Something from Nothing, a solo exhibition by Toronto-based artist Stephanie Cormier, continues Cormier’s investigation into the agency of imaginary objects and their possibility to manifest in the physical realm. The concept of a toolbox in the head entails those things that teeter in the imagination, with the potential for tactile manifestation and construction. Cormier’s Toolbox in The Head silkscreen works are inspired by the 1971 work, Two Stage Transfer Drawing, in which Dennis Oppenheim and his son performed collaborative drawings that relied on sensory intake and kinetic response. Cormier similarly collaborates with her child to produce unprecedented and layered forms. Reciting text descriptions of useful tools which her daughter imagines and draws, mother and child become a twin engine filtration system of heads, words, hands, eyes; input, output, and input again.

In Something from Nothing, Cormier introduces a new body of work to accompany these prints; large-scale abstract forms comprised of fused plastic bags. These wall-mounted assemblage works take influence from textile weavings and psychoanalysis. The Transitional Object is often the first possession separate from the mother, providing comfort and fantasy when a child realizes their own independence and agency. Cormier’s Transitional Objects demonstrate a poignant gesture from a mother to a daughter, as well as the linkage between consumerism and resourcefulness in times of displacement and socioeconomic hardship.


This work and presentation was possible through support from The Ontario Arts Council.