Canadian artists Dana Claxton, Sky Glabush and Yam Lau gathered at Toronto’s Drake Hotel on September 21, 2013, to discuss an important topic: aspects of their practice that are often hidden or behind the scenes.
The free panel was part of the Canadian Art Foundation Gallery Hop.
London, Ontario, artist Sky Glabush discussed making a departure from a well-received series of landscape paintings into territory that was more explicitly personal and psychological. He also traced his unlikely and sometimes quite tenuous path to becoming an artist.
Vancouver artist Dana Claxton, who is of Lakota Sioux descent, described her work with declassified FBI documents related to the American Indian Movement. In this practice, she has reproduced selected documents—many of them with areas that have been blacked-out or redacted—as large-scale photographs. Claxton also touched upon the recent Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada event in Vancouver and the ways that art can relate to trauma and traumatic memories.
Yam Lau, who is based in Toronto, discussed making work in China in recent years. His experiences on this front have been various, from being surveilled by police after trying to create a public art project known as the Donkey Institute of Contemporary Art to working with speakers of a dying language that was originally created so that women in a particular village could communicate with one another confidentially.
The panel was moderated by Canadian Art editor Richard Rhodes, and it was followed by an audience Q&A session. For more information about the annual Canadian Art Foundation Gallery Hop, which also includes free gallery tours and other events, please visit canadianart.ca/galleryhop.