Thursday, November 03, 2005

Photo essay: Tara Bursey Sculptures


In September, we were fortunate to see a solo show of sculpture by the talented Toronto artist Tara Bursey. I (Arna) met Tara when I was a (part time) sculpture student at The Toronto School Of Art, and she impressed me as a person with intense commitment to her art. The work she does always makes me stop, look...and think.

The pieces in this show were constructed of domestic materials given an alternate, and some would say larger, life of their own by Tara's clever re-interpretation. In the work titled Kimonos (2005), the artist meticulously sewed paper wrappers from tea bags to make several full-sized kimonos. Tara used the tea bags, and the tea itself, as part of the piece.

For her piece Formation (2005), Tara hung a line of boxer shorts as though freshly washed. Each of the shorts carried the name of a different US fighter pilot, honoured as a hero for flying in the bombing raids on Japan during WWII. Tara wrote the young pilots' names by hand, in a crisscoss pattern. If you didn't know the back story, you might assume that these patterns were purely decorative.

The photos in this essay are inspired by Tara Bursey's show. John chose to take shots as details of the works, and allowed the play of light and shadow on the sculptures to create patterns that compliment the repetition so important to the works themselves.

You can see the photo essay here.

4 comments:

Alina Chau said...

WOW!! THis is soooo COOL!! GREAT creative used of tea bags!! AWESOME Works and idea!!

UM said...

I am always in awe of artists like Tara. To have that much commitment and dedication to your idea and the drive to see it through is what makes these people different. I knew a little Spanish girl once, who had this mad idea of filling a bath tub with soap bars. Each soap bar had 'love', hate', 'sorrow' etc. etc. stamped on it. She hand- made all the stamps and spend weeks to find out a way to imprint those onto the bars of soap. The girl was obsessed by her idea and I admired her for that. I lost touch and still don't know if that bath tub was ever filled.

Tara obviously completed her vision. And to see the photos you took combined with your introduction makes you stop and think.
Thank you for sharing.

Tara said...

It's SO funny you say that...I just finished a piece with text on soap! I too toyed with the idea of stamping words onto actual soap, and I even tried to make a latex mold of carved soap...nothing really worked out. I ended up hand-carving 140 bars of soap using a graphite transfer and a VERY fine exacto knife...the result could have been a bit cleaner, but I was fairly happy with it.

ARNA..this piece is currently up in the locker gallery at TSA, and will be up until the 12th or 13th. Go check it out if you get the chance...

the doodlers said...

Alina, Thanks for visiting our blog again, and thanks for your very kind comments!

Wow. This thing with the soap is an amazing coincidence, isn't it?

Tara, we must to get down to the school and see this piece!

Uli, thanks for sharing your story. It is quite wonderful the way the blogs bring people together. Tara Bursey has plenty of talent and a very strong creative voice. We think you're going to hear lots more about her in the future!