Gabriella Solti

portfolio of prints, drawings, notations, artist books and participatory projects

The Animated Life of Everyday Objects – video documentation

The Animated Life of Everyday Objects

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AUG 04 – AUG 19, 2017 | WED-FRI 2-7, SAT 12-5


We invite the public to join us to create a series of inventive, and performative artworks that combine accessible technology and the everyday, seamlessly and playfully. We aim to share our fascination with common objects and the value of empirical knowledge to uncover the peculiar and spectacular properties of everyday materials and mundane objects in our daily environment.

We will facilitate daily drop-in workshops featuring different objects and materials each day at four thematic stations (INTERACTION, EXPRESSION, ILLUMINATION, and TRANSPARENCY), exploring the creative potential and inner life of objects such as a toothbrush head, cleaning sponge, fluffy dusters, paper clip, stones, to name a few.

We aim to incite wonder in everyday objects and cultivate an appreciation for their playful reuse through DIY fabrication.
We would like to encourage a more sustainable way of thinking and evaluating how we accumulate, save, re-use, and innovate in a consumer-oriented culture. We will also draw attention to the value of the interplay of creative ideas sourced from many participants.

All events and workshops are free and suitable for all ages and abilities.

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SHOOTING STARS, Creative data visualization of the last 30 years of shooting stars above London

Gabriella Solti, Shooting Stars, light performance, Market Street Alley, London, Ontario, September 17, 2016

Shooting Stars is a light performance Gabriella Solti produced for the Market Street Alley’s light canopy with technical assistance from the talented Liam Wallner, a student of Fanshawe College’s Theatre Arts – Technical Production program. It is a creative data visualization condensing the 12 most prominent meteor showers over the last 30 years. The data is taken from the meteor shower calendar of the American Meteor Society, and historical data from scientific publications. 

 Each meteor shower is represented with a different coloured light while the night sky is formed by dark blue LEDs. While we can’t produce a velocity of 44 miles/sec (Leonids), or 41 miles/sec (Orionids) on the light canopy, the speed of the meteors in relation to each other is scientifically accurate, as is their Zenithal Hourly Rate (the number of meteors a single observer would see in an hour of peak activity). The light performance also takes into consideration the phenomenological characteristics of the meteor showers, persistent trains, bright fireballs, faint (Delta Aquariids), or bright, intensely coloured (Geminids) meteors. 

Thirty years (1987-2016) are condensed into 90 minutes thus one year equals 3 minutes, one month 15 seconds. Meteor showers do not fill the sky consistently every month, so while some months are bursting with activity, the canopy sometimes goes quiet. Just like real stargazing, a moment filled with anticipation can suddenly erupt with a plethora of vibrant fireballs.

The video is only a less than 3 minutes recording of the light show and was taken late in the night when the “stargazing” crowd already dispersed. 

(Note: At 00:18 you can see a passerby throwing up in the air his “firefly”, a hand-made, soft light ball with a flashing, multicolour LED light in its centre. Earlier in the day, starting at 6 pm the public made hundreds of “fireflies” at drop-in workshops at the artist’s table on the street. See earlier post.)


Making FIREFLIES at the Dundas Street Festival under SHOOTING STARS, Saturday, September 17, 2016

Gabriella Solti, Fireflies, a community-engaged art project, Dundas Street Festival, September 17, 2016, (with 150 participants, children, adults and youth, in one and half hour) (Under another artwork of the artist, Shooting Stars, specifically created for the Festival.)

Fireflies is a community-engaged art project, wholly inclusive, suitable for all ages, and can be produced in any location. The project uses low cost materials, and simple creative construction techniques that mobilizes people’s curiosity to create delightful and unexpected experiences.



In my participatory project, Fireflies, I invite the public to create a collaborative, participatory, performative artwork that aims to simulate a spectacular summer phenomenon, fireflies, right within the city. Using simple creative construction techniques, clear food wrap and tiny multicolour flashing LED lights we will make small, lightweight and soft light balls that will rhythmically change their colour through a multitude of vibrant colours.

Then we will act like a firefly: throw the balls to each other, catch, throw back keeping them constantly in the air. In doing so, we will take our choreographic clues from real fireflies for whom flashing their light is a tool of communication expressing attraction and repulsion, desire and defence. Beyond having fun through making and playing, my project promotes community connections and taking social risk through collaboration.

The following video shows the cavalcade of colours that the ‘fireflies’ produce:

From Foraging to Forging Communities


From Foraging to Forging Communities
A community-engaged art project by Lynette de Montreuil and Gabriella Solti

From Foraging to Forging Communities, is a community engaged art project that culminated in an ecological artwork through the transformation of raw materials and hands-on workshops at Satellite Project Space (Satellite), a public art gallery in downtown London (Ontario, Canada) from June 25th to July 17th, 2016. The project was funded by the London Arts Council with in-kind support from Satellite’s operating partners, Museum London, Western University, and Bealart.

