Svava Thordis Juliusson is a sculptor who works with zip-ties and other found materials. In "Ties That Bind" she has installed sculpture from the "Svona, Svona" series, and the "Nerve" series. "Svona, svona" is a term of consolation in the Icelandic tongue, the equivalent of saying "There, there", while gently patting a crying child on the back.
The work is as delicate and ephemeral as hoar frost on a window: extremely difficult to capture in a photograph. In some instances, the shadow made by the sculpture is more prominent than the piece itself, giving the sense that the work is at once present, and not present.
Juliusson was born in Siglufjordur, Iceland, immigrating to the Canadian prairies at age ten. She began undergraduate studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design in 1993 and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at NSCAD University in 1997. Juliusson completed her MFA in studio at York University in 2007.
"Svona II" is a larger and more robust work, approximately 6 feet outstretched. It is constructed of heavier cable ties (approximately 3500 of them). Suspended from the ceiling, it has an oddly anthropomorphic quality, and seems to bow in a formal, albeit icy, gesture of greeting. The cable ties glitter and have the property of capturing even the weakest rays of ambient light. The work has a shimmery glow when the lights are turned down.
Two examples of the smaller works which comprise the "Nerve" series are seen below:
"I am interested in using and manipulating traditional sculpture techniques and various non-traditional sculpture materials to express my concerns and ideas. There is often a blurring of that which locates me as an artist who is compelled to consider for example the pigeon and that which causes me to reflect on rearing children and planting a garden. The studio investigations, which often commence at the kitchen table or the laundry room, tend to oscillate between a curiosity of the methods and materials of object making and the desire to articulate a response to my surroundings and certain events such the much publicized outbreaks of Avian Flu, Hoof and Mouth disease and BSE; which have become illustrative of the beginnings of the 21st century."
"Ideas around transformation are at root of my current studio investigations. After recent move, a recent graduate degree and recent entry into my fortieth decade, I became overwhelmed with my surroundings and specifically the objects, the material or stuff that I have accumulated in cupboards, closets and bins in my home and in my studio. This is not the ordinary kind of clutter; there are containers full of Styrofoam balls and some that contain only shards of plaster; and others that are full of bungee cord remnants and pieces of old linoleum. So rather than taking it all to the landfill as was my first instinct, I have begun to re-assemble, or re-invent the accrual. Some of it has been already configured directly on the walls of my studio, and other works were developed on paper. Simply put however, the project is about recycling – a topical and highly politicized issue that relates to my ongoing desire to respond to current events - and the idea that all of my detritus can become something else."
"tiedwithgreenredyellow" (metal packing straps, coloured zip ties, approx 50" x 40 ")
"Ties That Bind" will be on view at A.K. Collings Gallery until June 27, 2009.