The studio is both a magical and profoundly practical place. It is a site that serves the grand pursuits of contemplation and creativity while meeting the functional requirements of production, storage, and distribution. In the studio, artworks coexist in an entirely uncontrived dialogue. Pieces deemed unworthy of display are seen alongside of works recognized as major achievements. The spontaneous and utilitarian array of source material, early work, and failed or unfinished projects presents delightful complications to the neat gallery-spun narratives that often define an artist’s development. The studio is where art can be seen in its natural habitat, it is a pre-interpretative space that gives us access to the raw materials of creative production.
The photographs in this series document artists at work in studios that range from monastic to whimsical to chaotic. These private and highly individual workspaces speak volumes about artists’ processes and personalities. Among the daily rituals that take place in these one-person factories, we find individual methods and practices so distinct that they become the hallmark of an artist’s output. Space and process exist in a strange symbiosis: the artist’s trademark processes define the workspace, just as the workspace dictates the parameters of the process. The studio is the crossroads where space and process meet; it provides a unique vantage point on linkages between form and content and allows for the formation of rich meandering narratives of artistic development.
Thanks for the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council for helping to support this project