Traces: Here/ Not Here

Artwork supporting my Masters of Fine Arts (MFA),  OCAD University,  completed Spring 2020.

The thesis paper is available at OCADU's Open Research Repository -

   Traces: Here/Not Here endeavors to put a positive spin on our mortality. This work is about our time-limited lifetimes, our experience of it, and about the  effects of our actions. It is about our interconnectivity with each other,  human and non-human, animate and inanimate. By way of playful and dynamic sculptures which are activated by the physical effort of the artist, a  collaborator or a visitor/participant, durational experiences are created, leaving marks, or traces, prompting consideration of our inter-connectedness, perhaps injecting optimism that we can use this opportunity to act for what matters most to each one of us.

   Using spinning top sculptures as metaphors for our lifetimes, portrait tops (based on facial  profiles) are spun on varied platforms leaving marks, evoking the crazy motion of life, and the residual effects of our actions and co-formative  interactions.  The installations involve dynamic sculptures, such as the  tops, or a large driftwood log suspended from a pivot. In these works, motion is initiated by a person and has a durational element; a beginning, a “life” and an end.  Marks left are sometimes durable but eventually  obliterated by subsequent marks, or maybe made in sand or flour only to be  swept up at the end of the day, remaining only in memory or in photos.

timespacemattermotion aka The Log

driftwood log, aluminum leaf, steel cable, rescue pivot and carabiners, beach sand; circular sand spread is approximately 12 feet in diameter.

Installation shot during trial in OCADU Grad Gallery, Nov 2019.

Link to videomontage of work in motion:

detail of footprints in the sand under log

detail of metal leaf work

Spinning Through Life  - The Dish

repurposed satellite dish, steel cable, bearing, rope;

3 nine inch tall portraiture tops - cast iron, cast aluminum, 3D print - with wooden (ash) launcher and string.

Installation shot at "A Rare Few"  group exhibition at Sloss Furnaces, Alabama, USA, April 2019.

Link to videomontage of work in action at "The Rare Few":

Link to videomontage of work in action with each of iron/aluminum/printed portraiture tops:

Detail of traces on dish as of April 2019.

Spinning Through Life - Ashes

 Flour/wood ash mixture spread on floor

nine-inch tall portraiture top - cast aluminium, spun with wooden (ash) launcher and string.

Installation view in Grad Gallery, November 2019.

Detail showing traces after several spins of tops in flour on wooden floor.

Link to videomontage of several spins:

detail of traces of spin

Spinning Through Life - The Plate

Steel plate trials: Cold rolled steel with and without patina, showing traces of iron top spin

In gallery installation, the plates are 4 x 4 feet square, and left to accumulate traces.

Trace of iron top on patina-ed steel plate

Trace of iron top on raw steel plate

Spinning through Life - Big Top

Bronze cast sculpture: patina-ed self-portraiture top.  Twenty-one-inch tall ,  22 pounds (10 kgs).

On a hard surface, it can spin for over 6 minutes.

 Big Top resting in stand where it can spin. Stand: wood, bearings, oil glazes. 

Link to spin in stand:

Link to top spin in critique space:

Big Top trial on steel plate, leaving traces.

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