Artist Statement | I paint with the purpose of cutting my abstract paintings apart. Strip by strip, I then assemble and weave fragments of various paintings, into a single piece of work. Living in a multicultural city like Toronto has uniquely influenced my work. As I assemble the strips, the fragments of my paintings begin to represent the different facets (culture, community, life events, education, etc.) that weave us together, in this case literally and conceptually. The colour and composition mirrors a portrait that unfolds before me when encountering a stranger/new environment/culture we have in this city and I get to discover it as I weave. My goal is to create work that will inspire a discourse and continue to push and blur the boundaries of art, design and craft. The process is symbolic and metaphorical on a few levels, with painting being largely male-dominated and craft traditionally identified as a female activity, my paintings bring worlds together. However, this is beyond gender issues, but simply two opposing concepts meeting, challenging and rethinking the mountains that stand in our way – thoughtfully taking apart and reassembling what lies before us to create a new perspective of equality.
Bio | Elisabeth Heidinga is a Toronto based artist from France, born (1981) in Cologne, Germany. She graduated with honours from OCAD University in 2010. In her practice, she paints large canvas panels (in acrylic) that are then cut into fine strips by laser. Selected strips from different panels are re-assembled and woven together. Each work is made up of strips that are fragments of many different paintings.
Process | I am an abstract painter and I paint with acrylic paint on a large canvas roll. I paint with the purpose of cutting my paintings apart. I envision the outcome and how the colour and painted composition will play out during the weaving process to come. I then take my paintings to be laser cut. These machines come with different limitations and challenges in regards to the final size and the material itself. Once a finalized illustrator file is created the laser cuts my pieces into strips which I then bring back to my studio. I cut the ends free but keep each painting bundled together. I select my strips based on these bundles and colours I see. It’s hard to predict the outcome in terms of colour and composition but the discovery is very rewarding. To achieve my artistic vision, frames are an important aspect. I order custom-made, museum quality frames made by Faux Cadres-Canal. These stretchers are painted white and have a plaque of authenticity in the back. Each strip is secured to the back at the top and bottom. I use the loose strips to weave from right to left which allow me to work with a weaving pattern or to keep parts unwoven. I finish by securing the loose strips in the back and adjusting or straightening each strip in the front. The size of woven work is generally a 44 inch square, with the exceptions of a few being slightly smaller. Non-woven work can be any size in length with the width being 44 inches. All work is signed , dated and named on the back of the stretcher.
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