Friday, June 24, 2011

Catching Up


I am very behind on this blog! My only excuse is that I'm one month into a summer job that requires me to spend a very long time on a computer-- something far from the retail reality I was so used to one short month ago. By the time I get home, I would rather not type another word! There is plenty to catch up on, but for this post I'll just concentrate on the two (wonderful and super noteworthy) shows I have work in right now.

The above photograph is of my corner of a little world known as The Wunderkabinet-- a roving series of exhibitions in Kreuzberg, Berlin curated by the talented Leah Buckareff. This is my third Wunderkabinet exhibition, and in some ways the premise of this third exhibition-- The Reading Raum-- is the one that is closest to my heart. Housed in a wacky architectural storage unit called The Turtle in the Etsy Labs Berlin space, The Reading Raum is an archive and exhibition of mini-books, zines and printed matter. Much like a zine library, people are encouraged to peruse the books and linger, and they even have the option to purchase many of the items on display. I loaned a heap of work to the show and if the photographs of the opening on Leah's Flickr page are any indication, it looks like the show was very well recieved when it opened. Congrats Leah, and thanks again for including me!

Paradise Lost

Secondly, I am one of the 49 artists included in Paradise Lost-- the very last exhibition at Fly Gallery, a long-running and much loved window gallery on Queen Street West. The following is text from the press release put out by Tanya Read and Scott Carruthers, proprietors of Fly Gallery:

After 12 years Fly Gallery is packing it in. Our mandate has been to keep art accessible and contribute to the cultural life of the street. Since 1999 the development of this stretch of Queen St. has changed the dynamic of that culture. One may call this development ‘Gentrification’. Often associated with negative connotations it is a reality of many urban neighbourhoods. Whether the development is a good or bad thing, it is a factor in why Fly is leaving Queen West. Is this Paradise Lost or a new beginning? The spirit of Fly will live on and we have invited artists to say goodbye with us.

I had my very first art show at Fly Gallery in 2005, and I ended up showing there twice more in 2006 and 2008. Fly was instrumental in bringing art to the Queen Street strip and providing people with spontaneous and often playful encounters with art in their daily lives. It was immeasurably valuable as a truly accessible art gallery-- a rare breed in this day and age. I'll miss it dearly! Happy trails, Tanya and Scott!

Proverb For Queen Street West

This is a photo of my piece for Paradise Lost while it was in progress. "The poor are shunned even by their neighbours, but the rich have many friends" is a proverb from the Old Testament. I chose it because I felt like it succinctly summed up my view of what has been happening on Queen West for the past five or six years. While the tone of this proverb may seem a little snippy, I admire Tanya and Scott for taking the opportunity to move forward and start anew.

Paradise Lost is up at Fly Gallery-- 1172 Queen Street West-- until August 13, 2011.

Photo Credit (Top): Ina Gollmann

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