In this exhibition, Sara-Jeanne Bourget, Robin Gleason and Mark Johnsen explore the layers of matter beneath our feet: the built-up boundary between body and earth in the urban environment. A new Stratigraphy is formed through layers of built material that mirror the geological. Inspired by the streets, parking lots and alleyways we travel over each day, “Common Ground” highlights the overlapping strata within the three diverse material practices of the artists.
The asphalt, concrete and cement that make up the ground we walk on are constructed surface upon surface; built upwards as they break down. There is a simultaneous additive and reductive force at play, as old layers are covered with new surfaces, and cracks and holes emerge from beneath with time and wear. In these new openings, living things emerge and take residence. Parallels are made with the gestures in each of the three artist’s practices. A texture is rendered in charcoal through both additive marks and reductive erasures. An intricate pattern is revealed from a seemingly mundane matrix by the pressure of the printing press. The exhibition highlights these patterns formed by time, the cracks and potholes, the texture of aging pavement, matter that surrounds our daily lives, but so often goes unnoticed.
JOIN US: Free Guided Tour with the Artists
CityScape Community ArtSpace
Thursday June 23, 2022 | 6:30 – 8pm
Artist Statement and Bio
Sara-Jeanne Bourget’s drawing and printmaking practice stems from the creation of handmade and naturally sourced charcoal. Her awareness of materials is rooted in the intimate knowledge of their provenance, fabrication, and uses. She engages in a cyclical process that captures and recycles the methods and materials inherent to her drawing and printmaking practice. Her work questions how the act of mining materials in/site/fully can be reflected in various systems, including non-human interactions. She holds a fascination with the effect of time on surfaces, the layers of matter that build up grounds, and how erosion creates space for new forms (of life).
She has exhibited her work and participated in residency programs in Finland, Quebec, and The United States. She has twice received grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in support of her work and pursuit of her studies. In 2020, she co-founded Patio Press, a hybrid-printmaking residency with Mark Johnsen.
She holds a BFA in Studio Arts from Concordia University (2015) and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2019). She is currently a sessional faculty member in the Audain Faculty of Art at Emily Carr University.
Artist Statement and Bio
Mark Johnsen (he/him) is an American visual artist living and working in Vancouver, British Columbia. His print-based practice examines the possibilities of the unique, hand-pulled impression in an era of digital reproduction. Through studies of material exploration, traditional and non-traditional printing techniques, he works to capture gestural and representational time stamps. Found objects, depictions of temporary spaces, and invisible gestures inherent to the production of printmaking shift in focus or overlap in each series he produces.
Johnsen is the co-founder of Patio Press, a hybrid printmaking residency run alongside artist Sara-Jeanne Bourget. He holds a BFA in Photography from California College of the Arts (2012) and an MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2020). He has exhibited throughout The United States, Canada, The United Kingdom, Turkey, Bosnia, Japan, Switzerland, and New Zealand. He is currently a sessional faculty member at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.
Artist Statement and Bio
Robin Gleason is an interdisciplinary artist from coastal Maine (USA), who lives and works in Bellingham, Washington. Her diverse practice is defined by a lifelong engagement with the land around her, and by experimental methods of drawing, printmaking, installation and collage. Walking and collecting, whether along the shoreline, in the woods or through the city streets, inform her place-based work. She is continually invested in the physicality of paper as a material and matrix, exploring its potential and pushing it to its limits. Through gestures of printing, cutting, stacking and carving, her work examines the shift between two-dimensional and three-dimensional renderings of shape and texture in the physical world.
Robin holds a BA in Studio Art from Colorado College and an MFA from Emily Carr University of art & Design (2019). She taught as a sessional instructor in the Foundations department at ECU in 2020 and 2021. She has exhibited work in the US and Canada and was featured in the anthology, “A Dangerous New World: Maine Voices on the Climate Crisis” (Littoral Books, 2019). Robin is the recipient of two artist grants from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundations (2018, 2019).