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  • Aug 17, 2015
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It wasn’t until we closed our eyes that we could finally see what was there all along
Derek Liddington

September 11 to October 24, 2015
Opening Reception September 11, 8pm

Residency August 28 to September 1, 2015
Artist talk – September 25, 12pm – Gordon Snelgrove Gallery

Performance – September 26, evening – Culture Days and Nuit Blanche

In his consideration of the relationship between labor and mark-making, Liddington has begun to look at the representation of objects through collaborative and collective interactions, and how the resulting efforts – and tension – influence form and composition. It wasn’t until we closed… presents new work by the artist created under this premise, in combination with site-specific sculptures created by the artist and collaborative makers.

Individuals will work in tandem with the artist to create a single object, or series of objects, that are reflective of a specific subject or site – often used in the historical definition of a ‘still life’. Realized in clay, the final form of these sculptures – apples, bananas, pineapples, columns, plants – will be determined through acts of collaborative rubbing and kneading. The individuals and groups brought on to take part in this process will be representative of distinct social and economic labor groups.

The makers of these works become actors in a play, their performance captured in the crevices and gesture embossed on the surface of the clay. These marks are then political – an action that inherently disrupts and carries with it the biography of the protagonist. Surface is called to question as a means of understanding the trace of the gesture and its relationship to the subject and author. In this light the works point to the history of both material, subject and author as a means for deriving politic.

Or, how I tried works through labour as an essential component of mark-making. The actions of mark-making often mirror that of the worker – rubbing, squeezing, molding and polishing. In this sense labor is a process of understanding materiality, history and biography.

The task of collectively remembering a column:  Together actors Damien Bartlett, Meghan Hemingway, Sean Hoey and Curtis Peeteetuce worked on 1000 pounds of clay for 2 hours and 27 mins. Documentation for this performance included in Derek Liddington’s solo exhibition “It wasn’t until…” can now be viewed online.  Videography by Cory Schewaga.

Thanks to our ongoing partnership with the Saskatoon Public Library, the Frances Morrison Fine Arts Department has curated a selection of books on loan at AKA throughout the exhibition.  The new reading list can be found here.


Derek Liddington obtained his MFA from Western University (2007) and BFA from NSCAD University (2004). Liddington’s work has been exhibited in numerous public settings, including his intervention at the Art Gallery of Ontario The Sun has Always Set From East to West (Toronto, ON). Recent solo exhibitions include Every moment can be traced back to the first time the sun touched my face (Cambridge Galleries, Cambridge, Canada, 2013), Modern Love (Daniel Faria Gallery, Toronto, ON, 2013) and It wasn’t until we closed our eyes that we could finally see what was there all along (AKA Gallery, Saskatoon, Canada, 2015). Liddington’s work has shown internationally at Art Berlin Contemporary (2013), Onagawa AIR, Japan (2013) as well as NADA New York (2014). In the fall of 2014 Liddington staged a 12-hour ballet electric guitar ballad in collaboration with Zev Farber and Cara Spooner as part of Denise Markonish’s curatorial project at Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. Liddington has been the recipient of numerous grants, including support from the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts as well as being a finalist for the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts, Artist Prize in 2011. Liddington currently practices in Toronto, ON.


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© Copyright 2015. All Rights Reserved. AKA artist-run would like to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture, and Saskatchewan Lotteries.

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