Nick Sweetman is a multidisciplinary artist from Toronto whose practice has explored painting and its intersection with photography, video, installation, mixed media, and urban intervention. He has exhibited in galleries around Toronto since 2011, completing his MFA in 2014 from OCAD University in the Interdisciplinary Art, Media & Design program. Since 2014, he has been working in public space on mural projects, often collaborating with other artists, non-profit organizations, youth groups and the City of Toronto. He is interested in drawing attention to physical and conceptual sites of intersection between human-made spaces and natural forces, to encourage consideration of our relationship with the planet and its non-human inhabitants. Recently he has been populating Toronto’s walls with murals dedicated to pollinators to raise awareness about the threats facing ecosystems worldwide due to toxic pesticides.
Play, in the sense of impulsive, unstructured exploration, is an important part of my process, because it leads to unexpected, often exciting discoveries. I enjoy working in ways that make a mess and often appreciate the by-products of my methods (the build-up of wayward spills and splatters on surfaces other than the canvas or wall on which I am working) as much as the painting or mural I intended to create. Each canvas in my ongoing Artist at Work series was designed to accompany another pre-existing painting, telling a re-imagined story of its creation by suggesting an environment for the miniature artist at work that has been created and/or changed by the creative process. The series plays with interpretation of the methods and processes that go into a piece of art, and my own often child-like awe in looking at the results of such exploration. I like to think I’ve retained something of this awe that first drew me to making art in my early childhood, and this series is a celebratory parody of that part of my practice as an adult.
© 2019 The PATCH (Public Art Through Construction Hoarding) Project - all images are copyrighted by the artist, unless otherwise noted