Who doesn’t remember making something with paper and scissors and getting glue all over your hands and then peeling off the dried glue?
This childhood memory is the inspiration behind the art project Make Your Mark. I had the opportunity to speak with Meghan Ross over coffee last week at the Annex Common. She’s the artist behind the project and while we talked Meghan spread a thin film of glue on my middle finder then pulled a hair dryer out of her purse which she carries everywhere so that she can dry the glue. During this process, she asks “What’s your story” and and begins recording though we didn’t do this in the coffee shop since there was too much ambient noise. Once the glue is dry she covers it with scotch tape and then peels it off. There, on this piece of tape is my unique imprint. It’s the opposite of a criminal finger print, Meghan explains. “It’s fragile, ethereal. It has no gender, race or class.”
Meghan’s idea, which is scheduled to be a Nuit Blanche installation at Union Station, is to gather the imprints and the stories of people from all over Toronto and to hang them together. The stories will be presented in audio form. Meghan, along with Gabby Bevilacqua and Joey Jacobson make up the BXLS Collective that created the Make Your Mark proposal and submitted it to the Nuit team. Check out this video made by Gabby.
“With the gentle and widely playful gesture of drying glue on your finger and peeling it off each person can experience the imprint of their unique pattern revealed in front of them,” explains Megan.
“It’s the simplest expression of humanity. It’s taking place in Toronto during Canada 150 but it could also be placed anywhere in the world. It’s about humans having a mark.”
Meghan is a 20-something recent graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design but she speaks with a wisdom beyond her years. Another emerging voice with insight into the issue of identity.
The idea for Make Your Mark came out of Meghan’s graduate thesis titled Elmer’s Guide to Nostalgia. The Elmer’s of course refers to the ubiquitous Elmer’s glue. It’s a childish habit turned in to a piece of contemporary art.
I took this one last quote from her web site.
“This process, when repeated tens of thousands of times, will collectively compose a representation of the essence of Toronto. Make Your Mark is the embodiment of individual identity in our great city and country. It is a pavilion that can occupy any place, where people will be surrounded by the absolute uniqueness of each citizen. Like the strokes of a brush in a masterful painting, each translucent fingerprint, initialled by the person who made it, will contribute to the creation of an inclusive space filled with light, movement, personal stories, and inspiration.
Looking forward to seeing it. Nuit Blanch is September 30, 2017.