Photo Credit:
Jonathan Kyrein

Twyla Exner

Created with support from:


Artist Statement

Things embody whimsy and worry through their materials, formal elements, and the processes by which they are made.  Physically constructed from post-consumer telephone wires, the works are comprised of thin plastic-coated copper wires used to connect land line telephones.  Cell phones replaced many land lines in the mid 2000’s, rendering the colourful wire infrastructure obsolete in many spaces.  The collection of these wires has become akin to traditional scavenging of natural materials for weaving.  Wires are prepared through the removal of casing materials and separating individual strands of wire.  Representing urban surroundings and the impetus of progress of “wireless” devices, these sculptures reclaim old technological infrastructure holding within their very materials the many connections they once enabled.  Inspired by coral formations, fungi, plants, seed pods, and sea creatures, the sculptures mimic and liberally combine formal elements of nature.  Merging technological waste with natural formations through labour intensive and hand-made processes envisions waste materials sprouting with new life through the investment of energy and time; an imaginative alternative ending for e-waste materials.


Twyla Exner is a Canadian artist inspired by the wonders of nature and the idea of electronic technologies gone awry.  She uses the materials and imagery of discarded electronic technologies to create whimsical and worrisome sculptures and drawings that propose hybrids of technological structures and living organisms.

Twyla holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina (Regina, SK) and a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University (Montreal, QC).  From Treaty 4 territory of the Saskatchewan prairies, Twyla currently resides in the forest of Northern British Columbia on the traditional, unceeded territory of the Lheidli T'enneh.  Twyla is passionate about sharing in the creative process and has designed exhibitions and facilitated lectures, workshops, lesson plans and interactive art making experiences across Canada.