First, we organized expert-led foraging walks in London’s parks and forests where Londoners learned to identify plants, learn about ecological practices and examine how organisms work in unison. The collected grasses were then transformed into handmade paper at Satellite, that we turned into a low-tech, DIY paper making studio. 246 participants (age 3-80) produced 935 sheets of paper in two weeks facilitated by the artists. The last week, working with the newly created paper, participants carefully weighed their choices as they transformed them into sculptural forms that reflected how people perceived themselves in nature. They developed an increased appreciation not only of London’s ecological heritage, its flora and vegetation but also of the value of collaborative labor.

Our project blog, with daily entries and plenty of images, is available for everyone to view: The blog presents the immediacy of the experience as it unfolded, the poster above, on the other hand, illuminates the project from the perspectives of our reflections and learning. We presented the poster at the College Art Association Annual Conference in New York, February 15-18, 2017.



Untitled, 2016
colour brush pen on digital print, 20.25″ x 17.25″

Honeytrap, 2015
colour brush pen on digital print, 11″ x 8.5″

Levitation, 2015
colour brush pen on digital print, 8.5″ x 11″

Void, 2015
colour brush pen on digital print, 8.5″ x 11″

The Book of Hours

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Unique artist book, pages are hand-sanded microfinishing film and
hand-coloured frosted mylar,120 pages, unpaginated, hand-bound, 
7″ x 11.5″ closed; book cover is made of steel covered with black 
book-cloth (Photo: Rehab Nazzal)
Bookstand: 12" x 12" clear plexi, laid on handmade, hand-polished
metal columns (self supporting, the weight of the book keeps it steady)


spread from the book; left page is hand coloured frosted mylar that let the previous page’s image faintly be seen through; right page is hand sanded silicon carbide microfinsihing film, the erasures on the microfinishing film let the underlying page’s red-orange colour shine through


spread from the book; left page is hand sanded chromium oxide microfinishing film; right page is hand sanded silicon carbide microfinsihing film


close up of a page, made of hand sanded silicon carbide microfinsihing film that let the underlying page’s light yellow colour shine through the erasures

About the book

The Book of Hours, is a unique 120 page codex that expresses my personal values relating to labour. The pages of the book are hand sanded microfinishing films, chromium oxide or silicon carbide. These are microabrasives used in the high tech industry for polishing optical fibre. They are featherweight and have a deceptive silky surface but the particles attached to a clear film are extremely hard to erase. I attempted to erase the surface of the pages by sanding them with sandpaper or sanding cord until my fingers hurt or were bleeding.

These hand sanded pages are sequenced with hand coloured frosted mylar that I coloured through a long, laborious process to create a uniform colour and shine. The various colours as they can be seen through the erasures of the microfinishing films create a variety of images as the viewer turn the pages and layer them on each other.  The microfinishing film also changes colour depending on the amount of light coming through as the viewer turns the page. The green colour of the chromium oxide page turns completely black when held against light.

The individual pages of the book are expressions of intense, manual labour; they are literally the imprints of my labouring body. The repetitive temporal structure of the codex and layered pages on the other hand speak of the time associated with work and labour. The sensuous silky surface of the pages contrasted with the prickly sensations of the erasures gives a variety of tactile experiences to the viewer throughout the book.

The book has no title page, its cover is made of metal sheets to counterbalance the lightweight pages. The metal sheets are covered with book cloth tape and the book is assembled with meticulous care.

In this work I transform contemporary, high tech industrial materials by both raw and skilled manual labour to express my appreciation to both kind of labour.  I believe they are equally valuable and necessary both in life and in making art.

The title of the book, The Book of Hours, has double meaning. They speak both of the hours of labour I invested in the work but it refers also to the medieval Book of Hours, as devotional book. I believe that labour, both raw and skilled labour, is a form of devotion and born out of discipline.

The bookstand is an integral part of the work. It is made of clear plexiglass and two pieces of rough construction steel  that I hand sanded and hand polished for seven hours to achieve a smooth surface. The bookstand is self supporting, the weight of the book keeps it steady. It is a  sculptural-architectural form, an edifice, that presents the book in a way that meets the viewer’s eye in an ideal angle inviting her to step close and engage with the work.

This book was awarded the MCBA Prize 2015 Juror’s Special Recognition of Merit Award and it will be exhibited at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts from July 17 through August 3, 2015 alongside with the other honoured works.

The exhibition of this book at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts was generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance.