Bronwen Payerle and Amelia Epp make installations that use printmaking, collaged process, the language of painting and sculptural form to address human shelter both as conceptual and realized form. Shelter, cover, claim examines the physical, emotional and aesthetic materiality of enclosures, the perceived protective quality of fabrics and environment-specific textures found within both built and natural spaces. The significance of possession and use, as seen in architectural or altered natural space, form the basis of this investigation.
Bronwen and Amelia explore the geometry and patterns of textile surface design, bricolaged architecture and the development of scale and material juxtaposition found in habitable structures. Considering haphazard and temporary shelters as well as those built for the purpose of play, the artists engage viewers’ personal experiences of childhood games, camping, exterior space, and home ownership.
Building artworks together has become a natural and easy process for us over two years of collaborative practice. There is an initial brainstorming phase of dialogue, sketching and reference to other artists or visual resources. Once we begin creating an installation, there is an innate understanding of experimentation and therefore a significant level of trust. We give each other the freedom to try ideas without asking permission, but also edit and critique each added component so that we are both happy with the result. At first we worked separately in our studios on project elements specific to our chosen media (paper sculpture and drawing) and came together for installation, but now the collaboration has developed so that we actually make each piece as a partnership. The overall theme of our work has stayed constant, but the materials choice has changed radically which has been quite fun. Our personalities and aesthetics blend so well that it’s a very harmonious experience to make art as a team.
Bronwen spent two years making tiny marks on huge paper before receiving her MFA in Drawing from the University of Victoria. Repetitive explorations of texture and pattern become a language derived from known elements, yet these indexical marks are also essays on possibility. New landscapes develop from the familiar through bricolage. Shifting forms release reality, scratching at the nature of the imaginary.
Amelia is an artist and educator whose creative and teaching practices are guided by experimentation, collaboration and play. Her art practice focuses on materials such as paper, wood, thread and wire, or repurposed discarded objects such as plastic and tea bags, to construct installation works, sculptures and collages. The human body, natural and built environments, and traditional craft inspire her creative process, along with a tactile exploration of inherent material properties.
Shelter, Cover, Claim is part of CVAG’s exhibition series In this body: journeys in places of meeting, residing at the intersection of art and the everyday. The participating artists share affinities for creating and activating occurrences of being in this body, as they confront and negotiate the complex experiential terrain of family life, making space for death, and interspecies collaborations.
In this body invites conversation about the myriad ways in which the artists encounter and deal with interpersonal dynamics, history, culture, behaviours, architecture, landscape and politics, and how these influences inform our changing sense of self.
The performative characteristics of each of these new works connect the artists’ vision directly with the real and present body and this informs their research, presentation and interactions with participants/audience. CVAG values the opportunity to support new site-responsive, collaborative and interactive projects by established contemporary artists engaged in taking risks and extending their practice into new territory.