has long explored nature and issues surrounding the environment in her work. More recent installations, like “Curtain of Life”, specifically react to the issue of genetically modified organisms. Or as the Vernon Public Art Gallery, which hosts these works, phrases it: “The objective of this exhibition is to address the issues of (GMOs) and their impact on traditional food growers, especially in the Okanagan Valley region with its extensive fruit and vegetable production.”
(photo credit: Josh Palmer)
It’s no surprise that Saudi Arabia-born, Arizona-based artist/teacher Nathaniel Lewis was once a toy designer. Yet, although some of his newer sculptures have the bright, primary color schemes and wooden textures of old-school toys for children, the themes of series like “Little Terrors” are decidedly more complex. Depicting a TSA line, with workers, equipment, and explosives, Lewis confronts a common source of tension, anxiety, and frustration for adults.
Aurora Robson, a Toronto-born, New York-based multimedia artist, is known for taking discarded materials like plastic bottles, tinted polyacrylic, rivets, and cables and transform them into seemingly organic sculptures. Or as the artist states on her website, Robson’s work focuses on “intercepting the waste stream.”
Ana Bidart, a Uruguay-born artist based in Mexico City, has spent a portion of her career working with “desechos,” or “residues.” This idea refers to the objects that are necessary but not often highlighted. In dissecting rolls of toilet paper and packing materials and forms needed for art fairs, Bidart offers a delicate, engrossing side to essential, yet discarded goods.
Costa Magarakis, a Tel Aviv-based artist who specializes in sculpture and also goes by the name “Duck Pirate,” uses the structure of shoes as the base objects for several of his work. At the hands of the artist, simulated footwear becomes the body of an animal, a maritime vessel, or new type of creature altogether. His work is described as existing within a “gothic wonderland illuminating the gray area between truth and lies.”