The online exhibition ‘Exchange Piece’ explores collaboration as an act of care through an exchange between 10 early career and senior artists and designers working in pairs to explore how care in the creative process affects the way we relate and position ourselves to what we create. As an extension of the exhibition, the ‘Exchange Piece’ window installation features the work of one pair of collaborators: Khadija Aziz and Laura Kay Keeling, and the solo work of Laura Kay Keeling.
Working together, Khadija Aziz and Laura Kay Keeling created ‘Layers of Labour of Love’, a diptych of digital collages exchanged between the artists reflecting on labour, love, and acts of care that have become especially prominent in our communities over the last year. Paired by DesignTO, the artists participated in an exchange of conversations, readings, and their own artworks, to learn about each other’s personal narratives that inspire them to make the art that they do. Twice a week for four weeks, Khadija and Laura exchanged two digital collages and each added new scanned images of plants, textiles, and other everyday objects to develop this diptych. These reciprocating acts of care – through the labour of consciously contributing to each other’s work – has culminated in a visual representation of what could only be the result of a truly collaborative effort.
‘When It Gets Dark, I Have Shallow Breath’ is an installation by Laura Kay Keeling that strives to unpack grief and explore healing following the traumatic death of her grandmother. Through experiencing loss as a lingering visitor, she practiced sitting with grief to honor her experiences and memories. In creating this work, Laura practiced care through her approach to the subject: care for herself, her memories, and in the selection and use of materials.
The ‘Exchange Piece’ window installation is curated by DesignTO, co-presented with Harbourfront Centre, and supported by Lemay.
Khadija Aziz is a Toronto-based textile artist and educator who makes glitch art using textile-making techniques in collaboration with digital technologies. Through the manipulation of images and fibres, she creates unexpected surface outcomes that are guided by material explorations. She received the 2019 Award of Excellence in Community Arts Engagement from the Ontario Museum Association for her work at the Textile Museum of Canada. In recognition of her creative practice, Khadija has most recently received the Shanks Memorial Award in Textiles from Craft Ontario and the Creative Promise Award from the Surface Design Association in 2020.
Laura Kay Keeling is a Toronto-based artist whose work encompasses analog photography, video, collage and installation-based projects. Her work explores how we form connections with each other and nature. Exploring and unpacking emotions through the creation of new work, while examining concepts related to “the visitor” as spoken about in Rumi’s Poem ‘The Guest House’. Laura feels very connected to and at peace in nature; her new works explore ideas relating to plant sentience and reciprocal care.