ABOUT THE ARTIST - JUSTINE RUDNICKI
Justine Rudnicki is a graphic artist and designer based in Toronto, specializing in branding, print, and communication design. She is currently ideating and designing digital and interactive experiences at Jam3.
ABOUT THE ART WORK
“There is no greater fulfillment than to be able to use something I made in pursuit of justice and relief.”
—— Justine Rudnicki
What is the story behind the artwork?
The explosion that devastated Beirut on August 4th was absolutely devastating. Seeing footage was devastating, and after months of witnessing so much trauma around the world, I really wanted to do something, no matter how small, that could actually make a difference or help somebody.
My partner is Lebanese, and through him I’ve learned so much about the Lebanese culture, and have such fondness and love for all of its beauty and richness. I’ve been pursuing photography as a hobby for the last few years, and thought a print fundraiser could be my tiny contribution. I selected some prints that I feel most proud of from my last few years of experimenting, and was truly humbled and blown away by the response. Through so much generosity from friends and strangers alike, we were able to raise $500.00 CAD for Impact Lebanon and the Lebanese Red Cross.
These images, among others, now hold a very special place in my heart, as ones people welcomed into their homes, and ones that brought any tiny amount of relief to suffering that continues in Beirut. I really hope to visit someday. There is no greater fulfillment than to be able to use something I made in pursuit of justice and relief.
Why is art/the specific medium you work in important to you?
I started exploring film photography as an escape from other creative fields in my life. After years of studying and practicing design, I wanted to feel like a beginner again — to experiment and play without hesitation, restraint, or self criticism.
Analog photography has been a perfect avenue for that, as whenever I take a photo, I give myself over to the medium and embrace any accidents or unintended results in a way that I don’t experience with any other artistic expression. In that way, photography feels like my most authentic output.
The images I take are my means of escape, and where I embrace my creativity without any sense of perfectionism or watchful eye. Even as I progress and grow in my understanding of photography as a discipline, photography has continued to be an avenue in which I feel most at ease and in tune with my craft.
What else would you want us to know about your work?
My education and career in graphic design have been enormously influential in the way that I understand images and navigate the world. With photography, however, I feel an incomparable level of ownership and expression in my work.
In all creative expression I create, I hope to bring something of value to the world. In my design studies, I pursued political tension and meaning through design, in my professional work, strive to create thoughtful, meaningful, and considered identities and digital experiences, and through photography, all I aim for is a moment of consideration. As I continue to grow and find new channels of expression and new ways of creating images, I will always work to leave something of value in this world.