Prairie Art Book Fair books dancing back and forth

Sylvia Matas
Winnipeg, MB | Canada

Sylvia Matas is an artist working in video, bookworks, text, and drawing. Her work combines images and writing that depict moments of transition, anticipation, and altered experiences of time and space. Suspended moments intersect, blurring the boundaries between places and times, between the mind and the external world.

In Every Direction consists of images and text that describe overlapping mental and physical environments. There are references to sound and movement through time and space, in and out of intensity and in and out of focus.

A huge space, largely empty is a non-linear narrative that revolves around a lake. On the first page, a character picks up a stone on a night walk in the country and throws it into a lake. At the end of the book someone approaches a lake where a hole has mysteriously formed in the ice. In between those two pages there are references to sleep, dreams, insomnia, memory, and spatial disorientation.

A Reversal of Winds brings together images and texts that point to unrealized futures and residue of past worlds that co-exist within the present. The existence of people is peripheral. They enter the book indirectly through traces they’ve left: a path in the snow, billows of smoke, the remains of built environment…

When the cities are gone, what will take their place? is a mixture of personal and non-fiction texts in between photographs. It was inspired by Saturn’s rings, the disappearance of all things, a slowing of time, night sounds & looking out my window.

Sylvia Matas is an artist from Winnipeg. She received her MFA from the Chelsea College of Art in London, England. Her work has been exhibited at The Winnipeg Art Gallery, Plug In ICA, YYZ Artists’ Outlet, Gallery 44, the Art Museum, Mercer Union, the Maclaren Art Centre, Truck Contemporary Art, and Útúrdúr, Reykjavík. Her videos have been screened at Smart Projects Space (Amsterdam), Harvestworks DMAC (New York), Helen Pitt Gallery (Vancouver), Gallery Homeland (Portland, OR), Eyelevel Gallery (Halifax). Her recent show at YYZ Artists’ Outlet is reviewed in the March 2020 issue of Border Crossings.


We are on Treaty 1 Territory. Plug In ICA is located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the homeland of the Métis Nation.

We offer our sincere thanks to Red River Co-op for their generous support of our 2020 book fair. Thank You!

We are grateful to artists Michael Dumontier and Neil Farber for the Prairie Art Book Fair logo designed for our first fair in 2018.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We would like to The Winnipeg Foundation for their ongoing support of Plug In ICA.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Erin Josephson-Laidlaw at

For more information about the Prairie Art Book Fair, contact Erin Josephson-Laidlaw at or Luther Konadu at

For more information about our programming, contact Nasrin Himada at

For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043.