Born in Massachusetts, Djuna Day has a degree from New York University and has studied at the Parsons School of Design. Djuna is a self taught woodworker and metalworker and spent many years building furniture for private clients in New York City and Toronto before focusing her practice on art and sculpture. She has been based in Toronto since 2007.
Her artwork has been commissioned for private residences across Canada and is part of corporate collections in Toronto and Montreal.
In my artwork I explore the transition of our human environment from one created by nature to one engineered by our own hands. I examine the insatiable human drive to dismantle our natural environment for its base components only to reassemble these components into environments that so often feel artificial and disquieting. In doing so I ask whether our natural environment is only valuable to the extent to which it can be broken down into valuable components or whether, in this process of disassembly, we lose something important; something that is essential to our humanity.
Working in wood, a once living material, I create topographical environments that feel otherworldly. Using found and handmade pieces in both organic and mathematical patterns I compose dioramas that evoke a visceral response from my viewer: “of nature?” or “apart from it?”. Sometimes these pieces are intended to instill feelings of tranquility, of loneliness, of fear, but never without an element of foreignness. It is this quality that I am most interested in exploring in my art. This foreignness is an inevitable result of the human act. It is the ingredient that we unavoidably add every time we dismantle nature and reassemble its elements. It is a key to who we are as a species.
One of humanity’s defining practices is to reconfigure, reshape, and re-imagine our environment. My sculptures are an examination of this process. They are a reflection of our modern world, created from nature distilled into material.