Drawing the Canada-Wide Science Fair : Shanell Papp
Drawing the Canada-Wide Science Fair is a collective of sixteen artists who have come together to interpret and play with the spectacle of a national science fair through visual language. By drawing on-site during the Canada-Wide Science Fair, the artists will create and immediately broadcast drawings of selected projects on display. The idea is to expand the notion of drawing around science themes to include the potentials of visual priority, cross-disciplinary work, collaborative drawing, multi-perspectival drawing, non-precious drawing, interactions with people, live tweeting, 5-second-delay blogging, and other unexpected possibilities. Here’s an introduction to Shanell Papp, Canada-Wide Science Fair Artist.
Shanell Papp grew up in Southern Alberta and received her B.F.A. from the University of Lethbridge, in 2006 and completed her M.F.A. at the University of Saskatchewan. On completion of her graduate work, Papp received a dean’s medal nomination, for her work Loners: working away from a pattern (her thesis can be accessed online from the University of Saskatchewan Library). Papp works with textiles, video, drawing, printmaking, photography and installation.
Much of Papp’s work is interested in structures, definitions and categories. She is interested in how people make sense of the world. She sees her work as an artist as an extension of her research.
Her work is often labour intensive and skills based; and her work is dense with conceptual and material associations. When asked about her work, Papp is quick to reference her variety of interests in science, vulnerability, outsiders, biographical comics, folk art, junk stores, outsider music, horror movies, true crime, medical history, death studies, harsh environments, survival situations and museums/collections of any kind. Her artwork is the product of her research interests.
Papp has shown her work across Canada, including the University of Lethbridge, University of Saskatchewan, The New Gallery (Calgary), Gallery Gachette (Vancouver) and the City of Craft (Toronto). Her work has been shared widely online on Boing Boing, I f*cking love science, I heart guts, radiolab and the discovery channel program Daily Planet.
Papp is an active participant in the Arts community she was a board member for Trap\door (Lethbridge) and AKA (Saskatoon). She was employed in various capacities at PAVED arts (Saskatoon), The Galt Museum and Archives (Lethbridge) and The Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge). She is currently curates for the Lethbridge Public Library. This year Papp will be exhibiting her artwork at CASA, Triannon, AKA (Saskatoon) and other spaces.
Science Fair Musings by Shanell :
The root word for surgery means handwork. Which is kind of interesting.
Much of my work is about history, labour and science. My art work is the end product of my research, I am often engrossed in the same type of material, researching crime, labour, medicine, and history. I have a fascination with the study of the human body, Mary Shelly Frankenstein and the horror of history. We live in amazing times and our trivial daily problems are nothing compared to the daily struggles of people in the past.
Though the world is STILL not a fair place and I think this sucks. I don’t think enough things have changed in my lifetime. I am 32 years old now.
When I was a teenager, I was an outsider and I am still and outsider. Though being an outsider isn’t really a bad or sad thing…..this is where the “magic” (discovery/inventive thinking) happens as cliche as this sounds.