April 22 – June 11, 2016
How a Living Day is Made
Works by Aisha Sasha John, Rachelle Sawatsky & Walter ScottCurated by cheyanne turions
How a Living Day is Made is an exhibition about survival strategies that features the work of Aisha Sasha John, Rachelle Sawatsky and Walter Scott. Their practices open up places of affect, empathy and entanglement, staking a claim for the vibrancy of being recovered from the banal, systemic or heroic struggles of making a life in the world today.
About the Artists
Aisha Sasha John is a poet and dancer. The author of The Shining Material (BookThug 2011) and the Trillium and ReLit Award nominated THOU (BookThug 2014), Aisha’s poetry has brought her to Kelowna, Marrakech, Montreal, New York, Oakland, San Francisco and Vancouver. In 2014, Aisha participated in A Rhythm Party, a Princeton University colloquium marrying poetry and hospitality. In 2013, she was a UNESCO-Aschberg laureate artist, attending Dar Al-Ma’mûn in Morocco. She’s presented talks at numerous art institutions in Toronto including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Mercer Union and the Power Plant. A former company member of Nouvel Exposé (now Jaivah), Aisha’s solo show, VOLUNTEER, premiered at the 36th Rhubarb Festival in February 2015. In January 2016, Aisha’s collaboration with Julia Thomas, WE ARE HANGING OUT RIGHT NOW, premiered at Videofag in Toronto. Another iteration of W.A.H.O.R.N. will take place at Buddies in June 2016. Her third collection of poems, I have to live. will be published by McClelland and Stewart in 2017.
Rachelle Sawatsky is an artist and a writer who lives and works in Los Angeles and Vancouver. Her work employs painting, drawing, ceramics and writing to explore densely internal narratives, primarily through a discourse of painting. Her work has been exhibited internationally, including Night Gallery, Public Fiction, the Finley Gallery, Harmony Murphy Gallery and Artist Curated Projects in Los Angeles; at Presentation House Gallery and Artspeak Gallery, in Vancouver; at Or Berlin in Berlin; at Galerie Mezzanin in Vienna; and at the Tate St. Ives in St. Ives. Her work has been written about in Artforum, Frieze, C Magazine and Art Review. Sawatsky has an MFA from University of Southern California in Los Angeles (2013) and a BFA from Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver (2005).
Walter Scott is an interdisciplinary artist working across writing, illustration, performance and sculpture. In 2011, while living in Montréal, he began a comic book series, Wendy, exploring the narrative of a fictional young woman living in an urban centre who aspires to global success and art stardom but whose dreams are perpetually derailed. The position of the outsider and shape shifter are central to this body of work and the influence of feminist icons such as Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and artist, punk poet, experimental novelist and filmmaker Kathy Acker lingers. Recent exhibitions include Fictive Communities, Koganecho Bazaar, Yokohama, Japan 2014; Pre-Existing Work, Macaulay & Co. Fine Art, Vancouver 2015; and Stopping the Sun in Its Course, Francois Ghebaly Gallery, Los Angeles 2015.
About the Curator
cheyanne turions is an independent curator and writer who holds a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of British Columbia. How a Living Day is Made is mounted in partial fulfillment of her master’s degree in Visual Studies from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. From the farmlands of Treaty 8, she is of settler and Indigenous ancestry. Her work approaches the space of exhibition as alive—the gallery is a space of dialogue where artists, curators and publics can reflect on and experiment with ways of seeing and being in relation. Her exhibition Other Electricities was presented the award for Innovation in a Collections-based Exhibition by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries in 2014. In 2015 she received the inaugural Reesa Greenberg Curatorial Studies Award and the Hnatyshyn Foundation’s Emerging Curator of Contemporary Canadian Art Award. She sits on the Board of Directors for Kunstverein Toronto, the Editorial Advisory Committee for C Magazine and the Advisory Board for the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. She is the director of No Reading After the Internet (Toronto).