In a cover blue as night
Nate McLeod & Shannon Garden-Smith
«I work on dense pages overcrowded with characters, in a Helvetica-based font with minimal line spacing, which yields very solid blocks of text: barely readable, disheartening to re-read. I like it that way, because it forces me never to be satisfied, to be instead ever more demanding. I must, always and forever, keep cutting, clarify, simplify, to make the depressing blocks of text before me fluid, make them fly. But I know that when the text has donned its handsomest finery, when it's set in Times New Roman and laid out immaculately on the page in nicely spaced lines, I'll send it to Irène Lindon decked out in a cover blue as night, and that poor shrivelled thing I've sweated over for months will blossom in the light like a flower opening to the sun. The idea is to train under ever tougher conditions, not easing up till the day comes, to practice penalty kicks with ski boots on (the day you take the ski boots off, it's immediately easier, you'll see).»
Jean-Philippe Toussaint, Urgency and Patience
Shannon Garden-Smith lives and works in Toronto. She received her MFA in studio art from the University of Guelph in 2017 and her BA from the University of Toronto in 2012. She has recently exhibited at Birch Contemporary (Toronto), Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), 8-11 Gallery (Toronto), Y+ Contemporary (Scarborough), Kunstverein am-Rosa-Luxembourg-Platz (Berlin).
Garden-Smith’s highly tactile, slow processes of making explore unproductiveness in order to imagine ways of doing/making/performing that hold too much and too little.
In recent sculpture, she seeks to disorient the work bricks do through the gesture of touch. Using materials sourced from the realm of aspirational home décor, she presses these into contact with one another to produce attachment (or its indexical imprint). Extending this notion of physical attachment to attachment as an affective structuring principle, her practice explores the ways objects are reciprocally embedded in the lives of people, informing how we structure our identities and build our sense of the world.
— Nate McLeod is a Calgary-based artist and curator who received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art + Design in 2010.
In 2012, McLeod co-founded AVALANCHE! Institute of Contemporary Art, where he was the Programming Director until the project ended in 2016. He was concurrently the Associate Curator at Contemporary Calgary from 2014 to 2017, and is now an Educational Art Technician in the Drawing and Painting departments at the Alberta College of Art + Design. McLeod is commercially represented by Herringer Kiss Gallery, and he will be participating in the Wreck City Residency in Calgary, Canada in the summer of 2018.
McLeod’s recent works have focused on the reproduction of found sketches, notes, doodles, the signatures of notable artists, and other quickly scrawled material. Often enlarged from the original, these images are painstakingly recreated in oil on canvas, producing a level of tension between the inherent immediacy of the image and the laborious process undertaken to reproduce it. These formal ideas are often conflated with the conceptual underpinnings of the specific piece of source material or the oeuvre of its original maker, and are further explored through colour relationships, the ongoing repetition of images, and most recently, the introduction of sculptural forms.
Pushmi-Pullyu is a multidisciplinary studio and creative space in Toronto, Canada.
«A variety of things happen»