Saturday 23 February 2013

Common Ground

Circles repeat both on seat bottoms of chairs and the larger circle they create.  Each one holds a piece or remains of what someone has left behind.  After reading the simple yet clear artist statement I was compelled to speak to the artist to find out more. Zanette Singh explained each chair represented the reminents of what individuals leave behind in group therapy.  What is left could be interpreted as bits of wisdom for others  reference points to gage oneself, or the layers of what we have accumulated over the years. Group Therapy was one of the exhibits in the Come up to My Room event last month at the Gladstone Hotel.

Stepping into the room I was intrigued by what each chair held and intuitively felt the meaning was tangible.   My suspicion was right and after speaking to Zanette we had a long discussion of her intention.  One chair that we spent some time talking about, was wrapped with a noose like rope with hair on the end.  It was made with lace table cloths and hair on either end.  We discussed how most women around the world hold positions/roles in their community and the greater culture; as a mother, care giver and host.  Here the table clothes represent the act of setting the table. This opening action then creates a domino effect of future expectations of being a prim and proper women, in accordance to cultural standards. Speaking with Zanette she noted that there is nothing wrong with the act of a women hosting, especially if she enjoys it, it's the issue of felling obligated to fall into the expected roles of a woman. The same can be argued for a man and it's through discussions like these that we can reflect and become aware of our actions and owning them.

Another chair that caught my attention was one that held a row of tiny wire hangers all crammed together.  These represented the changes that we all go through in life when we are moving away, from school, because of a break up with a partner, going to a new home, or changing cities for work.  Starting fresh and letting go of old belongings and patterns that will only hold us down from our future endeavours, to me that is why these hangers are without items.

Regardless if you have been in group therapy or not we have all experienced change in our lives.  Their have been social constructions imposed on you.  This piece opens the dialogue that we all bring something to the table; life lessons, a perspective that joins our common experiences and creates a common ground, we are all human and want the same things in life. With an open mind we can see that negative experiences one has can been shared to then become a positive influence and life lesson for others.

Zanette's art is intimate, personable, and a true reflection of the artist herself.  She strives to find ways to make her art accessible to all by creating different mediums which allow her to also experiment in many different forms.  Her work and experiences have lead her to creating an art funding organization called Qgrant where she provides assistance to youth from 15 to 30 in the granting process and providing grants.  Zanette is always re-evaluating what makes a successful artist and creating a system that is functional, realistic and challenges the norm.  "Art is about an idea, not a price tag."