Joel Doyle detailWhat does it take to sustain oneself through means that are not limited but local, provided the castoffs of those living otherwise?

Opening Friday, September 11, 7pm — part of SWARM
Curated by Zebulon Zang

In his practice Joël Doyle addresses an interrelation between craft, labour and material as a matrix for the production of art. Working primarily in sculpture and installation, Doyle’s most recent series utilizes cast-offs from his own work in construction and carpentry. Through materials Doyle weaves connections between labour with economic consequences (i.e. a day job) and how it feeds the labour attached to personal edification (i.e. artwork). While this focus exemplifies the double bind of art and industry as perpetually tethered to one another, Doyle also retains a primary focus on key sculptural and architectural elements such as balance, gravity and depth. With sculptures made from pieces of deconstructed homes there is sustained attention to the body’s relationship with constructed space as these once architectural materials are reconstituted into new forms or spaces of encapsulation.

UNIT/PITT is commemorating the 1975 founding of the Helen Pitt Gallery with eight months of exhibitions, performances, talks, and public actions collectively called 2055. Rather than celebrating a 40th anniversary (which many thought we would never reach), we are treating 2015-2016 as a mid-point in a projected 80-year arc, projecting hypothetical futures and referencing as-yet-incomplete histories. Doyle’s proposition plays against the increasingly glass and steel future of Vancouver and replaces the local tendency of tear down and replace with a predisposition towards salvage and reuse.

Doyle’s reworkings act as a proposition for durable construction that comes from what already exists. In place of simply keeping a facade to disguise an entirely new interior, every piece in each construction is given both a new skin and a new function, figured and understood through the limitations of what may be found. It is not  simply the preservation of an image of the past but the renewal of  matter. Doyle’s work proposes a space in which is not up or down or recycling but alteration of core principles.

Joël Doyle works as both an artist and carpenter on Cortes Island, B.C. He attended the Alberta College of Art and Design, and received his BFA from the  Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Doyle’s life in a small rural community heavily informs his practice which uses primarily found, salvaged and raw materials to address the  interrelationship between humans and the natural environment in a modern context.

Zebulon Zang is an artist from Maillardville, B.C., working primarily film and photography. He founded the Maillardville Cultural Appreciation Society, an experimental exhibition space, in 2013. In the coming year he will be organizing the UNIT/PITT Radio as part of its 40th anniversary programs.

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