Back in June, we selected five up-and-coming local artists to participate in our inaugural Emerging Artist Residency Program, an initiative to support the professional and creative development of artists as they launch their careers. Selected artists were granted six weeks of access to workspace in the Flex Studios and a one-week exhibition in the Hallway Galleries. Through this program we have seen the production, refinement and exhibition of exciting work in diverse mediums and the fortification of a growing community of artists.
Over the past couple weeks we have had the pleasure of being the site of the creative explorations of collaborators Erin Robinsong and Andréa de Keijzer as they developed their latest piece this ritual is not an accident. Erin and Andréa used the Flex Studios as a blank canvas to try completely new ideas as well as transform existing sections through questioning and refinement. The artists spent afternoons in the studio discussing and restructuring the rhythm of the performance, evenings developing new movement sequences. And nights gently researching scenes that use darkness, a projector light, a flashlight and sequins.
On Saturday November 15, Erin and Andréa held an intimate work-in-progress performance in the Gold Studio. They invited 15 people, including fellow performance artists, dancers, a festival director, a poet, filmmaker, scholar, yoga teacher, and one person who had never seen a contemporary performance of this type before. In a feedback session following the performance, the artists received valuable insight to assist them in further shaping the piece.
this ritual is not an accident will now go into hibernation for a few months before Erin and Andréa return in Spring 2015 for another two weeks. During this time, they will be working with UK composer Cosmo Sheldrake to finalize a sound score, and the residency will culminate with public performances.
We look forward to having these dynamic creators back and can’t wait to see how the project develops! In the mean time check out a selection of photos they shared with us capturing their experience during the first installment of their residency.
About the Artists
Erin Robinsong is a poet and interdisciplinary artist based in Toronto, originally from Cortes Island. Her work has appeared in Regreen: New Canadian Ecological Poetry; Dandelion Magazine; Poetry Is Dead; and onstage at the Conference on Ecopoetics (Berkeley, CA), and the &NOW Festival of New Writing (San Diego, CA). Erin has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and teaches at Humber College, The Harbourfront Centre, and in public libraries throughout Toronto as part of Swallowing Clouds, a literacy and dance program directed by Yvonne Ng. Forthcoming projects include Breaker and Untitled Wolves, a dance work and installation with Andréa de Keijzer, and Binaural Ballad, a collection of poems that explore the lives of homonyms.
Andréa de Keijzer is a performance, photography and video artist currently based in Montreal. She attempts to make work that returns both performer(s) and audience to their skins by creating situations, experiments, performances and rituals that re-sensitize. Her projects include Our Last Picture (premiere 2015), Breaker and Untitled Wolves (premieres 2014), Le cerf, ou moi qui cède à l’espace (2013), Wolves & Selves (2012), The Self Love Ball (2011), From concentrate (2011), and her most recent work Ozone Tear, Nuclear Thyroid (2013): a collection of objects, stories, images and actions from her co-existence with a labral tear, thyroid cancer and surgery. Andréa de Keijzer graduated from York University in 2009 with a degree in Dance and Kinesiology and has studied photography and video independently in Toronto and Mexico. In 2012 she moved to Montreal where she is co-founder of Compagnie Je suis Julio. She has presented her work at HATCH 2013, Festival International du Film sur l’Art, Art Spin, Dance made in Canada, Summer Love-In Festival, Montréal Fringe Festival and Nuit Blanche. She is an Axis Syllabus teacher candidate who is slowly starting a movement teaching practice.
For the last three years, de Keijzer and Robinsong have been collaborating to create performance installation through video, photo, recordings and live performance.