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Parker Branch: Placed Here by Members

PARKER BRANCH | PLACED HERE BY MEMBERS 
SATURDAY 14 JANUARY – SATURDAY 04 MARCH 2017
ARTIST TALK | SATURDAY 11 FEBRUARY, 3:00PM

OPENING RECEPTION | FRIDAY 13 JANUARY, 6:00PM-8:00PM

Parker Branch: PLACED HERE BY MEMBERS (detail), 2016. Salt, apron, rope, 18 x 18 x 50 inches. Photo: Jason Hallows and Anna Madelska

PARKER BRANCH | PLACED HERE BY MEMBERS
Parker Branch is an ongoing collaboration between artists Anna Madelska and Jason Hallows. The project grew out of a small storefront in London, Ontario, in which the duo mounted over 30 exhibitions (2007-2014) that explored the meaningful interplay of found artifacts, natural objects, ephemera, and artists’ work. The emphasis of these exhibitions was the generative potential in these groupings. The artists have playfully suggested that they are more interested in the spaces between the objects than the objects themselves. Since the closing of the brick-and-mortar location, the project has continued in gallery exhibitions, and begins to approach sculpture as the artists have become increasingly involved in complicating their display strategies and manipulating the objects exhibited.

PLACED HERE BY MEMBERS, offers images and objects that are constellated around community organizations, and the trappings of spiritual and physical work, specifically the spaces occupied by such work–meeting houses, lodges, church basements. Simple wooden benches are arranged into groups, evoking impromptu gatherings, friendly societies, trade unions, and upstart religious organizations. Throughout are images of labour unions, strikes and protests. Sculptural forms in salt and stone and found objects stand in for altars, but also lecterns. Several denim aprons, some of which are used, worn, and repaired, are used in the exhibition both as sculptural material and displayed artifacts. The word occupation is a useful entry point. Taken temporally, it suggests one’s labour, how time is spent, what one does. Spatially it implies a strategy of dissent, the forceful take-over of a location. In taking on their subject matter, Madelska and Hallows employ occupation as an artistic strategy. A series of themes are inhabited, like a space, a home, or a host body, and operated within and then manipulated. The contents are churned, folded, and complicated by their proximity.

PARKER BRANCH is a collaboration begun in 2007 between artists Anna Madelska and Jason Hallows, who live and work in London, Ontario. Both artists studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design with emphasis on sculpture. Madelska completed her MFA at Western University in 2005. Hallows completed his MFA at Guelph in 2004, and went on to receive a PhD in Art and Visual Culture at Western in 2011. As Parker Branch Madelska and Hallows have produced over 30 exhibitions in their London space of the same name. Many of these hybridized curatorial/studio projects have featured the work of other artists including: Danielle St Amour, Maryse Larivière, Taylor McKimens, FASTWURMS, Liza Eurich, and Maggie Groat. A 107-page survey of the first 6 years of the project HasThings In Common, 2015, was published by McIntosh Gallery and features texts by E. C. Woodley and Jen Hutton.

Parker Branch would like to gratefully acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.