Project Room Studio / Toby Lawrence / ITS ROOTS AND ITS INNOVATIVE DEPARTURES
Project Room Studio creative-research / Toby Lawrence
Project room Studio GATHER:PLACE schedule
April 18, 20, 25, 26, 27 – Toby Lawrence onsite / community drop-in
April 13 Compassionate Practice – research gathering (is not a community drop-in event)
April 16, 17, 23, 24 – Pause – self directed / community drop in
Throughout April, I will activate GATHER:PLACE through interlacing research activities, collaborative actions, and conversations around gestures of hospitality. As this creative-research unfolds in a public forum, my intention is to establish a greater depth of understanding of how these elements operate in practice, pedagogy, and in public, and how they offer a range of ways of being and working in relation.
Through greater attentiveness and sustained commitment to local relevance, the centralization of gestures of hospitality supports nuanced modes of acknowledging, thinking, and practicing together through our differences. Curatorial hospitality engages reciprocity and a continual negotiation of the boundaries of guest-host relations, and through action and ethics, suspends the mythic singularity of the curatorial. This research intentionally puts name to actions to make visible, “to revive” (Somerset 2018), and to explore gestures of curatorial hospitality, wherein guest and host meet one another at the door, so to speak, both prepared to share in the responsibilities, to give and to receive, knowing that “all parties enter collaborations with expertise and that art historical expertise is no more valuable than other kinds of competencies” (Marstine 2014). Within the space of the curatorial, gestures of hospitality function as methodologies for engaged encounters, dialogue, collaboration, and care amongst artists, audiences, communities, and cultural workers. Audre Lorde reminds us: “Without community, there is no liberation, only the most vulnerable and temporary armistice between an individual and her oppression. But community must not mean a shedding of our differences” (1983).
– Toby Lawrence
My work is grounded in collaborative, decolonial, and intersectional feminist methodologies, with ongoing initiatives and research into art and curation centered in discursive and equitable frameworks and spaces in regions outside greater metropolitan areas. I have held curatorial and programming positions with the Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Nanaimo Art Gallery, and Studio 111, an experimental arts laboratory in Kelowna supported by the UBC Okanagan Department of Creative Studies in partnership with the Alternator Centre for the Contemporary Art from 2016 to 2017. Since 2017, I have been working with the Creative Studies faculty on the organization of the Summer Indigenous Art Intensive. I am also a founder and organizer of the Islands Curatorial Collective, an annual gathering and network that fosters dialogue amongst curatorial practitioners across the Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands region of BC. Currently, I teach Art History at Vancouver Island University and am working toward a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.