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September 14, 2016
The Word On The Street Toronto presents Sculpting New Reads, an annual contemporary art program bringing together Canadian artists and authors to explore how books can inspire new ways of thinking and creating. The exhibition runs for
1-day only at The Word On The Street Toronto Festival, September 25th, 11am – 6pm, in the Sculpting New Reads outdoor pavilion at Harbourfront Centre.
Four Toronto-based artists have been paired with four newly released Canadian books. Each artist has been challenged to create a new art installation inspired by the themes of their book, using the festival site to engage audiences.
Participating artists include Diana Hosseini, W.W. Hung, Mark Laliberte and Shannon Scanlan.
“I’m excited to present these projects that have been germinating over the past three months,” says Mendes, Co-Curator of Sculpting New Reads. “We’ve brought together a very diverse group of artists with very different art practices. The books are as diverse in genre as the artists themselves!”
Books include Olive Senior’s Pain Tree, a stunning collection of short stories set in Jamaica; Job Shadowing, a debut novel by Malcolm Sutton that explores our 20th-century desires torn asunder by the new millennium; Guy Gavriel Kay’s newest epic Renaissance fantasy Children of Earth & Sky; and Mona Awad’s award-winning debut novel 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, an intimate, shocking and humorous story of struggle and transformation.
Sculpting New Reads will feature a range of art mediums – from video, textiles and soft sculpture, to kinetic media, installation and contemporary sculpture. In addition, scheduled meet-and-greets with both artists and authors will be facilitated throughout the day. (See schedule below).
“The idea behind The Word On The Street is promoting an accessible book festival for all – and any entry point to the written word and literature, in this case, stunning visual art, is something we strongly encourage,” says Evan Munday, Interim Festival Director. “This is not only a great draw for our attendees, but a very exciting experience for the authors involved, as well!”
PROMO VIDEO (a look into the artists’ studios and creative process): [Insert Link]
12:30PM – 1:30PM SHANNON SCANLAN & MONA AWAD (meet-and-greet)
Book: 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl by Mona Awad
In her brilliant, hilarious, and at times shocking debut, Mona Awad simultaneously skewers the body image-obsessed culture that tells women they have no value outside their physical appearance, and delivers a tender and moving depiction of a lovably difficult young woman whose life is hijacked by her struggle to conform. As caustically funny as it is heartbreaking, 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl introduces a vital new voice in fiction.
Artist: Shannon Scanlan is a sculpture and installation artist currently living and working in Toronto. Her work investigates themes of body image and sexuality. Currently Shannon is making a series called Soft Manipulations that uses embroidery, beadwork, and zippers in a way that solicits tactile investigation. Born in Vernon British Columbia, Shannon Graduated from the University of Victoria with her Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2005. After travelling in the United Kingdom and working in Victoria, Shannon moved to Toronto in 2011 to complete her Master of Fine Arts at York University in 2013. Shannon has shown in Victoria, Montreal, Toronto and Windsor.
1:30PM – 2:30PM DIANA HOSSEINI & OLIVE SENIOR (meet-and-greet)
Book: The Pain Tree by Olive Senior
The Pain Tree tells stories that speak to all aspects of Jamaican life. Olive Senior navigates the hills and valleys of narrative with natural ease, interweaving thick strands of emotion and insight yet never losing sight of a story’s ebb and flow. Her Pain Tree is an engaging, thought-provoking read that transports readers fully to another place where the unfamiliar and exciting clash and commingle with the universal. unsatisfied with the answers he’s given about her disappearance.
Artist: Diana Hosseini is a Toronto based artist who works predominantly with found or imagined objects and kinetic media to create sculptures and installations. She is inspired by the sounds and actions of the objects she selects, as well as events ranging from privately personal to culturally or socially significant. Hosseini completed an MFA in Sculpture at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2013 and an Hon. BA in Medical Anthropology and Studio Art at the University of Toronto in 2010. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada.
2:30PM – 3:30PM MARK LALIBERTE & MALCOLM SUTTON
Book: Job Shadowing by Malcolm Sutton
An unemployed man, losing his ability to imagine a future self, disappears into the shadow world of an ambitious millennial. His wife, an idealistic artist at the turning point of her career, falls deeper and deeper into the gravitational field of her ultra-wealthy employer. Job Shadowing is a novel of our 20th-century desires torn asunder by the new millennium. Through stylish, searching prose, it tests the grounds of impossible love, generational identity and middle-class fantasy.
Artist: Mark Laliberte is a Toronto-based creator with an MFA from the University of Guelph. By applying a curious, hybridized attitude to a project-driven practice, Laliberte has undertaken many different kinds of conceptual-collage explorations, completing a wide range of works with varying visual styles and approaches. He has exhibited across Canada and internationally, including: The Power Plant, Nuit Blanche Toronto, Art Gallery of Windsor, Narwhal Contemporary, CoCA Seattle, Exposure Gallery UK, and countless artist-run centres. He curates the experimental comics site 4panel.ca, and edits the eclectic art-lit journal CAROUSEL. In 2016, he will release three books: 4PANEL 1 — a comics-poetry anthology; Free for the Taking — a collaboration with artist Micah Lexier; and, asemanticasymmetry — a remixing of writer Derek Beaulieu’s letraset poems.
3:30PM – 4:30PM W.W HUNG & GUY GAVRIEL KAY
Book: Children of Earth and Sky by Guy Gavriel Kay
From the small coastal town of Senjan, notorious for its pirates, a young woman sets out to find vengeance for her lost family. That same spring, from the wealthy city-state of Seressa, famous for its canals and lagoon, come two very different people: a young artist travelling to the dangerous east to paint the grand khalif at his request—and possibly to do more—and a fiercely intelligent, angry woman, posing as a doctor’s wife, but sent by Seressa as a spy. As these lives entwine, their fates—and those of many others—will hang in the balance, when the khalif sends his massive army to take the great fortress that is the gateway to the western world…
Artist: W.W. Hung is a sculptor and installation artist based in Toronto. He holds a Bachelor of Architecture and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. Exploring the human condition through contemporary figurative sculpture, W.W. Hung uses the human body, placed in abstract spatial contexts, to suggest different narratives and psychological states. Since 2010, his sculptural works have been exhibited regularly at galleries in Canada and the US, and can be found in many private collections. W.W. Hung is the recipient of the 2015 Al and Malka Green Sculpture Award, presented by the Sculptors Society of Canada.
About The Word On The Street:
Each September, in the cities of Toronto, Halifax, Lethbridge and Saskatoon, The Word On The Street unites the country in a national celebration of literacy and the written word. Annually attracting more than 200,000 visitors to its Harbourfront Centre location, The Word On The Street Toronto is the largest book and magazine festival in Canada. This year’s event takes place on Sunday, September 25th.
For media inquiries, contact: Laura Mendes, Co-Curator, Sculpting New Reads
416.836.1516 or email@example.com
Program Details: www.thewordonthestreet.ca/wots/toronto/sculpting