“Giotto…took a sheet of paper, and with a pen dipped in red, fixing his arm firmly against his side to make a compass of it, with a turn of his hand he made a circle so perfect that it was a marvel to see it”
(from Georgio Vasari, Lives of the Artists, 1550)
Inspired by this account and by the enso drawings of Buddhist monks, Toronto painter Nicole Collins seeks to draw a perfect circle and sound a perfect note. Central to her installation is the pursuit of perfection, the inevitability of failure and the human drive to persist despite this.
Collins will perform by drawing a circle on the Gallery wall using her arm as a compass and a silverpoint, a rarely used implement dating back to Early Renaissance practice. In her absence, superimposed on this wall drawing will be a loop projection of the artist drawing and erasing a circle, recorded in Florence earlier this year. Visible day and night, her image and drawing will appear and disappear —done, only to be undone. A speaker, installed on the street, will play a recording of Collins’s attempts to sound a perfect note.