October 14 – November 26, 2022
The Main Gallery
2022 Artist-In-Residence Exhibition
The exhibition is the result of a year-long meditation on soft support and a process-based exploration of how empirical knowledge can be expressed through materiality. Displaying various mediums, the immersive exhibition includes, ceramic vessels, interactive soft sculptures, quilted banners, screen prints, and tufted rugs. Referencing domestic space, the artworks all work together as a network, yet function individually, to support human comfort. Each work is linked directly to the body – holding direct traces of the artist’s hand and engaging the viewer’s body through their tactile nature and interactive potential. The aim of the overall installation is to draw the viewer through an embodied experience of contemplation that results in a sense of encompassing calm.
Visually, the work features colourful geometric shapes that have the potential for perfection yet fall short of this ideal due to their craft-based hand-made nature. The visual rigid structure and perfect balance of the geometry are softened materially. These shapes are metaphors for interconnectedness and social networks. The contrast of soft and hard, tender and rigid, care and constriction are core to this work.
A series of quilted banners under the title “A New We” and a series of screenprints under the title of “A study on how to be whole…” feature these shapes in various compositions. Speaking to the complexities of how individuals interact within social groups, also bring a spark of joy, and hope through their colourful and playful nature.
A series of soft sculptures reference props used in mindfulness and bodywork practices, as well as bodies onto themselves. Through them I am exploring how soft support, without internal systems of rigid structure, might function as adaptive, responsive, and customizable to the bodies of different individuals. They ask how we can soften to become resilient. I see this as an intersectional feminist approach to sculpture and support.
“A study for holding…” is a large mass of ceramic vessels, thrown in an ongoing ritualistic regular practice become material manifestations of the space that I have held – physically shaping material into hollow containers while emotionally holding space for introspection. A type of moving meditation, I have worked on these clay pieces intuitively, allowing my hands and the clay to respond to each other, in essence a material expression of my somatic experience and empirical knowledge held in my body.
Throughout the pandemic, we have become more aware of our bodies – our biological bodies through the threat to our health, our social bodies through physical isolation and social distancing, and our racialized and gendered bodies through heightened political activism. I have been seeking out teachings around body and trauma, especially racialized and gendered trauma. The idea that psychological upsets are felt, stored, and processed in our body means that this trauma is also healed through the body. I am interested in making art objects that can transform a formal artistic setting into a space for emotional and physical support through creative play. As such, I seek to make work that calms the body’s nervous system and creates space for healing and connection.
Overall, the residency has aided in a healing transition and safe re-emergence of myself to my art practice and the exhibition will aid in the same safe return of our community to the public world. It is my goal that when people leave the resulting exhibition, they feel settled and calm in their bodies.
Kerri-Lynn Reeves (she/her) is an interdisciplinary artist, educator, and mother originally from rural Manitoba, where she grew up as a European-Canadian settler on Treaty 2 land. Often working in craft and material practices, she studies the relationship of the social and the material. With a commitment to blurring the lines between life and art, she explores the confluences of her art making, teaching, and parenting practices in all that she does. She holds a BFA from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg, MB) and a Master of Fine Arts – Studio Arts in Fibres and Material Practices from Concordia University (Montreal, QC). Reeves has received awards from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Winnipeg Arts Council, Manitoba Arts Council, Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, Edmonton Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Concordia University, Memorial University, and MacEwan University. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Centre, Mildred’s Lane, Museum of Contemporary Native American Art, Riding Mountain Artist Residency, MOTHRA, and is the Artist-in-Residence for Harcourt House for 2021-22. Reeves is a tenure-track Assistant Professor in Studio Arts at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB (Amiskwacîwâskahikan), Treaty 6 Territory.
Top Image: A study for a new we… #2 (detail), 2022, cotton, hand dyed wool batting, thread, 46x86x1 inch
Courtesy of the Artist