2022 PRIZE WINNERS
In These Veins
Textile & Paper Cut Art
Founder, Cabbagetown Art & Crafts
Ruth Wickremesooriya is an emerging multidisciplinary artist creating conceptual pieces and bespoke woven cloth exploring themes of brokenness, hope, and transformation. Her artistic practice is a tactile meditation on the paradoxical coexisting experience of beauty and pain, often felt most keenly in our darkest moments. She is committed to practicing the discipline of hope. Her work stands in gentle resistance to throwaway culture, fast fashion, and dismissive attitudes to things considered “broken.” On many occasions, Ruth herself has felt broken throughout her unfinished journey with depression and anxiety. Her response is to create slow, handwoven pieces in spite of her present weaknesses and limitations. She draws inspiration from broken objects, global cultures of care and repair, and the resilient patterns of regeneration embedded into the natural world.
Raised in England, Ruth earned her BFA in Woven Textile Design from Loughborough University, UK. She has collaborated with Upper Canada Weaving to produce handcrafted cloth for the Ontario Fibreshed (ongoing) and the Peggy Sue Collection at Toronto Fashion Week (2017). She has exhibited for Selvedge Magazine, London (2015), and is the winner of the prestigious international design competition, the ABURY Design Experience (2017). She is a bursary recipient from the Worshipful Company of Weavers (2014) and the Toronto Guild of Spinners and Weavers (2019). Ruth can now be found with her loom in Tkaronto (Toronto), Canada, just south of Gete-Onigaming, an ancient trade and portage trail connecting the Don and Humber rivers (Davenport Road).
Celina K Studio
“I have been practicing ceramics for about 20 years since university degree in ceramics.
Ever since, ceramics have been my life-time passions, philosophy, and best friend. My work has been inspired by nature, especially stone, sand, clay, all sorts of mineral forms from the earth. In my work, the mineral particles are showing their natural textures from the earth. I emphasize bare skins and simple shapes to show fundamental beauty of the minerals.
“In recent years, I have developed new project named 'Paleo' where I can express rougher and richer textures in more organic shapes. To express the raw and ancient textures like something from Paleo, stone Age era, I developed hand pinching and slap techniques. In this practice, I am getting closer to my vision of natural stone textures, and am excited to share with you in the future.”
Danielle Jones& James Laish
Wood & Mixed Media
“Inspired by a love of both design and craft, we design and handmake original art objects using sustainable and reclaimed woods. Modern and minimalist with a touch of whimsy, our collections blend mid-20th century and rustic sensibilities with an aim to create heirloom quality, contemporary Canadiana.”
Both graduates of OCAD, Danielle Jones and James Laish are multidisciplinary artist-designers with long histories of professional illustration and design work. Relocating to Ottawa and contributing to the award-winning restoration of their vintage modernist home sparked an interest in working with natural and sustainable materials – particularly wood — leading in turn to their design and creation of original, handmade editions with a modernist twist.
Building on longstanding shared passions for architecture and design and inspired by the clean and minimalist lines of mid-20th century modernism, they handcraft their original designs in small editions with meticulous attention to detail, materiality, and craftsmanship. “Having worked together at close-range throughout our independent yet parallel careers, our collaborative and creative partnership as Modernst Wood combines our individual skill sets with an ongoing desire to break new artistic ground.”
SPECIAL MEMBER'S AWARD
Susan V. Corrigan
"My Catharsis Series are sculptural wall installations of birds and nest-like forms where birds seemingly come out of the wall and fly in various directions outward and upward. Cast shadows play on walls creating changing movement, dependent on the time of day. Themes relate to release and liberation as well as nurturing with the nest-like forms.
"A graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design, I'm a member of AWOL Collective, having co-directed AWOL Gallery and Studios (1996-2012), C1 art space (2004-2011). I recently opened a new project space and clay studio in Toronto called ArtQuarters Gallery where I teach classes and work on my pieces."
SPECIAL MEMBER'S AWARD
"As a Toronto-based landscape oil painter, I travel all summer to research Ontario’s landscape and paint studies on location. I paint around 100-150 studies per season. This allows me to fully immerse myself in the subject. In winter I work with the gathered material to dive deeper and develop larger works and series. I develop a series by seeking a unifying theme and devote a sketchbook to test ideas and work out the details. The series is created on canvas using traditional oil painting techniques.
"I was drawn to art for as long as I can remember but considering art my hobby, I chose a career in Public Relations instead. Many years later I rediscovered art and the profound effect it can have. I started seriously perusing my artistic journey in 2014. My work has been exhibited in solo and esteemed juried shows in Toronto. I’m an elected member of the Ontario Society of Artists and Colour and Form Society."
SPECIAL MEMBER'S AWARD
Garrett "Owen" Gilbart
Freehand Plasma Cutting
Garrett “Owen” Gilbart a professional sculptor from east of Peterborough, Ontario. Initially studying welding and fabrication at Sir Sanford Fleming College, before receiving their BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax, and briefly studied abroad at the Gerrit Rietveld Acadamie in Amsterdam. Describing themselves as “a carver of unnatural materials, instead of wood and stone, I carve discarded tools, car parts, and other salvaged steel objects collected from the forests and scrapyards of rural Ontario.”
Each piece is hand carved with a handheld plasma cutter, a welding torch used for melting and cutting steel. Often mounted on a computer-controlled track system, Owen's skillful manipulation allows them to carve various materials beyond the capabilities of even the most advanced robotics or lasers. Through the imaginative use of a precision fabrication tool, the artist unlocks a dimension of creativity that cannot be achieved through the technical expertise of the engineer. Focusing on tools, their work explores the faded aura of utility and labour these tactile objects exude. Broken or discarded tools retain their symbolic dimension, as receptacles of personal narratives and cultural values, even after their initial purpose is spent. Additionally offering to create commissioned work using heirloom tools for individual clients to explore their shared history and relation to labour, craft, and the tool object.
RICHARD SILVER AWARD
“Born into a long line of talented artisans and craftspeople, I’ve been making art and playing with colour, pattern, and texture for as long as I can remember. My signature practice combines my love of textiles, hand-dyed wool, and patchwork to create unique home goods that are a modern twist on a time-honoured tradition. “Each piece is made one at a time and one of a kind in my home studio. With timeless design and quality artisanship, these pieces will bring a lifetime of warmth and character to your home.
PATTIE WALKER MEMORIAL AWARD
Ceramic & Botanical
"I was born in Hiroshima, Japan, and grew up surrounded by the bounty of nature that both nurtured and inspired me.
I’m a potter and floral designer.
"I use botanical elements to add life to a living space on my unique pottery vessels in a contemporary style that is both pleasing to the eye and fun."