Alone/Together @ Artists on Elgin

Invite Front

Alone / Together

Sydney Rose @ Artist on Elgin
July 30-August 31, 2018

Opening Reception: August 11, 1-4pm


Alone/Together is a collection of mixed media works that explore ideas of isolation and intimacy as mechanisms for the human experience. From the solitude that comes with being a new mom to the one-sided sharing of one’s personal life through social media. The fear of missing out. Settling. The desire for a deeper connection with another while being unable to overcome the boundaries of the self. A longing to disconnect and break free of social constructs in search of independence and individual purpose. Our shared point of origin and the space we inhabit within the universe. We are together and we are also alone.   

Sydney was born and raised in Sudbury, with much of her childhood spent in the company of grandparents who were very hands-on: creatives who baked cakes from scratch, sewed outfits for any occasion, built furniture while the other embellished the wooden finishes with hand-stamped designs and crackled paint. From rock hunting to weed pulling, handmade holiday ornaments to pressed flowers, their lives were rooted in tactility.

Since moving into the home that her grandparents had shared, Sydney has been sorting through the leftovers of their lives. Heirlooms aside, the crumbs that remain have slowly been transformed into works of art. Encyclopedia and magazine pages, fabric swatches, spools of thread, sequins and beads, cassette tape cases and scrap wood pieces have come together to create works of art that tempt interaction and long for your touch.

The mixed media works included in her Alone/Together exhibition come from a place of longing: for tactility and human connection in a world of ephemeral experiences mediated by technology. While social media can connect us with individuals and communities on a much larger scale and in a much more consistent, integrated way, there is a level of intimacy that is missed when you aren’t communicating in person. Whether intentional or out of our control, we are isolating ourselves in the process of digitizing our relationships. At the same time, even when we are communicating in person, no matter how intimately you know another, there is still this barrier of self that separates us. We are bound by individual consciousness and that alone can be isolating.

By combining craft-based techniques with pre-existing images, every day objects and thematic references to our digitally facilitated lives, Sydney’s works aim to evoke feelings of nostalgia and alienation simultaneously; to exist as curious oddities that mirror back to the viewer as something familiar. Hand-stitching, stencilling and collage draw upon the skills of her grandparents while embodying the spirit of the maker movement: a return to slower processes and the diy nature of our predecessors in response to a culture that is consistently persuading us to move faster and be more efficient; to live digitally facilitated – always together and also alone.


“Have you ever felt so lonely that all you want to be is alone? When you are surrounded by people that you can only know so well before the parts you don’t know become so loud that they are all that you hear? What does it mean to be alone? We are all alone, aren’t we? We are born that way. All of us birthed from a single point – a single cell – a lonely speck that exploded into all the separate parts that mingle and bounce around each other without being able to be put back together. We make love to piece it together. Entangle our bodies to find the way out. Streams of thought that can’t be put into words, bouncing around our brains, distracting and evading and brewing a longing that goes unfulfilled. Are we really alone if we experience this together? We are in this together. Aren’t we? Shouldn’t we know that this is how it goes? Our understanding of another person’s experience is only shaped by everything we know. How could you ever be expected to understand what she went through when you were never really there? You were never in it. You were never her. You were always you and I will always be me. You tell me to put myself into someone else’s shoes but what you’re really asking is to put myself in someone else’s soul. We have tunnel vision and two tiny windows in our fleshy homes. We give names to our blind spots and define and separate and compare and contrast to make any sense we can of what this thing is that we call living. What we call longing. We separate ourselves while trying to exist together – find ways to stay connected while carving out spaces for us to be alone. We feed our grey areas to the shadows and bask in the light while we unravel the thinest threads for others to climb; cautiously, lest they break or get tied in knots along the way. We spill our guts and lose each other in the crumbs. When did that cookie crumble? How long have you been following that path? When did we get off track? Do you like spending time with yourself? Are you comfortable being alone? Sometimes we can be our own best company – when we get to know who we are and what it can mean to be alone. Let’s get together so we can be alone.”

