Being within the discourse of painting, craft, and photography, Tonya Corkey’s work investigates an unavoidable aspect of human nature – the desire to seek memories. The series, See you in the future, investigates the role that photographic images and personal handwritten messages play in memory and its loss over time.

Corkey’s work hybridizes the discarded material of lint with the secondhand image and the personal messages found on the reverse of these photographs to visually represent my interests. The materiality conceptually layers the work. As a byproduct of society, lint consists of fibers, hair, dead skin and other debris and thus directly referencing people and their daily activities. By using lint and cast off photographs, both being discarded materials; these materials reflect the idea of a decaying memory. Our desire for memory in absence is triggered by sensations of smell and touch, a trait of her work. The void spaces of raw canvas are intended to reflect memory by allowing the viewers mind to fill in the rest of the image the same way a photograph would. In many of the works in this series the doubling of images indirectly reflects memory and its tendency to distort over time.




Tonya Corkey is a Toronto-based artist. She graduated from OCAD University’s Drawing and Painting programme in 2012. Corkey has won the Emerging Artist Award twice as well as the People’s Choice Award at The Juried Salon in her hometown of Kingston, Ontario. Recently, she has had solo exhibitions at Galleria 814 (Toronto) in 2013 and XSPACE Cultural Centre (Toronto) in 2012.



"27 12", 2013.
Lint on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.