Skip to main content Skip to local navigation
Home » Research Excellence » Research Projects

Research Projects

Professor Holly Ward

Fluid States is an exhibition of new work by interdisciplinary artist Holly Ward. This timely, thought-provoking project deploys a series of creative practices aimed towards developing a deeper understanding of water, and our connection to it.

This installation is centred around a large-scale drawing on fabric, created using a ‘floating ink’ technique in which drops of ink are manipulated on the surface of the water. Ward collected the water used in this process from Heffley Creek/Tk’emlúps (Secwepemc territory), which is a watershed connected to the Thompson River. At the time, the waterway was being drilled under by Coastal Gas Link, who are the proprietors of the TMX pipeline. Other works in this exhibition include ceramic sculpture and video footage shot along the Heffley-Louis Creek, North Thompson, and Fraser Rivers.

Weblink also provided:

Professor Brandon Vickerd

Commissioned by the City of Ottawa  In recent years my public art practice has explored notions of constructed history, focusing on how changes in the urban environment can be documented through public art. In a recent project titled Dwell (2018), I worked with the community of Barrhaven (Ottawa, ON) to explore the social significance of the site for the proposed public art project. A four-month-long residency period made an essential contribution to the development of the final artwork that addresses issues of history, gentrification, and collective identity. I approached this community collaboration by connecting with the surrounding neighbourhoods through organized and informal events which included workshops, storytelling opportunities, and other socially engaged processes of research. The resulting artwork, Dwell, is a representation of a farmhouse that was demolished to enable the widening of the main thoroughfare in town (Greenbanks Road). Rendered in steel and cantilevered forty feet above the ground, Dwell explores what remains when a town changes and the community evolves through time. This collaborative community-based approach demanded flexibility and an open-minded approach to developing the artwork. I found this approach challenging, but ultimately rewarding because it resulted in a work of art that has social significance for the community and a sense of communal ownership emerged through the process. 

Professor Barbara Balfour

My medium is ink. Whether in the form of hand-printed lithographs, immersive print installations, commercially printed bookplates, biodegradable danger tape, or artists’ books and multiples, I work primarily in print media. Much of my practice is text-based, often using my own handwriting and quoting the writing of others. Recurrent themes appear in my work: instances of repetition and reproducibility; the lasting impact of ephemera; relationships between the formal and the emotional; and issues related to mortality and death.

I present papers on a regular basis at conferences hosted by: the College Art Association and David Foster Wallace Society (USA), UAAC (Canada), and IMPACT International Print (Scotland, China, Spain, UK). My artists’ books and multiples have been launched at: Art Metropole (Toronto); Printed Matter (New York); LA Art Book Fair (Los Angeles); Material Art Fair (Mexico City); and the Toronto Art Book Fair.

My writing appears in various journals, with my essay “The What and the Why of Print” appearing in Perspectives on Contemporary Print: Critical Writing since 1986 (Manchester University Press, 2017). Curatorial projects include À la recherche – in search of practice-based research, exhibition and two-volume publication (Open Studio, Toronto, 2017).

Recent art projects include the site-specific outdoor installation DANGER (Kunsttemplel, Kassel, Germany); commissioned artist’s book Too Early for Stars (Shandy Hall, Coxwald, UK); participation in the Echigo Tsumari International Mail Art Exhibition (Japan); Knowledge Garden Seed Packages (with Between Collectives and concurrent with Gudskul’s Knowledge Garden Festival, AGYU, Toronto); and Model Cottage (3-D printed sculpture), all in 2021.

Learn More

The Graduate Program in Visual Art at York is an exciting environment to pursue innovative, socially engaging, career-ready education. Contact our Graduate Program Assistant to learn more.