This exhibition is the culmination of a two year mentoring /collectivizing project. It began as an invitation to the members of the Burlington Art Centre and the Centre's guilds to express interest in an exhibition focused mentoring program. Applicants were required to submit slides and to write a statement about a personally significant object from the domestic sphere, a way of focusing the project through the particular culture of the centre with its significant constituency of active traditional domestic craft guilds.
Ten artists were chosen from the submissions and the introductory group meeting occurred in June 1999. The project mentor has worked with these artists to build a collective which provides participating artists with a support system for new and difficult artistic growth. Examination of contemporary artists' work encouraged experimentation within and beyond a particular medium or craft. Through readings in contemporary cultural theory, the participating artists were encouraged to declare a subject position for artistic work. From these declarations the exhibition focus, 10 body contexts and the collective name Convergence arose. Members chose to make the exhibition publication a collective work, which reflects their year long e-mail collaborations and their letting go of the precious object. The thirteen mentor meetings finished with a final session discussing publication details, installation elements and their idea for a web site.
V. Jane Gordon, Mentor/Curator
Description of the Exhibition
10 Body Contexts from the Convergence Collective
The exhibition features new works by all of the artists - works which deal with the human body in contexts, both experienced and constructed. The artists investigate the questions: what is my subject position in this particular selected context? Where is the body and what does it signify in this context? Is this body lived or construct?
This does not mean the collective is planning an exhibition of figure work. Several of the artists do use body imagery but even landscape painting constructs a body, a body for the painter, a body for the viewer, and a context for those bodies through the body of the dealer who commodifies the painting. All these bodies and others, along with their contexts are researched and explored to create the gallery installations.