Project Dates:
October 06, 2012
October 14, 2012

Toronto subway platform screens

Beneath the Surface – October 2012

Celebrating WORKMAN ARTS 25th Anniversary and World Mental Health Day

Beneath the Surface is a collection of artist projects exploring what is hidden, sublimated, or just out of reach, to mark World Mental Health Day on Wednesday, October 10, 2012.

In the very public milieu of the subway platform, visual stories created by 6 Toronto-based artists will play every 10 minutes on the network of Pattison Onestop’s TTC subway platform screens throughout Toronto from October 6 to October 14, 2012.

Beneath the Surface highlights the unique vision of these artists. We are very pleased to help celebrate Workman Arts’ 25th anniversary by presenting this special programme,” states Sharon Switzer, Arts Programmer and Curator, Pattison Onestop.

With an aim to change the public’s perceptions of mental health each participating artist has created a series of 8 or 9 sequential images that tell a particular story, or express their personal interpretation of the project’s theme. Beneath the Surface reveals real and imagined moods, states of mind, obsessions, fears, and joys lying beneath the surface of our individual and collective urban experience.

“It is a privilege for the artists to have such a prominent venue to show their work.  We salute Pattison Onestop and Art for Commuters for presenting this exhibition,” says Lisa Brown, Founder and Executive Artistic Director of Workman Arts.

An unearthly cartoon character, surreal digital landscapes, delicate illustrations, a photo-story, still-life paintings and a powerful collage depict themes of trauma, memory and ideas, the relationship between order and chaos, isolation and connectedness.

These thought-provoking, emotionally charged image series are created by:

Artist Information:

Subspace – Saraƒin is a Toronto area cartoonist, illustrator, and mad pride activist.  Her web comic series, Asylum Squad was a form of self-appointed recreational therapy during a yearlong stay in CAMH’s Queen St West Mental Health Centre.  An outspoken critic of standard psychiatric practice, Saraƒin uses themes in her work to help educate the public about healthy alternatives to pharmaceuticals.  She also designed the Mad Pride Toronto logo. www.asylumsquad.com

The Red Shoes – Catherine Jones is a Toronto-based photographer and collage artist committed to both traditional darkroom and digital techniques. Her work explores themes of trauma, memory and the body. Through the use of found text and imagery, anatomical drawings and childhood photographs, she investigates the fragmentation that is a key component of trauma and memory. She has exhibited in Toronto, Ireland and New York City. www.marmiteontoast.com

Moving Still Life – Michael Morbach has studied at the Toronto School of Art and is a member of Workman Arts and Creative Works Studio. He has participated in group and solo exhibitions since 2007 including the Mood Disorder Association of Ontario annual Touched by Fire exhibition. Michael works in acrylic and oil creating abstracted landscape and still life images. In 2011, he won a competition for the design of a large-scale mosaic mural, which is now installed at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s new Intergenerational Wellness Centre.

Dream Town – Annette Seip graduated with an MSc from McMaster University and worked many years in the field of science before discovering her talents for photography and digital art.  Her award winning photography studies the relationship between order and chaos, isolation and connectedness, light and darkness.  She has exhibited in several juried and solo art shows in Mississauga and Toronto, including Britain Street Gallery, Queen Gallery, Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, Visual Arts Mississauga, Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, CONTACT Photography Festival, and the Royal Ontario Museum and Cooper’s Fine Art Gallery for Touched by Fire. R.M. Vaughan described Annette’s “Ice Diamond” in the Globe and Mail as …”a photograph so dappled with liquid light, it could be mistaken for a Mary Pratt painting.”www.aseipphotography.com

Brainwashed – STRanger (Sheri Ranger) is a self-taught, Toronto artist who works in paint, mixed media, printmaking, clay sculpture, video and most recently, textiles.  Exploring themes of addiction, mental health and community, her works are thought provoking, emotionally charged and beg to entice the viewer.  Sheri has participated in numerous community arts projects with the Barbara Schlifer Clinic, Parkdale Community Health Centre, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario, and YWCA.  Her work is part of many private and commercial collections and has been exhibited around the Greater Toronto Area at Heart & Stroke Foundation of Ontario events, Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Arts, Workman Arts events and local galleries.   www.sheristranger.com

Taking Birth – Jace Tracz makes visible art with pens, paint, and plastic. He makes audible art with strings, sticks, and Sara. His works are held in private and institutional collections. Most recently his work appeared on the prime time television show Risky Business. He is also currently writing and performing with his band All Dressed.

About Workman Arts
Workman Arts is a proud partner of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. Workman Arts (WA) facilitates aspiring, emerging and established artists with mental illness and addiction issues to develop and refine their art form through its arts training programs, public performance/exhibit opportunities and partnering with other art organizations. As well, WA promotes a greater public understanding of mental illness and addiction through the creation, presentation and discussion of artistic media. 2012 marks Workman Arts 25th Anniversary. 

For more information, contact: 
Marie Nazar, Arts Publicist, Pattison Onestop – 416.762.7702 or mnazar@idirect.ca
Joanne Smale/Jennyfer Sanchez, Planet3 Communications Ltd. – 647.346.4101 or info@planet3com.net