Curator and I would select from these 24 paintings as appropriate for the space. Note 1: Title and details below each painting.
Note 2: See series description below set of paintings.
“Night Playgrounds” is about young people fighting to find private space within an expensive urban environment, where they test limits and ideas of youth culture. Staged in seemingly deserted nighttime urban settings and sectioned off by fences and signs in the orderly fashion of playgrounds, it questions how far playtime and rule breaking can go.
These young people use the “privacy” afforded by nighttime of these public urban spaces to break the rules of their intended uses and carve out their own space in cities where personal space is becoming limited.
It’s about finding a personal freedom within these deserted “private” public spaces. Watching ribbons blow in the wind on a chain link fence. Looking over a fence at night, lying in the grass and attempting to look at stars through a light polluted sky, yelling in the middle of the street or having a temporary breakdown on a cell phone, making out near garbage cans.
This narrative is set over a night or a summer, with a group of young people who may or may not know each other, might just see each other around but definitely share the same urban space and longing for a vast outdoor privacy. The narrative is a combination of scenes between these people and details within their urban environment; a canvas detail of the road or a puddle or a close up of a fence. These detail painting help set the tone just as much as these climactic performative tableaus. Thick paint next to washes, make these paintings desirable but forbidden to touch.
Seeing this night through young people’s hazy memories, the paint brush goes past limits of fun and hidden danger, creating glimpses of a non-linear narrative of an adventurous summer of risk, pool hopping, and drinking.
The installation is a combination of videos, paintings (to be selected with a curator from a series of 24 to fit a space) and textile elements. Each performative video (to be selected with a curator from a series of 8 to fit a space) is a narrative colour corrected painting come-to-life.
The paintings are imagined urban spaces, inspired by Toronto and Montreal. The videos were influenced by the paintings. Each video is similar to a time-based painting.
In creating this series I had a number of influences, including an exhibition I saw on master Indian painters ( Wonder of the Age, Master Painters of India, 1100-1900 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art), African American artist: Romare Bearden, Willem de Kooning and David Hockney.
The artist acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.