Four artists will live and work in Durham in the four weeks leading up to the festival. They will have the opportunity to create new work and interact with the local community, through workshops, artists talks and social gatherings.
Emily Cook's artwork is rooted in an exploration of the materiality of handmade paper. She uses the natural ability of paper to hold a physical memory of how it was made, to explore such broad themes as the passage of time, and such intimate themes as love and loss. She makes large sculptural installations as well as small intimate handmade books. She likes her artwork to be touched. Often something that looks delicate will feel strong and the only way to know that is through touch. She is interested in making books in part because of the implied permission to touch them.
Cook holds a MFA in Printmaking from Louisiana State University. Over the past ten years, her work has been acknowledged with numerous exhibitions and awards in the United States and Canada. Her most recent solo exhibition, Dextrocardia, was presented at Lennox Contemporary in Toronto. She lives and works in Toronto, Ontario and runs a custompapermaking studio.
Tom Leonhardt is re-emerging as an artist after surviving a stroke several years ago. In his previous life he helped establish InterAccess electronic media arts centre and was active for many years in Toronto as a artist, designer, teacher and collaborator. Using his computer programming, fabrication and image making skills, he has created a wide variety of interactive media projects on both the web and in the physical world. A graduate of the Photo-Electric department in the Ontario College of Art, he later received an MFA in Media Studies from SUNY in Buffalo.
Post-stroke, the social and political concerns of his previous life have given way to a more self-centered reflection on the relationship between mind, body and spirit. During his residency Tom will work with his collection of personal brain scans: projecting them onto his body and the walls of the former Knechtel Mill in Durham. The combination of both internal and external portraits will attempt to express the disconnect he currently feels inside, along with his hopes for a gradual reintegration.
Former Peterboroughian, Toronto-based writer, artist and curator Jes Sachse is known for the unapologetic and provocative nature of her work, welded from a genderqueer, femmecrip, poet & general badass identity.
Kazumi Tsuruoka is a charismatic performer and speaker and was a disability-rights' activist during the 1970's. He worked with the Toronto school system speaking about disability through the prism of his own experience with Cerebral Palsy. He was a core member of the Toronto Theatre Alliance's DIS THIS! Artists Group, a member and advisor for the Picasso Project and is a member of its SWAT Team advisory. He participated in a Disability Arts Focus group at the Canada Council for the Arts, and was a panelist at the CCA's Diversity Conference in 2007.
Kazumi has trained in movement, voice and theatre performance. He co-created Sampson's Hair, a semi-autobiographical theatre work. He has performed in E(merge)ncy at SummerWorks, the KickstART Festival in Vancouver and at two Ryerson "Culture Cauldrons." He co-created and performed in the inaugural CP Salon in Toronto and its follow-up tours. He is featured in the documentary film How Does It Feel (which will be screened Thursday, Sept. 26 at the Festival) by Lawrence Jackman. Most recently, Kazumi performed with Tania Gill at Front and Centre, a celebration of disability arts and culture at the Art Gallery of Ontario.