Common objects are how one Canadian artist explores complex social and political issues.
Kristin Nelson said the goal of her artwork is to have people re-think the value of labour and focus more on the human body, rather than what it can be used to produce.
She uses material such as paper cups, curtains, yarn paper towel and even an electric fan taped to a wall to question the value of mass-produced objects by putting them in an artistic context.
“Often, my attempt is to reposition how we value labour beyond a capitalist or Marxist value approach. This repositioning of labour – as seen through a disability studies lens – places value on the body itself,” said Nelson, who identifies as a queer person with a disability.
Nelson will speak on Feb. 24 about her work as part of North Island College’s (NIC) Artist Talk series, held on Zoom. The event is free and open to the public.
“Kristin’s prolific work is a great example of how, as artists, our approach to creating can illuminate our understanding of issues that are mired in various societal and political factors,” said Sara Vipond, NIC School of Fine Art department chair. “We’re honoured to have this artist join us for our series.”
Nelson, originally from Ajax, Ont., received her bachelor of fine arts in visual arts from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design and completed her master of fine arts at Concordia University.
Since completing her academic training, Nelson has been resident artist at Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, Artspace in Sydney, Australia and the Banff Centre for the Arts (2008). She has also exhibited work across Canada and North America.
Artist Talk presentations offer insight into each artist’s professional art practice. The talks are one hour in length followed by a short question period. The winter 2021 series is being held online via Zoom, with a range of dates and times chosen to align with NIC Fine Art and Digital Design + Development classes.