May Wilson, Untitled, 1973, photo stamp collage. SFU Art Collection. Gift, 1976. Photo: Lief Hall.
Episode 4 | July 7
Carol Sawyer and Laurance Playford-Beaudet on May Wilson
“So, who is May Wilson? I wanted to know. The interloper, the troublemaker, the trickster, the problematic older woman refusing to be erased. Literally sticking her nose in. Not an allegory or a symbol but an actual person meeting our gaze.”
Carol Sawyer and Laurance Playford-Beaudet, both artists whose practices incorporate sound, focus on the work of May Wilson (1905 - 1986), a prominent figure in the 1960s and 70s North American feminist and correspondence art movements. Following extensive research, Sawyer and Playford-Beaudet explore Wilson’s practice in a textured homage that echoes her approach to collage, splicing audio drawn from archival recordings together with current responsive voice work. Through their experimental process, Sawyer and Playford-Beaudet emphasize the inextricable connections between life and work and how each inform and enrich the other.
Carol Sawyer is a visual artist, singer, and educator living and working on the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, and Sel̓íl̓witulh Nations. Her multi-disciplinary practice includes research, narrative, photography, video, and improvised music.
Laurance Playford-Beaudet is a research assistant, tree-planter, collaborator, and sound artist who focuses on that which is overlooked or unnoticed. Playford-Beaudet lives in Tla'amin territory (Texada Island, BC) after graduating from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in New Media and Sound Arts.
[Image Description: The surface of a postcard is covered in black spray paint in irregular block shapes. A stamp that shows a diagram of two dissected torsos is centrally placed. The anatomical diagram is of two feminine bodies. The one on the right depicts a much narrower waist than the body on the left. Both show cloth wrapped loosely around the waists, referring to the effects of corsetry. Collaged in place of the heads are cut-outs of May Wilson’s face; the one on the left has a wide and carefree smile, while the other grimaces with distaste.]