Exhibition Info

Jul 25 - Aug 29, 2020
10572 115 st, Edmonton, AB T5H 3K6

Wed-Fri | 12pm – 6pm
Sat | 12pm – 5pm

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Through her book artist’s practice (Penrose Press) Brianna Tosswill navigates collaborative book-making, and stretches her viewers/readers’ notions of what a book looks, smells, and feels like, as well as how it can be read. She has created scrolls to eliminate page turning, editioned folklore with lipstick, folded mailable poetry into the most beautiful of envelopes, and is in the midst of designing a book meant to be drenched in the ocean.

In this window space, she lays out a narrative pattern complete with beginning, middle, and end. It bears little resemblance to a book, for all that it has a few hundred pages, a bunch of thread, and you can read it from left to right. As Tosswill reflects on past book projects⁠—book problems⁠—book solutions⁠—she comes back to all the things that don’t make it into a finished work: from perfectly good extra pages, to APs, to ink tests and lino blocks. Her installation includes all of these work-in-progress paraphernalia on a backdrop of mathematically complicated tiles that nod to the logic of bookbinding.1 These bits and pieces are made by the artist, essential to the making, but rarely see the light of day. What stories does a misfit misregistration have to tell you that an editioned print cannot? When you peruse her landscape/timeline of beautiful mistakes and painful perfection, try to keep in mind that an artist’s book is anything an artist tells you is a book.2


1. A note on the math: the leftmost, and centre patterns are both letterpress printed on sheets of 8×8” and 7×7”. The maze is a linocut reduction. The hedge is a 3-layer polymer plate print. Instead of tiling by simple translation, the motif is created by rotating every other tile 90 degrees, so that every side does not match with its opposite, but with its adjacent side. This allows for a less discernible, larger repeated section. In the same way, laying out the signatures of a book is not as straightforward as it seems. Before the pages are folded and nested page fourteen is not always next to page fifteen; it could be, or it could be next to a page that is off by a factor of four: page nineteen, or page twenty-three. Don’t be fooled by the people who claim that all artists are bad at math. Some of them love it.

2. Artists book definition by Faith Hale.


Brianna Tosswill is an artist who expresses herself and others in print and book format. She explores the  limits and unique opportunities of letterpress printmaking in her work and is preoccupied with geometry and mathematics. She obtained her BFA in Printmaking with distinction from OCAD University in 2017, and spent two years as an active member at Open Studio in Toronto.  She is currently working out of SNAP Printshop in Edmonton, Alberta.


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