Studio Sixty Six
Joyce Crago  

Joyce Crago

"I have questions in my mind that I pursue."

Joyce Crago grew up on a farm in southwestern Ontario. In 2014, she made a mid-career change of profession from law to photography. Her motivations to understand situations and issues and, in particular, injustices, which encouraged her to study law, continue to motivate her behind a camera. Where words prove inadequate, photography now provides the means to explore her concerns about contemporary society. Her images are produced intuitively using both digital and large format film cameras. Crago recently completed her studies at the School of Photographic Arts: Ottawa.

Winner of Canadian Applied Arts Award 2015, 2016

Artist CV


Series: Flotsam

Why, in our contemporary society, throw-away society, are the discarded objects, the garbage, often the most sublimely beautiful? How easy is it to ignore the trash thrown into the garbage bin? In telling the story of what is thrown away, Crago wants to explore the overlooked parts of our surroundings. Another question that was raised by this body of work, as she began to work on it, is why would important Canadian arts organizations, dedicated to nurturing Canadian arts and artists, deny access to their garbage? What does it say about an arts organization that they feel the need to edit their garbage? For example, the Art Bank stated:

 "I love what you are doing but with reservations in regards to Art Bank garbage. Anyone reading this would assume the artworks are garbage (contemporary art is a challenge to many) and not the detritus of framing, eating etc. please consider another opportunity."

The still-life compositions are created out of garbage from various locations including the Canada Council Art Bank in Ottawa, the Pace MacGill Gallery in NYC, and the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. 

Series: Cultural Reportage 

The continuation of my Flotsam series is about cultural reportage. What do the pictures of the trash I collected from morning walks for coffee and from the Women’s March on Washington and the Inauguration tell us about the world we live in?

“Cultural reportage”

Like a souvenir hunter, I search out things that stand for a particular location or a particular event, like the Inauguration and the Women’s March on Washington.

Thus the trash carries the traces of the location (Washington, D.C.) and the people who participated in both events. The seemingly banal objects were collected on January 20, 2017, and January 21, 2017.

 It is interesting to think of their backstory:

Who left the hot hands hand warmer on Inauguration Day?
Who left a lifesaver on a yellow string at the Women's March on Washington?
Who left the yellow “Fuck Off” tape at the Women's March on Washington?
Who left a Marlborough cigarette butt in a holder at the Inauguration?


    Women’s March on Washington (Kleenex)
    Illness (Dr. C.W., Red & Blue)
    Illness (Dr. G.P., Pipe)
    Illness (Dr. J.Y., Red & Black)
    Illness (Dr. P.K., Apple)
    Pink (Inauguration, Glasses)
    Pink (W.M.W., Feathers)
    The Basics (Inauguration, Screw You)
    The Basics (W.M.W., WTF America)
    Organic (Inauguration, Ivanka Trump)
    Organic (W.M.W., Melissa McCarthy)
    Hands (Inauguration, Hot Hands)
    Hands (W.M.W., Fuck Off)
    Art Bank, Orange and Banana
    Art Bank, Burgundy Napkin
    Gardens, Ontario Reports
    Pace MacGill, 2015, Coffee Lid
    Hamburger Bahnhof, Green Fabric
    Art Bank, Thai Express
    Art Bank, Flower Pot
    Art Bank, Nails
    Art Bank, Paint Brush