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Biography

Elizabeth Babyn

I obtained a BFA in Drawing and Painting at OCAD University in 2005 and my Master of Fine Art degree in Sculpture and Installation in 2016, at the University of Saskatchewan. Whether making intuitive non-objective paintings or making installation and media-based art work, I have always viewed the art making process from a meditative, spiritual and holistic perspective. My current work focuses on dystopian realities that are linked to over-consumption within Western society.

I currently teach part-time at USCAD in Saskatoon, and I have been a Loop Gallery Member since 2003.  I have exhibited in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and Italy.

 Photograph,  Barbara Reimer

Plastopia

A view into into the world of Plastopia

As part of my MFA research at the the University  of Saskatchewan, the dystopian world of Plastopia was my response to western society's attachment to overconsumption. Copious amounts of plastic, Styrofoam- peanuts, mirrored-Mylar and coloured strobing lights made-up the bulk this installation, as mutant plastic creatures stood before, and around the Psuedo-Waterfall.  Eerie creatures were also animated in Plastopia's large surreal-video assemblage. 


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Her Industry, Reclaimed

Image: Eve in Progress: an ongoing public collaborative tapestry.

Her Industry, Reclaimed explores a variety of textile processes that women have historically advanced, such as embroidery, mending, sewing, crocheting and more recently needle felting, through the creation of tapestries made of up-cycled textiles. This project is an homage to my late mother Rollande, as well as to generations of mothers and other women who have toiled and continue to work within the textile industry in domestic, industrial and creative spaces.

Growing up in the sixties with six siblings on a farm in rural Quebec, my earliest memories are of my mother sitting at the sewing machine making clothes and household items for us all. Her own mother was a seamstress who died far too young, forcing Rollande at the age of ten to enter a Catholic orphanage where she learned a wide variety of textile techniques (some of which were used to produce work that would be later sold to help subsidize the orphanage). Unlike our current consumption-based “fast fashion” textile economy, a lot of Rollande’s handiwork revolved around mending and reconstituting both new and used materials.

Rollande derived creative satisfaction from the process of designing, altering and making textile goods, as she worked to make ends meet in helping to support our large family.

 As with so many other women of her time, domestic work within our home was taken for granted, since it did not ever result in a physical paycheque; this is something that has long been observed, for instance by Silvia Federici in her essay Wages against Housework.  Similarly, within the art world, textile work was considered unimaginative and banal, since it was associated with work done by women within the domestic sphere. As curator Janelle Porter explains, “Lurking behind such characterizations were beliefs that fiber art wasn’t as good as painting or sculpture because it was traditionally the work of women, of the working class, of non-white folks”. Thanks to the persistent drive of the feminist art movement over the past few decades, textile processes have begun to earn the recognition that they so richly deserve, countering the emphasis on male-centrist art practices within institutions, and demonstrating the artistic value that textile processes hold.

Like my mother before me in Her Industry, Reclaimed, I am immersing myself in the process of making, and in so doing also subverting the throw-away culture that our current capitalist culture promotes.  But unlike my mother, within the context of art making, I am taking a feminist approach: I rip apart, manipulate and reinterpret up-cycled garments, literally remaking the meaning that these items held in a patriarchal culture, and in the process reclaiming traditional practices and the labour of women that has for too long gone unnoticed.  

 

Her Industry, Reclaimed

Rollande

Up-cycled textile,yarn,roving,wrapped pipe cleaners, embroidery floss, 58" x 61," 2019.

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Rollande.png
Rollande.png

Up-cycled textile, yarn, roving, wrapped pipe-cleaners, embroidery floss. 61" x 51 x 5." 2019

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Therise.png
Therise.png

Up-cycled textile, yarn, roving, wrapped pipe-cleaners, embroidery floss. 48" x 60". 2019

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Silvia-Sylvia.jpg
Silvia-Sylvia.jpg

Up-cycled textile, yarn, roving, wrapped pipe-cleaners, embroidery floss, beads, wire. 43" x 48". 2019

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Cecile/Cecile
Cecile/Cecile

Up-cycled textile, yarn, roving, wrapped pipe-cleaners, embroidery floss. 50" x 50". 2019

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6. Giberte .jpg
6. Giberte .jpg

Up-cycled textile, yarn, roving, wrapped pipe-cleaners, embroidery floss.48" x 50". 2019

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Denise.jpg
Denise.jpg

Up-cycled textile, roving, wrapped wire, yarn. 21" 48". 2019

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Eve: Collaboration in Progress.jpg
Eve: Collaboration in Progress.jpg

A collaborative piece with up-cycled material, wrapped pipe-cleaners, yarn, roving, embroidery thread.size continually changing.

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Almoza
Almoza

Up-cycled textile, wrapped pipe-cleaners, yarn, roving, embroidery floss. 58" x 51". 2019

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Gallery image behind Eve tapestry.png
Gallery image behind Eve tapestry.png

Collaborative 'Eve' tapestry: up-cycled textile, yarn, thread, wrapped pipe-cleaners, 2019

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gallery 2.png

Gallery installation: Rollande, Therise, Almoza (from left to right)

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Reception Gallery image.png
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Reception.png
Reception.png
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Photograph,   Barbara Reimer

A view under the Psuedo-Waterfall.

"Art enables us to find ourselves and loose ourselves at the same time"

Thomas Merton

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Contact Me

Thanks for your interest in my work. For any inquiries, commission requests, or studio visits, please contact me and I’ll be happy to assist you.

Image: Video still from 'Hieroglyph Installation,' 2014

Thanks for submitting!

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From My Lazygirl Studio

Art Reflections

Most of my blogging and computer work seems to take place from my "Lazy-girl chair," (not to be confused with "lazy-boy chair") and more recently, due to temporary ambulatory considerations, it has become a space to pursue some art explorations. With this in mind, it makes sense that, 'From My Lazy-girl Studio" has suddenly become a fitting title for my Blog going forward!