Where I Lived, and What I Lived For
9 December 2012 – 17 February 2013

Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens & at Centennial Square

“The passage of time (my History) leaves behind a residue that accumulates…"
— Georges Perec

Oakville Galleries is located in the spaces of a once-private estate house and a public library. The two-part exhibition Where I Lived, and What I Lived For uses these highly contemplative environments to explore how interiority and the everyday are staged in the works of sixteen Canadian and international artists, including a number of works from Oakville Galleries' permanent collection. Here, intangible emotions are given form through intimate acts of recording and writing that trace the domestic sphere and the relationships it fosters. The home and the written word become extensions of the psyche: manifestations of inner life and venues for self-articulation. Blurring the lines between disclosure and artifice, privacy and publicity, the exhibition speculates on how feelings nurtured in solitude play out when an audience—real or imagined—is present to share in them.

The exhibition at Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens was inspired by the 1922 Arts and Crafts-style house that now harbours the Galleries. Collectively, the works on view evidence how the domestic sphere shapes one's emotional milieu from childhood through to adulthood, with artists keenly observing their own domestic surroundings and circumstances or reporting on others' everyday lives. The rooms of a house serve to incubate our deepest thoughts, memories, fantasies, and dreams, and the works on view here invoke some of the affective spectres that haunt such interiors.

The exhibition at Oakville Galleries at Centennial Square, in the central branch of the Oakville Public Library, examines how private emotions—particularly around the complex dynamics of romantic partnerships, and between parents and children—take on a public life through writing and text-based practices. The repetition visible in many of the works here—which employ books, dialogue, diaries, poetry, and song lyrics—suggests an obsessive need to leave a mark and make one's feelings known through acts of reading and writing.