Union Gallery

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project room

Splinters, and the dirt under my nails
Katie Strang
January 15 -February 12, 2011
Artist talk: January 19th, 2:30pm
Extended Hours: We will be open Sunday, January 23 between 3:15-4:30

Large Wood Cut by Katie Strang
Katie Strang, Six kilometer walk-in, digital photo, 2010

In Splinters, and the dirt under my nails, Katie Strang presents large-scale black and white woodcuts that reflect on the artist’s time spent tree planting in northern Ontario. Strang is interested in the physicality of people, experiences, and ways of communicating this, in conveying whole experiences instead of just descriptions. She is exploring that idea by building up imagery of treeplanting. This is an activity determined by landscape and isolation. The landscapes are hand-carved into fir boards and printed, a labour-intensive process appropriate to treeplanting. Accompanying them are woodcut prints of the kind of graffiti left by planters on the old school buses used to transport them to the block every day. The scale and starkness of these prints is meant to create a sense of the overwhelming landscape. Katie states, “Landscape determines the treeplanting experience. Replanting the land is your reason for being there, and enduring its harshness is a daily reality. Its vastness isolates you, and its geography exhausts you. At the end of the day, you just want to sleep, and complete the little rituals that affirm your humanity. One of these is leaving marks, to show that you survived again.”

Katie Strang is a fourth year student in the BFA program, a second-year treeplanter, and a dedicated forest creature.