Cecelia Leddy’s medal award-winning project Perpetual Paths is a series of etchings and prints on layers of transparent acrylic that explore the origins of personal identity and human connectedness. Here’s how she describes it:
Perpetual Paths consists of silkscreen and dry-point on overlapped Plexiglass structures, using light boxes to illuminate or accent the areas of interest. My work is an investigation of the origins of human identity and how we come to shape who we are.
What inspired you and motivated you to do this project?
Conceptually, I was driven by my curiosity towards what makes people so different or alike, so I began to focus on the development of our identity, using the philosophies of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari as a foundation for my research. I became fascinated by the thought that each individual person is an accumulation of their own unique experiences of the world and the people they encounter within it. The idea of accumulation stuck with me and I began layering and overlapping my prints until I created dense masses made out of individual segments. I continued to allow these clusters to grow until it became impossible to distinguish between the layers.
What part of the process of creating this project did you learn the most from?
Through creation of my work I really challenged myself to apply printmaking techniques to other materials, which allowed my practice to grow in a way I never expected. I explored alternative methods to expand printmaking beyond ink on paper and used this opportunity to take advantage of some of OCAD U’s facilities (the woodshop, plastic shop and rapid prototyping center). I learned how to make each piece as I went, through trial and error, and through the support of the technicians and class assistants. I learned to not be afraid to ask for help.
What aspect of this project are you the most proud of?
I am most proud of how it stands on its own and doesn’t need me there to defend it. I am proud to have created the evidence, which shows my development as an artist. Perpetual Paths reflects the creative and conceptual growth of my practice, and it is very rewarding to see how far I’ve come.
How did you react to the news that you won a medal for your work?
I was ecstatic! I was already very proud of the work I had created regardless, but to be recognized out of all the talent within OCAD U is such an honour. Second to my excitement was a sense of extreme gratitude towards all those who helped me along the way.
What’s your fondest memory from your studies at OCAD U, and what will you miss the most?
I have such a deep love and appreciation for the faculty, staff and students who make up the community of the Printmaking program. I had such support from everyone, making it such an enjoyable and conductive work environment. It’s strange to say, but I’m going to miss getting to the studios at 8 a.m. and not leaving until 1 a.m., feeling sore, hungry and exhausted. I’m going to miss laughing in the studios, printing for hours on end, and spending all day doing what I love with my friends. OCAD U was my home away from home, and if it were open 24 hours, I would have only ever left to go as far as The Grange.
What are you planning to do next?
I’m working hard to create a studio environment at home where I can begin my next set of projects that I have planned. I’m really excited to begin assembling plastic structures and continue creating print-based light boxes. I would love to expand with this direction and begin working much larger — my goal is to overwhelm walls with my masses.
Currently, I am focusing on applying to printmaking opportunities within Canada, however I also intend to pursue a Small Business Certificate program in order to gain the skills to become an effective entrepreneur. In the future, I would love to have the opportunity to pursue a Masters program in Printmaking and potentially be able to inspire and help other young artists reach their goals.
Find out more about Cecelia Leddy