Veiled: Andrew McPhail, Grace Ndiritu, Tazeen Qayyum
Textile Museum of Canada
October 12, 2011 - February 12, 2012
Curated by Sarah Quinton
Veiled examines the act of veiling the body not only as a material and physical gesture, but also as an emotional and personal process. Artists Andrew McPhail, Grace Ndiritu and Tazeen Qayyum use the idea of a veil as a poetic device for the investigation of public vs. private space, protection and intimacy. This exhibition focuses on three contemporary artists, whose work includes video, performance, sculpture and installation, building on the Textile Museum's investigations of the flow of contemporary expression in a globalized context.
Wednesday, November 9 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm, preceded by a gallery talk with Andrew McPhail and Tazeen Qayyum from 6:00 - 7:00 pm
About the artists
Grace Ndiritu makes 'hand-crafted videos' and 'video paintings' that articulate the power of a small piece of cloth as the artist wraps it around her body in movements that transform it into a turban, a burka, a scarf, a shawl, referencing a 1950s housewife or a 21st-century rap artist or Egyptian belly dancer. The veil can preserve modesty or it can claim erotic connotations, and Ndiritu directs the transformative capacity of cloth to both conceal the body and make it visible.
Andrew McPhail has spent over 4 years making a lace-like veil titled all my little failures out of thousands of systematically stuck-together Band Aids. The artist's obsessive assemblage of ordinary first aid supplies creates a heartrending yet humourous 'second skin' – a massive, flesh-like body covering that might be seen as a visualization of chronic disease such as HIV, which McPhail has been living with since 1993. all my little failures calls attention to the healing capacity of touch, protection and personal safety.
Tazeen Qayyum is a contemporary miniature painter. She paints on rubber hot water bottles and canvas ice bags – mass-produced objects that are designed to tend to the distressed body. Subtly altered and embellished with culturally symbolic hand-painted designs that respond to stories of migration, class and race shared with her by women from around the world, these objects are turned 'inside-out' to portray intimacies that were once veiled and protected.
Textile Museum of Canada
55 Centre Avenue
Toronto ON M5G 2H5
Image: Grace Ndiritu, Still Life: Green Textiles, 2005-07, Video still. Photo: Courtesy the artist and The Agency Gallery, London.