Winner of the AGN’s Juried Exhibition in 2020, Elayne Windsor, uses walking as a purposeful part of the concept and process of her work. A combination of mixed media and collage work leads viewers through a journey of observations, undiscovered paths, map creation, and new potential routes on canvas.
Exhibition Celebration, June 4, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
Elayne Windsor | A Way of Walking
Olinda Casimiro, Executive Director
Collage: from the French verb ‘coller’, meaning “to glue,” is the artistic process of gluing and assembling various materials to a flat surface. Collage can refer to both the actual procedure of cutting and pasting, as well as to the final artistic product.
Walking is one of humankind’s most basic acts, so practical and ordinary that it usually goes unconsidered – unless you are tracking your daily required 10,000 steps! Beyond its everyday utility and purposefulness, walking often carries other pursuits along with it—meditative, spiritual, adventurous. People walk to relax, to exercise, to complete a journey. Some also walk to think. At the core of activities such as strolling or hiking are sensory experiences that enable a connection with nature and the environment as well as a new experience of the self. For Elayne Windsor walking is a purposeful part of the concept and process of her work. She is inspired by taking walks, visually documenting the pathways, trails, field trips, hikes, strolls – she uses walking as a structure underpinning the act of recording a journey and its observations revealing new and undiscovered paths or alternative maps creating potential new routes on canvas – it is a way of walking.
In the studio, Windsor uses a variety of papers and carefully outlines her visual paths. The combination of textures and collage elements allows for an unrestricted approach to creating art. The visual paths are recorded as patterns with continuous repetition making the works seem active. Closely looking at these mixed media works reveals a meticulous accuracy of dots, points, lines and curves. Her cut outs give a nod to Henri Matisse while others focus on the colour field.
Windsor tends to gather her materials in boxes according to colour, giving the colour field an important and dynamic role. She uses a variety of papers, playing cards, maps, magazines, and books, an endless supply of materials, nothing is wasted. A typical household throws away about 13,000 pieces of paper each year. Sensitive to the amount of paper consumption, Windsor takes time to honour paper, reflecting on each piece, the stories it holds and begins a journey of creating a new opportunity for it. She also purchases papers and often finds materials at thrift shops and people will drop off unwanted paper products, one neighbour dropped off old passports. Windsor says, “I want the viewer to experience the various fragments of memories held by the paper, paper which melds together to create complex images. These images- like individual people- reveal deeper meanings as you lean in and spend time getting to know each piece.”
Collage has been a part of Windsor’s artistic practice since the beginning, her process is intimate, she is recording the visual paths from memory, she starts cutting pieces and assembling the different parts, gluing, pressing and recutting the different parts to create their finished shape. Usually, Windsor assembles her different parts without glue first, trying out different compositions until she is satisfied. This can be a long and labourious process. When she’s happy with the composition, she transfers the parts onto a board or canvas and glues them. Sometimes, she will alter the works, even décollage works to create her final compositions.
We are invited to spend time with each work – looking slowly and closely, lean in and explore the connection and relationship of each work. Each dot, each circle, each path is leading us to another, much like a visual path delivering new landscapes, and fresh perspectives.