Bulthaup Toronto is pleased to present a selection of recent collages by papermaking artist, Tanya Norman.
This is the second exhibition of a local contemporary artist within the bulthaup Toronto showroom on King Street East.
Born in Saskatoon, Norman’s love for papermaking took her to Japan, where she learned the art of washi, a
Japanese handmade paper that is extremely durable, versatile and ecologically sound. She studied under
several washi masters, including “living national treasure” Sajio Hamada. Traditionally, washi was the offseason
work of Japanese farmers, who attend to every aspect of creating their paper, from making the
required tools and growing the kozo (Japanese mulberry) to cooking, cleaning and hand-beating the kozo
fibre into a pulp, which they press into sheets and which they dye or print. Fewer than 300 families in
Japan continue to practice this painstaking process.
Norman creates collaged paintings from papers that she has made and dyed, as well as washi that she has
collected. Some of these papers are katazome (stencil) dyed, while others are surface dyed, made with
dyed pulp or coloured with natural dyes such as indigo. Some of the washi in Norman’s collection was salvaged
from a fire at the Japanese Paper Place in Toronto; many of these vintage papers are no longer
available, as their makers have passed on. For this reason, even the smallest scraps are used and can be
identified by paper lovers.
“Florid” (red), “Slumber” (grey), “Flurry” (blue) and “Awakening” (green), are the four collaged paintings that comprise
Tetraology. They evoke aerial views of the prairie’s patchwork landscape over the four seasons, with
awe-inspiring river valleys and seemingly boundless skies. Each work is developed from a unique combination
of papers, palettes, textures and techniques.
Norman works from her studio in Toronto and teaches art at the Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.