Abigail Cassio is a Sudbury-born, Toronto-based visual artist. She is fascinated with how portraits capture emotion and wisdom simply through faces. Previously focused on photorealism portraiture using graphite and charcoal, Cassio now experiments mixing photography, writing, and visual art. In 2016, she exhibited work in the Emergence Art Exhibition for which she received four awards. Her work has also been featured at the Sudbury Art Gallery, the Creative Industries Showcase, and other galleries around Toronto.
The absence and presence of dust is a natural way to tell time; a clean surface shows attentive care, such as a bookshelf wiped down in order to preserve. Alternately, a dusty surface is inherently forgotten, unkempt. Moreover, dust is often used as a metaphor, or personified in many instances, and creates vivid imagery. These ideas and notions stick with us as we move and go through life. However, growing up, it was the presence of dust that signified a different presence: my mother, too busy taking care of me, my siblings, and the other kids in her daycare to wipe a surface free of dust: the presence of love. Or knowing that the absence of dust was necessary when a certain uptight someone would come over to our house, my clothes rolled clean of any lint. It’s moments like these that dust turns instead to memories, which accumulate as we grow, and much like dust, these memories signify the passing of time, or the echo of a feeling. This series aims to explore and consider these memories and notions through charcoal, photography, mixed media, and poetry: personal writings of certain memories that I can’t seem to shake off. The physical dust on the page, creating a picture of wisdom, like dust and memories, is accumulated through age and the passage of time. This project invites viewers to rethink their idea of what dust signifies to them in their lives and to perhaps be more aware of its presence and absence.