Rest On The Gum Hoods
Open Studio, Toronto Canada

'Rest On The Gum Hoods' laser cut acrylic and latex paint 48" x 72"

'Rest On The Gum Hoods' detail images

From left to right:  'A New Spine For An Old Coward'   'The Last First Meal'   'A Place Before Winning'   'Attritional Information'  'The Pollinators Dilemma'   'Occupational Salve'
laser cut acrylic and latex paint each 7.5" x 7.5"

An X-ray of a memory only the bones remember. ‘X’ marks the spot where the ghost bicycle
occupies the place of a tragic happening. Painted white and unrideable, it is a vanitas for a
daydream nation of drivers distracted by sound, youth, beauty, aging, death, and entropy. Put
the seat down, put the hoods down, both need to touch the ground. It may slow fate a little, but
it also tempts it to the same measure.

Just because they’re called suicide levers doesn’t mean it’s suicide. It’s simply another way to
ask the ride to go faster without raising one’s hand. But the kind of light we have here is a spectre
of radiation. Light that illuminates with a half-life faith that it’ll decay however long forever
lasts. At the end it’s ok if you can’t remember, there’s an X on the wound of forgetting too.

David Trautrimas


Occupational Salve
Barton Street BIA, Hamilton Canada

'Occupational Salve' laser cut acrylic and latex paint 40" x 60"

My professional artistic practice is influenced by the minutiae of the public and private spaces
through which life is lived. As a Barton Street community resident, I have benefitted from close
observation of the ongoing evolution of spaces that define the Barton Street area around my home on
Bristol Street where I live and work. The stretch of Barton Street between James Street North and
Ottawa that I often explore on my frequent walks harbours many vacant storefronts. On closer inspection,
however, these spaces do offer evidence of activity both past and present. 

I have noticed that household plants regularly occupy the window spaces of these closed businesses.
Whether to make best use of the available sunlight, or perhaps to enliven otherwise void spaces for
now intermittent tenants, these natural elements exist in stark contrast to the derelict store fronts
they inhabit. My artwork takes this observation as inspiration: a single large-scale, black-and-white,
laser-etched drawing of an Aloe Vera plant, titled Occupational Salve.

Mirroring the history and future of the Barton Street community, the natural cycle of an Aloe Vera plant
is dependent upon periods of rest and successive active growth. Aloe Vera’s required period of dormancy
allows the plant time to regenerate the energy needed to flower and grow in the spring, much like how the
period of recession along Barton Street has engendered a sense of vigour within the neighbourhood for
renewed development and vitality. The plant that I have chosen to depict also evidences past
hardships - leaves broken and dented by influence from external forces. But from these, healthier
and stronger leaves grow. 

The encompassing background grid as seen in my proposed artwork visually places the Aloe Vera image within
an infinitely unknowable graphic continuum. I know that the revitalization of Barton Street will be a
harbinger for the return of a more vibrant future for the local area and broader Hamilton region beyond.
As the natural healing properties of Aloe Vera provide a salve for wounds, so too can art and its public
enjoyment remind viewers that collectively, regeneration of Barton Street’s vibrancy in the near future
is possible.

'Occupational Salve' was shown concurrently with 'Rest On The Gum Hoods'

David Trautrimas