On February 22, 2017, NASA announced the existence of the TRAPPIST-1 exoplanet system of Earth-sized planets orbiting a single star. Their positions are so closely aligned that they are likely tidally locked in place, with the same side forever facing the sun. Three of these planets fall within the habitable zone of supporting the liquid water needed to support life as we know it.
Within days of this revelation, four Hamilton artists got together at a local bar to plan an exhibition.
Beginning from a new short story written by author and multimedia artist Gary Barwin, The Library of Known Planets imagines a mythology for a planet where time of day is rooted in place. Told from the perspective of a young girl coming of age in a city of endless noon, Barwin’s sci-fi fable reflects the imaginative drive to conceive and comprehend the others who may live in times and places beyond our own.
Drawing on the sun-rusted imagery of Gary Barwin’s short story and a broader cultural language of astronomical exploration, Laine Groeneweg, Steve Mazza and Stephanie Vegh have created new works that extend the imaginative reach of TRAPPIST-1 and its possible worlds in their respective media of printmaking, sculpture and drawing. A limited edition volume of The Library of Known Planets designed by Gary Barwin and printed by Laine Groeneweg will also be displayed for reading purpose
Gary Barwin is a writer, composer, performer and multidisciplinary artist and the author of twenty-one books of poetry, fiction and books for children. His latest book is the poetry collection No TV for Woodpeckers (Wolsak and Wynn). His recent national bestselling novel Yiddish for Pirates (Random House Canada) was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Leacock Medal. A PhD in music composition, Barwin will be writer-in- residence at McMaster University and the Hamilton Public Library in 2017-2018 and is on the CBC Poetry Prize jury for 2017. He has taught creative writing at a number of colleges and universities and is currently writer-in- residence for at-risk youth. Barwin lives in Hamilton, Ontario with vague and unsettling feelings about Toronto.
Laine Groeneweg Laine Groeneweg is printmaker currently living in Hamilton. He received his BFA from York University in 2004 and subsequently trained at Fondazione Il Bisonte Per Lo Studio Dell’Arte Grafica in Florence, Italy with a focus on intaglio printmaking. Often characterized by themes of dream and play, his whimsical imagery blurs the line between reality and fiction. Laine's prints have been shown both Nationally and Internationally and is held in the permanent collections of the Ekaterinburg Museum of Fine Arts (Ekaterinburg, Russia), Art Gallery of New South Wales (Sydney, Australia), and in the archives at Fondazione Il Bisonte Per Lo Studio Dell’Arte Grafica (Florence,Italy). In 2012 Laine opened Smokestack in Hamilton, Ontario – a studio that focuses on limited edition printing and the production of print-based artist projects.
Stephanie Vegh is a visual artist and writer who obtained her Combined Honours BA in Art and Comparative Literature from McMaster University before completing her MFA at the Glasgow School of Art. She has since served as Artist-in-Residence at the Repton School in Derbyshire, England and written essays and reviews for various galleries and publications in the United Kingdom and Canada. Since returning to Hamilton in 2007, her drawings have been included in group and solo exhibitions in Glasgow, Leeds, Hamilton, Toronto, Kitchener and Winnipeg.
Steve Mazza is a Hamilton artist and maker who makes a lot of things that can usually be classified as sculpture. He uses a variety of traditional building processes, but for some time now has incorporated digital sculpting and 3D printing into his work as well. He enjoys exploring the intersection of handmade and computer assisted art and trying to figure out what that means for the creative process. Steve also applies his skills in theatre as a props builder and is currently Head of Props for the Sheridan College Technical Theatre and Live Entertainment program.