Axe Head is a program of exchanges and exhibitions between Basque and Canadian artists and art institutions.

For the first exchange, Toronto artist Kristiina Lahde will have her work exhibited at La Taller, a printshop and gallery in Bilbao. Concurrently Open Studio will be featuring a print-based work by the Spanish artist Rosa Parma on the wall in the Print Sales Viewing Room.

Kristiina Lahde

Chance (2010-11), Ink on paper, 28 x 35.5 cm

Throughout her art-making career, Toronto-based Kristiina Lahde has used commonplace materials and objects to produce her work, obscuring them of their original functions through folding, cutting and rearranging. The repetitive and rhythmic arrangements found in her work are informed by the tenets of Conceptual and Minimal art. In early works like Kaleidoscope (2008-09), Lahde cut and rearranged typographical elements from newspapers and shopping flyers into prismatic patterns that embody our information-saturated world.

In the work here, however, Lahde loosens up her approach to art-making, connecting elements of chance to a process of replication and reversal. She uses dice as a stamp, applying ink to all sides before tossing the dice across the paper's surface. As the dice bounces, it leaves inky traces of its path with a complete print of the dice in its final resting spot. As the marks accumulate, the work becomes a record of a series of actions. The chance throw is then re-created as a mirror image.

Kristiina Lahde received her BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1999. Since that time, her work has been shown extensively in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and the U.S.A. Her work has been seen at The Power Plant (Toronto, 2013), the Anna Leonowens Gallery (Halifax, 2013), La Biennale de Montreal (2011), University of Texas Art Gallery (Austin, 2009), and Weatherspoon Art Museum (North Carolina, 2009). A solo exhibition of her work is on view at the Koffler Gallery in Toronto from January 22 to March 29, 2015. She is represented by MKG127 in Toronto.

Rosa Parma

Untitled (2007), serigraphy and lithography on paper (AP), 28 x 38 cm.

Drawing and printmaking form the nucleus of Rosa Parma’s artworks. In her artistic practice as a whole, the raw force evident in her drawings combine with the inherent multiplicity of printmaking processes to found a dynamic and diverse production, where lines of construction cross and intertwine, and limits hold little weight. The influence of punk and feminist movements goes well beyond being a graphic characteristic of her work, but is the motor that leads her further to self-publishing and independent cultural initiatives.

The present work, which combines screen printing and lithography, reveals a fascination for the precarity of a subjective body and the preference for a heterogeneous process, which exemplify the habitual practice of the artist. The feminine figure, dismembered and inflamed in acidic chroma, writhes and struggles in the ferocity of the stroke on the stone. This work belongs to a series that abounds in ribald images of carnality, and was made during a residency in the Viña de Gijón artistic printmaking centre, in Asturias, Spain.

Rosa Parma lives and works in Bilbao. She achieved her Diploma of Advanced Studies (Master) from the Faculty of Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country in 2010, where she developed her thesis project “Dialectic of the Existential and an Instantaneous Aesthetic: From Advertising to Art.” She is currently the co-director of both Riot Flesh and Puerta, where she deploys her creative capacity in projects like T-festa, or in educational actions such as her Radikal Drawing Workshop. She has participated in various individual exhibitions, such as MGT/CT at Sala Rekalde in Bilbao and Una Imagen Brutal in Ekain Artelanak in San Sebastian. She has also been awarded several grants and awards during her artistic career, including the III National Lithography Prize “Ciudad of Gijón” in 2006.


La Taller is a space specifically dedicated to printmaking, understood in an open manner with its hybridizations with other artistic derivations, directed by Maite Martínez de Arenaza. The workshop combines the industrial character of an engraving workshop and a gallery in the same space, a place of artistic creation and research on one side and an area of exhibition, meeting and communication on the other. This structure highlights the materialization of the idea, the journey that it has had to make itself become perceptible. It aims to enable an unprejudiced, curious, conversational and profound approach to various proposals. La Taller is not a closed and defined project; it is enriched and strengthened in collaboration with other artistic proposals.

Open Studio, Canada’s leading printmaking centre, is a charitable, non-profit, artist run centre dedicated to the production, preservation and promotion of contemporary original fine art prints. Open Studio is a comprehensive artist-run centre for contemporary printmaking practice, providing multi-faceted services, programs and information to artists and the public alike. As a national organization, Open Studio offers affordable and equal access to printmaking facilities, programs and services for artists from across Canada and abroad. As an artist-run centre, it is our priority to support artists in the development of their professional endeavours.



Kristiina Lahde

Rosa Parma

La Taller

Open Studio


Bill Clarke

PDF - Axe Head #01 pamphlet