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Canadian Artist of the Week
LOOK AT THIS: The Magical, Animal-Filled World Of Fastwürms
January 18, 2014
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Bat at AGYU, 2007

LOOK AT THIS is a weekly series featuring the work of Canadian artists, designers and creators of all sorts.

Names: Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse, partners who work together as Fastwürms

Born: Oldham, UK and Ottawa, Ontario

Live and work: Creemore, Ontario

The work: Kozzi and Skuse have been working together since they met up in Toronto's overlapping punk and art scenes in 1979, making art that draws on sorcery, paganism and illusion, while being rooted in nature. Many of their pieces are large-scale installations designed to enthrall passersby in public spaces — visitors to Toronto's CN tower may have come across their giant black snowmen or their fibreglass woodpecker on a 30-metre steel pole.

Their animal friends: Part of their allure is probably due to their fascination with cats; in addition to creating an abundance of feline-centric works, the pair are particularly passionate about protecting their welfare. As they told Strombo.com by email, "it is really a mutually beneficial inter-species infatuation."

On the role of magic: "Magic is delusional," they told Strombo.com. "We use magic to confound rational structures and flip the normative."

Their secret project: "We write and illustrate sci-fi novels for each other that we constantly revise and edit but never publish," they said. "And we text each other with elaborate personal emoji codes."

You can see Fastwürms' work dotted around Ontario and in an upcoming exhibition in November at Toronto's Paul Petro Contemporary Art gallery.

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