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Karen Trask: Wordfield

Karen Trask: “Wordfield”

August 6 – September 13, 2009
Opening Reception – Thursday August 6 at 7:30 pm
Minarovich Gallery – Elora Centre for the Arts
Curated by Phil Irish

As you draw near Karen Trask’s evocative sculptures, you discover that they are each made from a surprising material: written text. Through the labour of spinning, weaving, and quilting, Karen Trask transforms printed pages into sculptures that explore both language and silence. Drawing from iconic texts — Proust’s writing and the dictionary itself — Trask sculpts a sensative relationship to language. The potential of language, to grow as if in a fertile field, or to rise from the dreams of sleep, is given powerful weight and substance in the exhibition Wordfield.

This exhibition brings together two projects that explore the idea of language as landscape. The sculpture, Proust’s Bed: waiting for a kiss, is the result of a year-long project reading In Search of Lost Time, by Marcel Proust from this daybed. The mattresses of the bed are covered with a handmade paper textile printed with quotations about sewing, love, writing and kissing and is sewn together in a crazy quilt pattern. In works such as Where the words go, Wordfield and Doors, pages from hundreds of dictionaries were either torn and recycled into fresh sheets of paper or reconstituted through spinning into long paper threads. A desire to privilege the presence of the paper used in printing these texts was the starting point for this work.

Karen Trask, born in Fergus,ON lives in Montreal. Her work has been shown across Canada, as well as in Spain, Finland, Taiwan. She recently spent several months in Paris developing new projects. She holds degrees in art from both the University of Waterloo and Concordia University, Montreal.