by Grady Mitchell | When someone looks at a piece of art, they bring with them an infinite knot of variables – every experience that has shaped them into the person they are at that moment, standing in front of that artwork, influences the unique way they interpret it. Curators Shannyn Higgins and Erica Wilk hope to explore that phenomenon with their upcoming show, Duality.
The two approached 25 Vancouver writers and asked for some words – a snatch of song lyrics, a few verses of poetry, a particularly beautiful passage in a notebook – then handed the excerpts to 25 Vancouver artists to interpret into visual art. The writers don’t know who received their words, nor do the artists know who’s provided their inspiration.
The project, which is being entirely self-financed by the curators, includes both established and emerging Vancouverites. Among the writers are musicians like Dan Mangan and Ryan Guldemond, while the artists include international names like Carson “Chairman” Ting. Featuring newcomers was equally important to Shannyn and Erica, who recruited contributors across all ages, demographics, and mediums to generate the broadest possible set of interpretations.
The show opens May 2nd at East Van Studios (870 E Cordova St) starting at 7pm and will run for just 48 hours. It should have an interesting twist on the traditional art opening, as the writers will be seeking out their words, and for the first time the pairs will meet. It’ll provide a rich opportunity to eavesdrop on insightful conversations about how and why, exactly, each artist interpreted the words the way they did.
Each piece will be on sale for $200; a great deal that sees all proceeds going to the individual artists. The Duality pieces will also be collected in a book (printed, stitched, and constructed in Vancouver) that will include 25 colour prints that can removed and framed. To learn more about Duality, visit the project’s website.