Jumelage

Between 2010 and 2012 I participated in a group project “Jumelage”, a group project between Open Studio Members, Toronto, Ontario and Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec 

01 Jumelage Installation Engramme Quebec City 2013

Jumelage Installation View, Engramme, Quebec City

02 Jumelage installation Detail Quebec City 2013

Jumelage Installation View, Engramme, Quebec City

03 Sally Ayre Drifting Letters Installation Engramme, Quebec City 2013

Detail of Sally Ayre’s Drifting Letters, Jumelage, Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec

04 Sally Ayre Drifting Letters Installation detail 1 at Engramme, Quebec City 2013

Detail of Sally Ayre’s Drifting Letters, Jumelage, Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec

05 Sally Ayre Drifting Letters Installation detail Jumelage Engramme, Quebec City 2013

Detail of Sally Ayre’s Drifting Letters, Jumelage, Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec

Sally Ayre Drifting Letters Installation Detail 2, Engramme, Que

Detail of Sally Ayre’s Drifting Letters, Jumelage, Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec

Drifting Letters Jumelage Installation Aird Gallery

Detail of Sally Ayre’s Drifting Letters, Jumelage, Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec

08 Sally Ayre Drifting Letters Installation Jumeage Aird Gallery Toronto 2012

Detail of Sally Ayre’s Drifting Letters, Jumelage, Engramme, Quebec City, Quebec

Jumelage Exhibition Catalogue Foreword, published 2012

The initial curatorial thread of Jumelage considers the notion of twin or twinning, the mirror, mirror image, mirroring. Mirrors and mirroring, reflections and recollections, have always occupied a unique place in our imaginations. We are forever fascinated with likeness and difference and its role in comprehending self. We look to the mirror and our reflection to reinforce and reassure our memory of who we are. The mirror is laden with multiple cultural meanings, metaphors and symbols that find resonance in our histories, mythologies and psycho- analytical theories. These were footnotes to our collaborative engagement with each other.

Organized in 2010 by artist members of two major Canadian artist-run printmaking centres, Engramme in Québec City and Toronto’s Open Studio, the project Jumelage celebrated the vitality of artistic creation in our two cultures and the 40th anniversary of both organizations. It was a bold encounter between six Québec artists and six Ontario artists, and through residencies and artistic ex- change it took concrete form through the creation of six twin works.

The six duos, who had never worked together before the fall of 2010, joined their individual approaches and creative ideas for two years. This significant challenge became a driving force and forged an adventurous path, engaging the various printmaking artists from Québec and Ontario to shift their usual comfort zones within their work. The six works created by these artist duos include sculpture, installation, artists’ books and printed works. The pieces display an astonishing range of ideas using themes as vast as the collection of objects, assemblage, rhythm and movement in the landscape, explorations of the principle of visual reflection, writings about the interpretation of nature, the iconographic study of visual and linguistic referents in French and English and, finally, historical reinterpretation found in the principle of repetition and accumulation.

Jumelage involved much more than the production of the printed works. The project embodies the width and fruitful breadth that cultural exchange can generate and the personal and artistic bonds that the twelve artists were able to forge in a spirit of collegiality. Thus after two periods of collective creativity, one in Toronto during Open Studio’s International event Printopolis and one in Québec City in November 2010, followed by twenty-four consecutive months of studio work, Jumelage proudly took over Toronto’s John B. Aird Gallery in December 2012 and Engramme’s gallery in Québec City in 2013. The present publication concludes this Québec/ Ontario collaboration.

Undeniably, the heady ideas explored in the exhibition of these six artistic associations can only in- spire us to continue to think about the unexpected potential that the principle of Jumelage generates and was able to accomplish over the course of the project!

Diane Fournier                                                                    Penelope Stewart

Administrative & Artistic Director, Engramme                  Ontario Coordinator Jumelage

Participating Artists (duos):

Quebec                           Ontario

Diane Fournier                   Pamela Dodds

Jesse-Melissa Bosse             Liz Menard

Madeleine Samson               Sally Ayre

Denise Blackburn                 Liz Parkinson

Lisette Thibeault               Doug Guildford

Lise Vezina                     Penelope Stewart

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