Irene Whittome

Canadian, b. 1942

Slate, 1978–1980

wood, paper, encaustic, pins, powder pigment, felt pen, graphite, India ink, masking tape, Plexiglas

246.4 x 124.4 cm

Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Acquired with funds from Shell Canada Limited



Sculpture, Canadian Modern (1910-1979)

Slate is constructed from shoemaker order forms and dressmaker pins on a panel made of two slabs of Ten Test (a wood fibre insulation), on a sheet of plywood. The WAG piece comes from a series entitled Paperworks, executed by the Vancouver-born artist. Whittome submerged the surrounding graphic surface in a wash of incised wax. Its contents and arrangement poetically suggest the surgical dissection of an information storage unit, for instance, the evisceration of a library card catalogue filing cabinet. As such, the work highlights the way in which knowledge and information are made tangibly manifest in the world. The words, numbers, and data fields transmit ideas and concepts; yet, these same elements exert a physical presence though their own pattern and texture.

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