My Silver Years: Featured Interview


Moushumi Chakrabarty reached out to me after seeing my feature on CBC Arts and asked if I could respond to a short interview for her blog, My Silver Years. It was interesting to write about my work for a new audience – one that won’t necessarily be interested in the arts or maker culture, but would be familiar with the materials that I often turn to in the making of my collage work. The questions that Moushumi sent me really helped me to explain my process and the aspects of my art practice that I feel most strongly about. It encouraged me to further communicate why I believe that collage is such an accessible medium and an important one to experiment with. I had a lot of fun writing for this interview, so please head over to My Silver Years to give it a read!

Screen Shot 2018-05-22 at 6.50.19 PM.pngScreen Shot 2018-05-22 at 6.48.01 PM

Our Crater: Maker Monday Feature

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 5.06.17 PM

I recently had the opportunity to chat with the folks at Our Crater – a local publication that focusses on all things Sudbury. They recently began a weekly feature called “Maker Monday” and will be highlighting a local artist every Monday for… well… until they run out of creatives (which will take quite some time – this crater is brewing with talent)!

To read the interview and learn more about my work, click here!

Expozine Sudbury


Expozine 2 was put on by Chloe LaDuchesse on May 12, 2018 at La Fromagerie in downtown Sudbury. It brought together a variety of artists and zine makers from the area to celebrate zine and small print book culture:

Sydney Rose
Sarah Blondin
Chelsea Bellrose
Tiphaine Delahaye and the bookshop
Mathieu Arsenault
Paula Naomi Johnson
Rob Sacchetto’s Zombie Art
Nisa-Open Minds Quarterly
Sonia Ekiyor-Katimi
Spider Allen and the Poetry lost and found
Latitude 46 Publishing

Media Coverage:
Sudbury Star on Expozine
Broken Pencil on Expozine

I was having so much fun, I only managed to snap a couple pictures of the set up!



May 12th was also World Collage Day! To celebrate, I set up a collaborative collage station for our visitors to participate in. It was fun to see people of all ages get pretty excited to add to the collage.


Ain’t No Party Like a Collage Party

On March 31st, 2018, I had the honour of facilitating my first collage party at Cambrian College’s Open Studio (93 Cedar Street, Sudbury, ON). The seats filled up quickly, more tables were needed and the floor was soon occupied. Everyone was so immersed in their own creations and the conversations were super engaging. Thank you to everyone who came out for this event, for participating, asking questions and encouraging each other!

Process Videos

I love watching process videos. I find they offer that little extra insight into the creation of a work of art and every artist is different – not only in what they create but in how they move their hands. I’ve recently have started posting little videos of my own hands at work on my Instagram account: @sydneyroseart.

I’m often asked how I create my collage work and how I manage to cut such tiny images out. These videos provide much more information about the process than photographs and finished pieces ever could. They show the tools, the thickness of the paper, the scale of the images, the decision making that goes into choosing where and what to cut next. For me, it is really interesting to remove myself from the immersive and meditative process of collage and see how my hands work as an outsider. These are a few videos that I have posted and I will continue to post more. I hope you enjoy!

Upcoming Collage Party at The Open Studio


Saturday, March 31st 1-4pm @ The Open Studio
(3rd Floor – Unit 303, 93 Cedar Street, Downtown Sudbury)
Free Admission!
Materials Provided!

“There’s no party quite like a Collage Party! Join us with very special guest artist Sydney Rose for an afternoon of cutting, clipping, tearing, folding, pasting and any other descriptor to create paper collage. Sydney will show us the tools of the trade, her favourite scissors and paper media and will even bring some of her collage works for display.

We’ll provide a number of magazines and books and paper to work with along with some scissors, coloured pencils and markers too, but we encourage you to bring your favourite scissors to use. You’re welcome to work on individual pieces and encourage collaboration too…we’re just going to go with the flow with attendees. Basically, we are holding this event to enjoy an afternoon of collage making with the community: students, artists, general public, all welcome!

We’ll provide some light refreshments too but there are certainly many cafés etc. to grab something and bring it along.

