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Bringing Art to Life : A Conversation with Ella MacQueen-Denz on Her Recent Projects

Ella records her daily impressions through writing and sketching in her journal, which informs much of her portraits and abstract landscapes. Some are also like family photographs, where Ella integrates a memory which can then be played with, adding words and sketches to the surrounding figures. While based on a human body, isolated forms, such as multiple arms, legs and other body parts, create a sense of expressive abstraction, which reminded me of the multi-media art of Dada artists, surrealist poses reminiscent of Leonora Carrington, Goya’s sketches, and German photographer Hans Bellmer, as well as folk shadow puppets from the Balkans and Eastern European art traditions. Ella and I had a wonderful discussion about the inspiration behind art. Ella describes...

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Bearing Your Soul: Toronto-Based Artist Hayley Axelrad on Inspiration, Painting in the Pandemic, and Breaking with Tradition

The first artistic movement I was introduced to was Impressionism. My mom was really into art, she would take us to museums and show us art books. I really got into the impressionists and I feel like I’ve always stayed true to that style in my own work. Over the years I’ve come to appreciate other artists. My favorite artists right now are Matisse and David Hockney, and more contemporary ones are like Chloe Wise and Mark Tennant. I’m really inspired by pop culture, movies, and nature. 

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Al Hanyok is Trouncing Respectability and Reinvigorating Art for Arts’ Sake in the New Generation of Modern Embroiderers

Al Hanyok started embroidering in 2018, with the guidance of a friend and three days of high school art courses in their back pocket. In the past two and a half years, they have been learning the fundamentals of drawing as well as developing a singularly modern embroidery style. Swinging from realism to surrealism, traditional to modern techniques, and personal to topical themes, Hanyok is alchemizing influences from across the artistic spectrum.

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