VAM 35 Artist Profile | Natasha Gouveia

Meet the artists in VAM 35! Visual Arts Mississauga 35th Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts, in the Art Gallery of Mississauga from January 17 – March 2, received 248 entries from across Ontario. Jurors selected 48 artists to be in the show.

Until the end of February, the AGM blog will feature VAM 35 artists every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Learn about the thinking behind the works in the exhibit, and see the works in person at the AGM!

Name: Natasha Gouveia
Title of work: 1,492 Staples

1.      Tell us about your work in VAM 35. Give us an idea of the conceptual framework you used in creating this piece. What inspired it? Why did you choose to use that particular medium? Why that particular perspective, set of colours, subject matter, etc.

1,492 Staples uses 1,492 staples that push apart the front a wooden panel. The staples are not being used as a binding material, instead the staples and the action of stapling deconstructs and disrupts the surface of the piece. The staples are not supplemental tools; they are the emphasis of the work.

A lot of my work explores what happens when parts of artworks are removed or held together. For me, making art is about the process of coming to a realized object. What the viewer sees is the documentation of my time spent with that particular thing. By working on the back of the panel the process is hidden from the viewer. What is visible is the result of my time repeating a singular gesture.

2.      How would you describe your creative process? How has your style changed since you started, and what do you think is the reason behind the change?

Most of my work is arranged using grids and lines. I often work by covering a surface with a single process. I decide what materials I find complementary and pick one way of combining them. However, the properties of my selected materials really dictate the final result. I let the materials I’m using do most of the work for me; I am more of an instigator.

In the case of 1,492 Staples, I arranged the staples in rows. The end result is what wood looks like when you staple into it 1,492 times. This object was not created because of what it would look like; it was created to know what it would look like.

I think I have always treated my work as a means of experimenting with different objects and ideas. Even if someone else is making work similar to mine, I still need to make it so that I can understand it. Making art is a way of educating yourself.

3.      If time and money were no object, what artistic project would you like to undertake? What about this project fascinates you, and how do you think it will engage the viewer?

If there was any artistic project that I could undertake it would be to compose a large- scale exhibition featuring minimalist and process based art. I love looking and thinking about minimalist art and art that is not about the finished product but the steps taken to create it. It is often art that talks about art and I think that these two kinds of art can have an interesting conversation with one another.


Visit the Visual Arts Mississauga 35th Annual Juried Show of Fine Arts at the Art Gallery of Mississauga (AGM) from January 17 – March 2!

For more information, visit the AGM website:

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