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Makeshift Tales / Elizabeth D'Agostino

Alberta Printmakers
Event organized by Alberta Printmakers

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"In Makeshift Tales, Elizabeth D’Agostino embraces improvisational experimentation and adaptive problem-solving in both her technical approach to material making and in the conceptual issues she chooses to engage. Drawing on environmental debates surrounding species extinction, biotechnology, genetic engineering, climate change, urban
expansion and population pressures, D’Agostino creates a fantastical floating world of miniature architectures and hybrid life forms. Set against a printed backdrop of layered narrative veils illustrating a complex history of sociobiological interactions, her mixed media prints and sculptural assemblages model evolutionary processes in their very construction, tapping into print’s historical propensity for adapting and combining
rapidly transforming technologies and strategies of mimetic reproduction.

Semi-transparent layers of silkscreened, etched, and mono-printed Japanese washi paper (gampi) are grafted onto wood, ceramic, and paper clay surfaces. Tissue-thin, this delicate paper is sensitive to its surroundings, becoming gently animated with the shifting movements of the viewer in the gallery space. Though seemingly fragile, gampi is made with long inner plant-based fibres, which are stretched rather than chopped and is thus deceptively stronger and more resilient than Western rag or pulp-based papers, which are made with shorter fibres.
D’Agostino’s work regularly plays with such material and conceptual contradictions—strength in fragility, variability in originality, singularity in multiplicity."

--Jenn Law, 2018

Elizabeth D’Agostino holds a BFA from the University of Windsor and a MFA from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and internationally including Iziko: Museum of Cape Town, South Africa, Manhattan Graphics Center, New York, and The Print Center, Philadelphia. In addition, D’Agostino’s prints can also be found in many private and public collections including the University of Changchun Jilin, China; Anchor Graphics at Columbia College Chicago, Illinois, Department of Foreign Affairs Canada, and Ernst and Young, Canada. D’Agostino is the recipient of many awards and including the Hexagon Special Projects Fellowship at Open Studio, Toronto.
In 2015, she was selected by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada to create the custom carpet design for the Ontario Room in the newly renovated Canada House, London, England.
Elizabeth D’Agostino lives and works in Toronto and is a member of Open Studio Fine Art Printmaking Centre and Loop Gallery.