the beginning of something long underway is an unintended chronicle of the last three years. In the BeforeTimes, when we could hop on the public transit and roam the city without a second thought, I freely explored amazing sites like the Bloor St Viaduct.
During the enforced isolation of these last two years, my perception of time and locale has shifted inward. The intimate landscape of home has become somehow just as beautiful and captivating as any outdoor scene.
This show also includes the 900 Days Project. An experimental work, it’s an episodic, devotional daily practice, made in 100-day increments over the last several years. After the first panel was completed in 2017, I decided to continue through to create a total of nine. The final panel was just finished on March 27. This show at the Lyceum Gallery marks the first time that all nine hundred tiny, daily paintings have been seen together.
Back in 2014, I participated in a group exhibition called “Edge”. The curator asked the artists to challenge themselves by finding new ways of working — literally an “edge”.
In response, I set out to free myself from too much thinking. I gently asked my narrative, representational impulses to take a rest. This new piece would be abstract, and fuelled by the joy of worry-free making. I said, “Let’s see what happens when a piece is invited to make itself!” But how to achieve this?
A description of the process sounds rather convoluted, but it flows intuitively in practice. It’s a bit like keeping a visual diary. To start off, I divided a panel into 100 equal squares, and concealed each square under a numbered piece of paper. For 100 consecutive days, I picked a number by lottery, uncovered only that square, and filled it with a tiny painting or collage. Immediately it was hidden again under its paper blanket. To keep the piece from having a dominant orientation, the panel was rotated daily a quarter-turn clockwise. Only after the one hundredth day were the paper covers allowed to come off, revealing the finished piece. Surprise!
Exhilarated from both the process and the result of the first 100 Days project, I was sparked to do it again multiple times over the past eight years. Once, I introduced circles as a daily theme just for fun.
When this piece was unveiled, I knew immediately that it was the start of a series of nine unified, interchangeable panels.
The final panel was just completed. This show at the Lyceum Gallery marks the first time that all 900 tiny paintings have been seen together.