July 2016, interview with Audrey Hudson, on Quantization: Episode 4. A Colour has many Faces, podcast.

July 14, 2014, interview with Justin Trottier, on The Star Spot: Episode 56. The Art of Astronomy, July 14, 2014. podcast.

June 1, 2013, Emma Teitel. "She Comes in Colours Everywhere ", Macleans, June 1, 2013. print.

April 2013, interview with Tara Akitt, on Square Derivatives show, ARTtoronto.ca

October 2008, interview with Phil Mozel, A Moment with Dr. Robin Kingsburgh, for Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 102, No. 5, pp 206-207.


Interview questions from ArtTheScience:

Which came first in your life, the science or the art?

The science was a little bit earlier, but the art was not long after. I became interested in astronomy as a kid. We would spend August on Lake Huron at Sauble Beach, Ontario. Watching the Perseids got me hooked on the sky – my cousin and I would get the beach chairs out at night and look for meteors. I soon started reading up on astronomy, and around grade 8, started doing science fair projects on thing like black holes and the solar neutrino problem. I also had an uncle who helped me with the science fair projects and gave me old astronomy textbooks and popular science books by Isaac Asimov. In grade 9, I started taking art and remember a pivotal moment on a field trip to the Art Gallery of Ontario, sitting in front of a Mark Rothko painting. I was profoundly moved by his colour fields and found a strong resonance with abstraction. Even though I ended up studying astronomy and physics in University, art played a parallel and supporting role all the way.

Which sciences relate to your art practice?

The way I work now doesn’t generally draw directly upon science. I think my training in astronomy and physics, and current work as a science educator, are manifest in my artwork in an intuitive way. In the past, I would draw directly upon scientific ideas in quantum mechanics, particle physics, astrophysics, and render them in a visual way.  One piece in particular was transformational for me to start working the more intuitive way that I do now. It was an interactive, kinetic piece called the Maxwell Machine (inspired by Maxwell’s equations), which had a piece of plexiglass over magnets and solenoids that you could turn off and on. On top of the plexi were iron filings, so with your interaction with the piece you would create various patterns in the iron filings. I really liked the iron filings and wanted to capture the patterns they made more permanently, and started placing paper with a layer of gel medium – which would hold the iron filings. The iron filings started to rust and change, and got me interested in random and unexpected processes in artmaking. The way I laid down the gel medium got more and more gestural and abstract, and I became less interested in working from scientific concepts and more interested in responding to markmaking on a visceral level.

Today I am quite interested in geometry, and how in our minds we can have Pythagorean notions of the perfect square, the perfect circle.  But rendered by the human hand, the perfect becomes imperfect.  I start with ideas about a square or a circle or a pattern, and take inspiration from the grain of wood or splashed paint on raw canvas, and play with the interaction of order and chaos. A grid becomes a broken grid. In an attempt to understand and maybe transcend the chaotic Universe, we humans have imposed grids and mathematical formalisms, on structures which cannot be contained. To me the square speaks to being human, and represents the balance between order and chaos, or more precisely the human attempt to understand and transcend the ever-present chaos, at all levels of scale. I find the visceral quality of paint can strongly invoke the tension between order and chaos, and look for the point where chaotic energy can paradoxically be still.

What materials do you use to create your artworks?

Most of my work is done in acrylic paint, but I also use paper, photocopy, magic markers and other materials for collage. Some of my work is on found objects (old frames, IKEA shelves found in the garbage).

Artwork/Exhibition you are most proud of:

I have a series of paintings called After Harmonia, which were inspired by an immersive sound and video work called Harmonia, (Concept by Christos Hatzis, realization by Bruno Degazio. https://vimeo.com/19764382 ). In Harmonia, Hatzis & Degazio render harmonics in sound, time and space, creating pulsating strings that invoke both cosmological and microscopic scales, and invite a profound transcendence.    

In After Harmonia, I was interested in rendering a similar process of harmonics, yet I was interested in imposing the chaotic on the perfect, and amplifying the chaos. So the chords in the circle are loose and imprecise and imperfect. In addition, the piece is on a wood panel and I worked with a palette knife and the physical gesture of drawing the lines and hitting the palette knife on the wood was rough and quite noisy, contrasting the preciseness of the sound in Harmonia.

Which scientists and/or artists inspire and/or have influenced you?

I love the work of Sean Scully. He talks about using the horizontal and the vertical as organizing principles, and that strongly resonates with me.