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Tiziana La Melia: The Eyelash and the Monochrome

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Tiziana La Melia. The Eyelash and the Monochrome. Vancouver: Talon Books, 2018.

128 pages

15.24 x 0.51 x 22.86 cm

Combining visuals and text, this collection of poems travels through territories as varied as daily and domestic activities; social relationships; literature, cinema, and art; as well as dreams, as it moves between the page and the exhibition.

The Eyelash and the Monochrome asks: what happens when material becomes thought and thought becomes object? At once a book of poetry and an artist’s book, it gathers together poems, performance scripts, and parallel texts, illustrating the hybrid nature of these texts and trespassing upon the boundaries of genre. It is a book about enmeshment, about the potentiality of interplay. It is a conversation. It is not linear, but it interrogates and explores the line: lines of text, lines of dialogue, socio-economic lines drawn or crossed, lines that were the trails of snails … Everything is a signifier, meaning is elastic, and references are multi-faceted. La Melia’s multivalent and generative practice lives in process; it thinks through materials (paint, objects, non-human forms) with violent sentimentality, excessive desire, naiveté, narrative construction, and an awareness of the body and memory.

This collection comes out of friendship; it is for other poets, artists, or for anyone interested in ecology, communication, contradiction, displacement, subjectivity, memory, art, reading, and writing. It is comfortably uncertain, contradictory, and reflective. In defiance of order, La Melia’s haptic writing is as a riddle inquiring after our environment and our attempts to situate ourselves within our uncertain time. The Eyelash and the Monochrome meshes conflicting modes of thinking to produce a collage of thought through the body, through the material, and through slippages of language.

“Vancouver-based La Melia was the winner of the 2014 RBC Canadian Painting Competition, but painting is just one of the mediums she employs. First and foremost, she is a poet” (Canadian Art).


Tiziana La Melia (b. 1982) grew up in the Okanagan region of British Columbia and now lives in Vancouver. Her paintings, textiles, installations, collaborations and writing are concerned with overlapping registers of perception, feeling, memory and narrative. She has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie; Lucas Hirsch, Dusseldorf; Griffin Art Projects, North Vancouver (all 2019); Damien & the Love Guru, Brussels; Galerie Anne Baurrault, Paris (both 2019/17); Walter Phillips Gallery, Banff Centre (2017); Oakville Galleries; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Vancouver Art Gallery (all 2016); Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles (2015) and Mercer Union, Toronto (2014). She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and an MFA from the University of Guelph.

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