Interview with Summerhall TV: Rust Garden at Castle Mill Works, Edinburgh, Scotland

Summerhall TV
August 3, 2016


Exhibiting artists Matt Donovan and Hallie Siegel talk about the new work in their exhibition, and the themes that inspire their wider artistic practice. This launch reception celebrates Donovan & Siegel’s ambitious, organic and highly visible new artwork Rust Garden, commissioned by Edinburgh Printmakers for the building of Castle Mill Works. This artwork will monumentalize the heritage of Castle Mill Works and Fountainbridge’s industrial past.

Part of exhibition ‘History Machines by Donovan & Siegel’.

Location: Castle Mill Works, former North British Rubber Company HQ, Gilmore Park, Fountainbridge, EH11 1AL

Public art exhibition on from 29 July 2016.


Interview with Summerhall TV: History Machines at Edinburgh Printmakers

Summerhall TV
August 3, 2016

29 July – 22 October 2016
Location: Edinburgh Printmakers, 23 Union Street, Edinburgh, EH1 3LR, Scotland, UK

A UK premiere exhibition of new commissions and existing artwork by Toronto artists Matt Donovan and Hallie Siegel, that explores the enduring legacy of print that continues to shape how we communicate – even as we launch ourselves into a digital future.The new commissions in this exhibition are playful graphic hybrids that encourage us to look at ‘ print’ as not merely a series of technical processes and products, but as a graphic culture that exerts its influence over even our most mundane interactions and activities. Accompanying these prints, is a selection of other print-inspired work, which merges sculpture, graphic design, poetry, found text, and storytelling, to produce curious hybrid devices that embody the culture of printmaking. Examples include the Haikube, a poetry generation machine modelled on the Rubik’ s cube, and a machined brass Self-Printing Book – the ‘ sculptural edition’ of Vannevar Bush’ s 1945 essay “As We May Think”, commonly cited as a harbinger of the digital era and the first printed description of what we now know as personal computers, hypertext and the internet.

On moving 200kg of art across the Atlantic

Packing for Edinburgh Arts Festival.
Packing for Edinburgh Arts Festival.

A place for everything and everything in its place

Would you believe a crate this small contains over 150 framed prints, four sculptures with plinths, several tools, and weighs over 200 kilograms? Everything is tightly packed inside with no room to spare in order to keep all the objects inside from jiggling around and breaking while in transit, and to help keep shipping costs down.
Donovan Siegel at Edinburgh Prinktmakers, 2016. Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Arts Festival, Year of Architecture, Design and InnovationBut it takes a master packer to pull it off. Matt designed the packing job so that many of the objects nest inside of each other, and carefully numbered and documented each stage of the packing so that (hopefully!) we can get all the works back inside when it’s time to come home again this fall. In case you were wondering where he got his packing skills, Matt is an avid 
Tetris fan, and has been organizing the trunk of the family car for road trips since he was a kid.

Between building and packing the crate, creating the packing manifest, dealing with insurance and export details, securing permission to borrow some of the artwork that had already been sold to clients, and coordinating pickups and deliveries all along the way, just getting the artwork ready for shipping feels like a production in and of itself.

You can imagine our relief when the art handlers, Museum Pros, picked up the crate earlier this week to take it to the export warehouse … we’ve been working towards this day for months and It feels like a major milestone achieved!

And it also feels more real now. This was also the week we heard back from the Canada Council for the Arts that they are supporting us with travel grants, as well as the good folks at McMaster Museum of Art who just confirmed their recommendation to the Ontario Arts Council to fund us for exhibition assistance. After eight months of planning, things are really starting to come together.

Next our focus will turn to finishing the catalogue, preparing for the artist talks and lecture, and most importantly, wrapping up the final details on our new work with EP for the gallery show and outdoor public art commission.

More blog posts on the new work to follow soon.

Looking forward to seeing you in Edinburgh!

Hallie & Matt

Canada Council Travel Grant 2016

A big thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for helping support our upcoming exhibition at Edinburgh Printmakers for the Edinburgh Arts Festival this summer.


We are grateful for the support of the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

In 2015, the Canada Council invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.

Nous remercions le Conseil des arts de l’Ontario et le Conseil des arts du Canada de ses soutiens. En 2015, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour metre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

Craft as Problem Solving: Ethnographic Studies of Design and Making

This volume brings together a cross-disciplinary group of anthropologists, researchers of craft, and designer-makers to enumerate and explore the diversity and complexity of problem-solving tactics and strategies employed by craftspeople, together with the key social, cultural, and environmental factors that give rise to particular ways of problem solving. (Routledge)

Ethnographic_Study_Print_CultureJust published is this ethnographic study of ‘design and making’, which includes a chapter by Toronto-based anthropologist Jenn Law that features our print-inspired, text-based artwork, such as the Haikube, Self-Printing Book, Landscape, and Impressions.

In her chapter titled Mastering Mimicry: Strategies of Transference in Print-Based Art, Jenn writes about print as a problem-solving strategy in contemporary art.

Check out the chapter preview in Google Books.