Michelle Cieloszczyk: Carapace Pillar – Public Sculpture
Michelle Cieloszczyk: Carapace Pillar
As part of Elora Sculpture Project’s 2021 exhibition, the sculpture Carapace Pillar by Michelle Cieloszczyk will be on display in Fergus ON, May 2 – Oct. 31, 2021. The sculpture can be found outdoors along the Riverwalk, off of Menzies Lane.
Carapace Pillar is a sculpture of blue silicone protective vests attached to a cage-like metal structure. The piece compares the use of shields and body armour in law enforcement with the protective outer shells of animals or insects. It responds to inquiries of, what would the biological armour of a militarized police force look like? What would be left behind during the process of moulting? The sculpture contradicts defensive solidity by creating a soft and malleable shell out of an aggregate of protective equipment. The reversal of the vest’s function unsettles the language of protection used by police forces and highlights the discrepancies between hard and soft social functions. As law enforcement continues to invest in weapons and barriers of protection from the public, the artist examines whether we have dehumanized one another through the lens of order and criminality.
Michelle Cieloszczyk is a Toronto-based visual artist. Her practice encompasses object-based works, installations, public interventions, and public art. She fabricates through mould-making and rapid prototyping. Her recent body of work, begun in 2017, examines the politics of policing, considering the roles and structures of authority through walled installations and castings of uniforms. She graduated with a BFA in Sculpture/Installation from OCAD University in 2019. She has been awarded the Haydn Davies Memorial Award, Best of 3D Works Award at Toronto Outdoor Art Fair, Third Place in the VAM41 Juried Exhibition at the Art Gallery of Mississauga, and Winner of the 2017 FCR Sculpture Competition.
There won’t be an opening reception due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please follow public health regulations. Out of respect for the locals of Fergus, if you plan to visit from a neighbouring area be sure to wear a mask and social distance. The sculpture is viewable from the paved sidewalk running along the Grand River, which is accessible.