Artist: Sky Glabush
Exhibition title: A New Garden
Venue: MKG127, Toronto, Canada
Date: January 7 – February 4, 2017
Photography: all images copyright and courtesy of the artist and MKG127, Toronto
Note: Text by Kim Neudorf can be found here
MKG127 is proud to present A New Garden, an exhibition of new work by Sky Glabush.
What are the conditions for growth? In the studio it’s about tapping into the something: the imagination, experience, memory, the body, the hands. Moving towards energy. The feeling of hitting a nerve, or some latent fear, or excitement, or curiosity. I imagine the studio as a greenhouse or a garden. What could be planted? What are the conditions that will sustain growth? What are the impediments, restrictions, the adverse conditions? I am also thinking about the role of art and community. What is its value? Why spend all this time on it? It makes me think of the difference between something grown in southern California, sprayed with pesticides and preserving agents and shipped thousands of kilometers to my local grocery store as opposed to the tomato grown in my yard. The time and energy spent nurturing a garden is not quantifiable.
I often trick myself by learning about new ways of working and in adopting a posture of learning I feel more receptive. Exploring new material approaches and histories provokes questions and challenges my assumptions about things. Often these alternative ways of working have a kind of narrative, a back-story which also guides development and change. But there are other types of growth that seem to inform my work as an artist. I think about my kids and creating an environment where they can mature and move out into the world. Watching a person develop and learn to express herself, watching the imagination bloom, dealing with fear, rejection, and the pain that inevitably accompanies growth, these are elements of raising children that I have been thinking about in relation to this question of sustaining growth. There are similarities between the work of an artist and that of a parent and I am interested in these parallels.
I think about the inordinate amount of time spent on an activity like weaving. It is repetitive, and expensive. It is so much easier to simply buy a piece of canvas and get to work. But for me, learning about this activity exposed me to questions about its real costs, made me value the implicit labour. It opened me to a history I was unaware of. This body of work explores the idea of growth, from these different perspectives and uses the studio and the gallery as a platform to stage questions about value and meaning.
Born in 1970 in Alert Bay, British Columbia, Sky Glabush lives and works in London, Ontario , where he teaches at the University of Western Ontario. He holds a BFA from the University of Saskatchewan and an MFA from the University of Alberta. Recent exhibitions include The Painting Project at Galerie de l’UQUAM, The Kingdom of Names at Thames Art Gallery, The Visible and the Invisible at the Art Gallery of Windsor, What Is A Self at Oakville Galleries and The window is also a door at Prosjektrom Normanns in Stavanger, Norway. Glabush’s work is in many public and private collections including the Canada Council Art Bank, McIntosh Gallery, Museum London, Mackenzie Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, The University of Western Ontario, McCarthy Tetrault, TD Bank and the Bank of Montreal.