Forrest Andrew Meyer

Toronto Rewilded: Creating a Handbook for Native Ecological Growth

Global urbanism has left almost no room for native ecology, this has an adverse effect on biodiversity, so adverse that biodiversity has been lost at an alarming rate globally, accounting for between 50-70% of species eradication. Having witnessed firsthand on the land I grew up on, the immense positives of native plantings on the creation of biodiversity, I am eager to implement native plantings in an architectural thesis. Not only is this important to flora and fauna, and the environment, but also for the biophilic connection humans crave with their environs. The reintroduction and preservation of native plantings, species, and by extension, ecosystems is a process now coined as rewilding. This thesis is an exploration of the implementation of rewilding in our ever-urbanizing world. How can a city adopt strategies to combat the severe loss of biodiversity? How can we push the bounds of what is acceptably wild in our cities? What does wild mean to us?

Objects and Apparitions: A Portable Museum

Objects and Apparitions: A Portable Museum, a ghostly sculptural prints collection displays portable pedestal-like museum spaces for the thesis works. This space combines three-dimensional printmaking works with paper and wooden objects on pedestal, three two-dimensional hanging tapestries, with a series of prints on the wall. My transformable and portable wooden structures for printmaking take some selective belongings with the purpose of finding the curiosities from my nomadic life. From a gentrified home to temporary art studios, my continuous stories from printmaking allow me to find new directions to guide my next journey.

A museum is a heterotopic place where people gather to see historical objects and artworks from different timelines. When I enter each room of thematic exhibitions regarding histories, local society, or curatorial visions, I discover new inspirations as if I were time-traveling. One type of work I can always count on finding in a museum is the “still life”. Even if I don't fully understand every style or culture in history in the hidden metaphors and descriptions from the notes, the  objects within the still life reflect rhetorical expressions from that time. Within the category of still life, is the more unusual style of Trompe l’oeil, the French artistic term for presenting realistic optical illusions of three-dimensional spaces or objects on a two-dimensional surface. My current thesis work, Objects and Apparitions: A Portable Museum, is a three-dimensional printmaking collection containing both monochromatic and chromatic memories regarding belongings from nomadic lives. It presents how I can survive in a temporal and specific space for making and presenting artworks. The medium of printmaking  allows me to see who I am, express myself and explore  the desire of working with archiving, layering images, arranging objects and patterns. This work holds the same warm memories in my family photo albums that come alive with the addition of  window frames and door structures. These objects are associated with the interior threshold of my family's home so I have borrowed these architectural forms to act as nonfunctional furniture. I feel safe and cozy in nostalgic spaces like the parlor of my family home that no longer exists due to rebuilding activities and resulting gentrification in my neighborhood in 2007. 

The wooden structures for printmaking that I use hold the stories of my belongings. Finding the curiosities of my own narratives, I incorporate personal selective archives from my grandmother's old fabric patterns and family photo albums, replacing a gentrified home with significant art objects from my studio. My attention to capturing those stories in a single form presents new directions for my next journey. My translucent works allow viewers to observe each other as well as other artists' work. Ghostly prints absorb a playful camouflage of patterns, colors, and dimensional objects inside wooden portable containers. The various forms and materials that my collages are made of embody this feeling of kinship and the meaning of change.

Silkscreen on windowscreen, acrylic paints, wood, fabric, etc


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