Fine Arts students Tarin Hughes and Samantha Ullyot chose the Dana Porter Library as the site for their term installation project “curiouser & curiouser.”
The work uses a selection of children’s books set into cement and is located on the seventh floor of Porter, nestled amongst books on Canadian foreign policy and international relations.
"We were interested in working with the symbolism found in books, and the intense meanings that can be derived from the titles and contents," says Hughes. To build the work, Hughes and Ullyot used children's books purchased from a local book store with titles relating to teaching about manners, behaviors, skills, and moods and then cast these into a cement mold.
As Hughes notes, selecting cement as the medium is of central importance to the piece. "Cement is a fascinating material, resulting from our natural surroundings; also it is constantly curing and hardening. . . . it brings to the work a sense of constant process and change, the books continue to become embedded within their container. Having the books within this cast creates a tension between wanting to read the information inside of the books, but only being able to view their titles and a bit of the pictures on the cover pages. This contrasts with the other books surrounding the work itself and defies the intention and function of books; to be opened, read and learned from."
By placing the work where they did, Hughes and Ullyot provide commentary on the state of Canadian politics. "By placing our sculpture in this section we were commenting on Canadian politicians and Canadian political international relations; basically how our politicians represent us in the global community."
Both Hughes and Ullyot are active within the Fine Arts community and have played a key role in the rejuvenation of the student-run gallery Artery, located in downtown Kitchener. Hughes is currently Co-Director of Artery and Ullyot is this year's Curatorial Resident. Artery will be opening its Variations in Key exhibit on November 22, with a reception from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
Hughes and Ullyot's art installation remains at Porter until the end of the fall term, located on the seventh floor, across from the public computers.
For more information on exhibiting within the Library, contact:
Communications and Liaison Librarian