LOOK AT THIS is a weekly series featuring the work of Canadian artists, designers and creators of all sorts.
Name: Graeme Patterson
Born: Saskatoon, 1980
Lives and works: Sackville, NB
His work: Graeme Patterson works in miniatures, creating tiny figures that he uses to explore much bigger themes and stories. "Since I was a child I have been building complex environments for my action figures and stop-motion puppets with the intent of developing narratives," he told Strombo.com. "Through this process I feel I have created a language for working with miniatures that I have grown extremely attached to." For Puppet Collective (above, left), he created a series of puppets and offered them for sale with an ingenious condition: "if purchased the collector must send a full body picture of themselves so I can create a puppet of their likeness to replace the puppet acquired." What started as a collection of little oddball characters soon become a series about Canada's art collectors.
Of male bonding: Patterson's most ambitious project to date is Secret Citadel, which is currently touring the country. The semi-autobiographical work explores the ups and downs of a male friendship through a series of installations — like a secret workshop concealed in a mountain attached to a suburban home — as well as animations featuring a pair of anthropomorphic characters standing in for the two friends. "The cougar is based on the mascot from my high-school experience and the bison was influenced by my affinity for the Buffalo Sabres and the Buffalo Bills," Patterson told Strombo.com. "As 'Secret Citadel' evolved into a larger body of work I realized that these mascots could become the avatars that represented the history of my male friendship." You can get a sense of the tone of Secret Citadel in this trailer:
Another Canadian artist he admires: "Over the past few years I have become more familiar with the work of fellow Sackvillian Jerry Ropson. The witty sense of humour in his unique brand of storytelling and obsessive object making has been a constant inspiration for me."