Library of Shadows was exhibited at United Contemporary Gallery in Toronto, Ontario from Dec. 11, 2021, to Jan. 8, 2022. This show consisted of book works presented in conjunction with works on paper and an interactive web-based artwork. The book work is a multi-dimensional art form, encompassing the two-dimensionality of the page, the three dimensionality of the structure and the fourth dimension of time. The installation and presentation invite the viewer/reader to interact with the work; to experience the unfolding and materiality of the art works.
Shadow Quartet forms the core of the exhibition. Shadow Quartet is an artist’s book variation on the long poem format. Each of the four cantos is a discrete and distinct manifestation of the shadows cast within our domestic spaces and by our daily activities. The cantos are subtitled Still Life, Graffiti, Incidental Music and Travelogue and celebrate undervalued art genres. This reflects my longstanding attraction to the poetic potential of the overlooked and dismissed aspects of our daily lives.
From the Archives presents five book works that have a conversation with the Shadow Quartet. Always at the Threshold is about the arc of the day and the shadow of patterns and cycles. Obvert explores how the ordinary can so easily become the extraordinary. Townsite House and Corner were inspired by living in Corner Brook’s Townsite area and, through the interplay of the architecture of the book and the architectural images, provide an experience of the strangely familiar and the shadow of the uncanny. Tea Ceremonies is a collaboration with Matthew Hollett. This work is a poetic/visual essay about the shadow of rituals.
Shadows Cast and Present is the digital reimagining of Shadow Quartet. This variation integrates imagery, writing, video and soundscapes into an interactive web-based artwork. The creation of this piece was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts Digital Originals grant program. This work could only have been realized with the creative input of my two collaborators, Matthew Hollett and David Morrish.
The works on paper are pauses, punctuation within the viewing experience. These pages of framed visual experience emphasize my fascination with the sensory and temporal paradoxes we experience during the perception of functional objects and our daily environments. Unexpected qualities of light trigger renewed attention to an overlooked aspect of daily surroundings. I am also intrigued by the way that visual recording devices transform and inform our understanding of the physical world.
This exhibition could only have happened with the generosity and contributions of many. I thank the team at United Contemporary Gallery, Burke Paterson, Founder and Creative Director, and Melanie Trojkovic, Gallery Director for their support and enthusiasm for this project. Thanks to Matthew Hollett for his incredible sensitivity in the digital design and interface of Shadows Cast and Present and to David Morrish for designing and building the very beautiful display furniture and for his support at every stage of this project.