LEISURE – Having Ideas by Handling Materials (at Centennial Square)

Jun 03, 2023 - Jan 06, 2024

LEISURE – Having Ideas by Handling Materials

June 3, 2023 - January 6, 2024

Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square, 120 Navy Street, Oakville

Leisure is a collaboration between Montreal-based artists Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley. Working together since 2004, they use a wide range of media, including video, sculptural installation, collage, and text. Their practice considers ideas of connection, collaboration, creativity, and relation, and in the past, has often highlighted the work of overlooked women, such as the landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander and playwright Lina Loos. The relationship between parenting, play and the creative process has also been a subject of their work in recent years.

For this exhibition, Leisure draws on educational theories articulated by the artist, architect and educator Simon Nicholson, who was the son of well-known artists Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson. Particularly relevant here is his 1971 essay Theory of Loose Parts: How Not To Cheat Children, which advocates for children to have freedom over their play environments. Included in the exhibition is a film made as part of Having Ideas by Handling Materials, a unit from an Open University course Nicholson taught in the late 1970s and early 1980s and wall-based works by Leisure, some of which the artists have made collaboratively with their own children. Alongside these are a series of creative workstations inspired by the wheeled plinths Hepworth employed in her studio to store and move around her large-scale sculptures. Visitors of all ages are invited to use these workstations to experiment and make things in a free and unguided way, experiencing for themselves what it means to “have ideas by handling materials."

Learn more about the exhibition here.