Free admission. Everyone welcome, including children however please provide adult accompaniment (10 or younger).

For more info, please contact us on Facebook or by email:”

Gore Street Cafe Post It Note Exhibition

Social media can be a funny thing. It can help us stay connected to family and friends, provide a window into the lives of people who we don’t know, or in this case, introduce us to people who are doing really cool things to help other people do really cool things… and sometimes you can even participate in these cool things.

Allan Bjornaa (on Instagram as @albjornaa) is a collage artist from the Sault Ste. Marie area who works alongside Gore Street Cafe to provide opportunities for local artists and musicians to showcase their work, for folks get together to look at art, create art, listen to vinyl and eat delicious, reasonably priced (sometimes pay what you can) food from a menu that is constantly changing. I have never been to this little cafe that exists next to a laundromat, but I admire all that it offers it’s community.

Al organized the Post it Note Exhibition as a crowd-sourced fundraiser in support of Gore Street Cafe. Each piece of art, created on a post-it note, is being sold for $10 and all proceeds will go to the cafe! The work will be on the walls until March 20th but will be available online until the end of April:

Sudbury Women in Art

To kick off 2018, I am thrilled to announce that I have been chosen (alongside 24 other artists) to be a part of a book that aims to celebrate women who have made an impact in our local creative community.  Put together by Johanna Westby and Chantal Abdel-Nour, the book launch and exhibition will be held at Cambrian’s Open Studio (93 Cedar Street, Sudbury) on March 8th from 7pm – 9pm. For a list of participating artists and more information about how to purchase a copy of the book for yourself, check out the poster and excerpt from the Facebook event below:SWIA_Poster_11x17.jpgWe have created a book showcasing Sudbury Women in Art, as a philanthropic project. The purpose of this book is to raise awareness to talented and innovative women who create visual art in Sudbury. We believe in recognizing the talent and diversity in our community, and encouraging women who are aspiring to create. Showcasing women who have made a significant contribution in visual arts elevates equality in representation, and enhances opportunities for women as creators in the community.

We will be hosting a launch of the book and accompanying exhibit of the artists’ work on March 8 at the Open Studio downtown, in partnership with Cambrian College. The launch is scheduled to coincide with International Women’s Day.

Free admission – All welcome!

Show run dates: Mar 8-17 at Open Studio
Public hours: Tues-Sat, 12-3pm

Books will be available for purchase for the duration of the exhibition.
Cost of each : $ 25.00
Sales are cash only.

All proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to charitable means, to encourage and support women in the art community.”


Why Collage?


I love the tactility of collage – the cutting of paper, the sticky glue. I find the process equally meditative and enthralling as each work in progress is like a puzzle for which you aren’t sure what the final image is going to be until it takes form in front of you. It involves a lot of searching, trial and error, and most importantly: play. Collage is about experimenting with images and the way they interact and juxtapose one another to create new meaning. It’s about using symbolism in the remixing of existing ideas and stories to provide an alternate point of view – one that reflects a different angle, another story, that the viewer may not have considered previously.

In an age where we produce and abandon stuff endlessly, where new technologies replace the old and our methods of communication and access to knowledge become increasingly ephemeral and intangible, the ways of our past continue to take up space. For me, it is important to upcycle and reuse otherwise discarded items. Everything I make use of in my collage work is found at yard sales, in garbage bins at the side of the road, thrift stores and musty basements. These objects have often outlived their intended purpose and are unwanted for one reason or another. The supposed rationality for why they have been abandoned – the water damage, rips and tears, outdated information – are what draw me in to the materials I use in my work. These quirks often influence the new life these images are given as remixed works of art.

Collage is also a little risky. It dances that line between originality and copyright infringement. It uses appropriation as the foundation on which new stories can be built. It challenges ideas of ownership and permanency. Collectively, we have imagined and created all of the meaning that we rely on in this world to make sense of our nature as human beings. Nothing here belongs to us outside of the definition of ownership that we have created. In this way, collage and surrealism go hand in hand as they work together to provide an arena to explore the what ifs and whys of our reality.