by Jane Litchfield
These two young artists are out to change the way people look at the world around them. Both in their final year at University of Guelph’s Studio Art program, they create collaborative artwork together as Ahmri + Abby. They help people notice things they walk by every day, but never really see, like a perfectly square little hole in the wall, or bricks peeking through a crack in plaster. “If you take time to pay attention to your surroundings, you may find something beautiful,” Abby says.
Ahmri Vandeborne and Abby Nowakowski (image by Jane Litchfield)
Separately, they also explore how people interact with the world around them. Ahmri’s work as an interdisciplinary artist is based on the environment, the landscape, and the human impact on nature. She grew up in an environmentally conscious family and studied geography and environmental science along with her art studies to inform her practice. “I’m interested in why humans do what they do,” Ahmri says. For example, she is interested in the way some people look at climate change and say, ‘I can’t do anything about it,’ and the psychology behind that.