Enriched Bread Artists

Member's bio: Joyce Westrop

Joyce Westrop is multi-disciplined artist currently examining the world through drawing, printmaking and sculpture.  After graduating with a BFA (magna cum laude) from the University of Ottawa in 2001 where she majored in drawing and sculpture, Westrop studied printmaking at the Ottawa School of Art.  She has received grants for her work from the City of Ottawa and Ontario Arts Council and has had work purchased by the Art Bank of Canada.  She has also been published in “Art and Paper VII” through galerie d’art Jean-Claude-Bergeron in Ottawa. Westrop exhibits extensively.  Joyce Westrop is currently represented by Gallery 3 in Ottawa and is a member of the Enriched Bread Artist Studios.         www.joycewestrop.com

Artist statement

I have been collecting exploded truck tire fragments from the roadside since 2000. To me the tires represent the whole system of cars and oil as one, a combination of excess and waste. However even while we acknowledge the problems of our current system we find it difficult to adopt another one. This body of work highlights the ambivalent feelings we have towards the automobile and its co-dependent oil. With such loaded raw materials I have kept the motifs for my sculptures simple. The exploded tire fragments when recognized as “tires” now seem both beautiful and dangerous. They have been cleaned up and presented in a civilized way, but they also have been constrained and kept behind “glass”. The Plexiglas case acts as both a frame and barrier where the sculptures hover between renewal and destruction, offering a dialogue between the two extremes. In my most recent work I have created an intimate series of sculptures that seem to hold out hope for our future. They are created by cutting (forcefully) tire fragments in half and rejoining the two halves together. I am tapping into the organic past of these fragments, but by using the Plexiglas framing device the new growth is kept limited and our hopes in tension. The more skeptical grid sculptures make reference to systems; perhaps political, perhaps economical, where those systems are either held accountable or at least questioned. My work is based on experimentation and conceptualism with a twist; I am searching for new ways to communicate ideas. Breaking away from text-based conceptual art, I insist on the visual. The aim is for the viewer to be intrigued enough to question the significance of the imagery in the work and to use the knowledge they already have to engage in a dialogue with the work.

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