Collaborative art, exploring brief-less wonder, and a return home

May 7, 2015

North of Toronto there is a town called Tottenham, so serine and sleepy that its last notable historic event was the devastating fire of 1895. This was the dot on a map that I, confined to rural dirt roads and the curse of impossibly bright stars, called home.

Recently Chris and I were asked to participate in the inaugural art show of Blue Rain Gallery, opening in my home town. Enveloped in coniferous woodland, among the gentle rolling terrain atop of a hill, large enough to actually be named, Blue Rain Gallery opened its doors with a lovely group show featuring a hand full of artists of varied backgrounds. While Chris and I have been working collaboratively together for years now, we hadn’t co-created artworks in some time, and this offered the perfect opportunity for us to make art together. It was time to rally.

The stunning space in Blue Rain Gallery

The stunning space in Blue Rain Gallery

As designers and branders, we are passionate about problem solving: a client has a real business problem (my revenue is decreasing! Our employee engagement is low! We are having a collective identity crisis!) and we jump headlong into their world with analytic, strategic and creative vigour. We understand what needs to be solved, develop a series of steps and solutions, and seek to measure the success of our labour. The mental readjustment of making something without a brief, let alone a measurable indicator of our success, was difficult to formulate.

As Wondermatter grows and evolves, our over-arching desire to inject our lives, work and clients’ businesses with wonder has only expanded. An open invitation to create work purely as artistic expression seemed the ideal situation to dig deeper into this elusive human experience. We developed a series of eight prints that encouraged viewers to find inside of them selves a sense of awe.

Our artist statement read as follows:

This series of giclée prints is created to assist in the forming of mental space that ignites wonder, an essential, but oft neglected human experience. The pairing of idiom and image is a collision of impossibility and possibility, that seeks to act as a visual meditation – or mantra – on awe.

In short: Please wonder.

 

WM_13x16_ART_Particle_choires_004

WM_13x16_ART_DREAMS_hands_001

WM_13x16_ART_Wondows_looking_back_002

WM_13x16_ART_poets_anthology_001

WM_13x16_ART_KITCHEN_cups_002

WM_13x16_ART_Kindergarden_Wine_002

WM_13x16_ART_Galaxy_cells_001

WM_13x16_ART_Buddhist_axe_002

In creating these works, we discovered ourselves opening up to our own sense of awe found in unstructured play. The ability for Chris and I to collaborate in a different way, to work back and forth off of each other with little more than intuition and delight, not only made the work stronger, but allowed for a dialogue that would not have been possible if it were not for the art. We strongly believe that to do something out of your comfort zone, and to allow a creative feeling guide you -to be pulled by the desire to just make something- can make for an experience that is both beautiful and enlightening.

In a two-story, sun-washed room alongside beautiful drawings, paintings, photography and calculated landscapes rendered in rust on metal, our experiment in wonder hangs. The afternoon was a great success, and the work received both quizzical and enthusiastic responses in equal measure. We highly encourage you to stop by the beautiful gallery, meet the founder & her lovely dogs, and encounter an array of inspiring works!

 

The founder and her daughter on opening day!

The founder and her daughter on opening day!

 

This is a limited series of prints. Should you be so inclined to own one or all of them, please get in touch!

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