As contemporary artists struggle with the frame and within its metaphorical restrictions, more and more they are pushing the frame wider to be more inclusive of the totality of their experiences, not the fragments. They are creating temporary spaces, neither heres nor theres but something in flux, reflective perhaps of our own global experiences in a world dominated by electronic media - the disruptions it provokes and the unease it generates. More and more the world is getting used to the idea of temporariness.
Frances Ferdinands explores this neither/nor state in her exhibit “Between Latitudes” now on at the Station Gallery. in Whitby, ON.
It is a collection of works displayed throughout the gallery. Some are framed; snapshots of thoughts, ideas, patterns glimpsed and connections made. Some move beyond the frame - a series of 26 painted flip-flops walk along one wall stepping in tandem away from the 26 year Civil War of Sri Lanka while in the Anne Sims Gallery there is an installation inspired by the 109 beads of the Buddist Mala or Rosary. One hundred and nine different sized embroidery hoops are suspended by strings of beads (found and donated). The hoops are decorated with a variety of circular designs, paintings, phrases, items. The rotation and presentation invites one to enter the space created by the hanging glistening curtains, to enter a space of contemplation, meditation, mindfulness - to be present as one surveys the past of Ferdinands and her journey from Sri Lanka to Canada where she now lives.
While some artists are treating installation artworks as architecture - designing and building new possibilities, new homelands for the new tribes we are forming, Ferdinand is creating a space based on existing connections - the commonalities of humans across latitudes and longing, and the search for our place in the cosmic, spinning around us constantly, endlessly, infinite.