Hello, friends! For this edition of #cuagrevisit we’re dropping in on Linda Sormin, who is based in New York City. Linda is a sculptor and installation artist who works primarily with clay.
#cuagrevisit takes another look at some of our previous exhibitions, connects with artists and cultural activists, and amplifies the ways they offer direction, reflection and inspiration during tough times.
In 2018, Linda Sormin created Fierce Passengers, an extraordinary site-responsive ceramic exhibition in CUAG’s high gallery, while in residence over the course of two weeks.
Fierce Passengers explored uncertainty, risk and survival, and precarious and fragile structures. In this video, Sormin discusses the process of imagining and producing the exhibition, talks about her use of local Leda clay, and shares her thoughts about how we navigate upheaval and what we hold on to and long for during experiences of change.
More recently, Sormin has been making both small and large works, from a series of watercolours and ceramic sculptures (currently on view at Patricia Sweetow Gallery in San Francisco) to a long work on paper, made with watercolour.
Linda writes of this work: “It rolls from my kitchen, down some steps, into the living room. I’m painting both sides of the paper–familiar abstract gestures collide with new imagery of an old story of my great great grandfather, a Batak shaman who confronted ruthless colonialism in Indonesia. The intimate scale of objects and life contained at home is pulled taut with the urgency and commitment to stand publicly in solidarity with Black Lives Matter.”
#cuagrevisit reflects the strength, creativity and resilience of the community, while we are “being apart, together,” as the artist Aislinn Thomas has said.
With that in mind, we invited Linda to highlight some community organizations. Here are her choices:
One Spark: Provides barrier-free opportunities for women experiencing violence to generate income through entrepreneurship.
Rainbow Railroad: Provides solutions for LGBTQI people who need immediate assistance because they are facing a serious threat to their lives and safety.
Youth Line: Offers confidential, non-judgmental LGBTTQQ2SI peer support through telephone, text and chat services.
Black Lives Matter Canada: The Canadian chapter of #BlackLivesMatter, an international organization and movement fighting police and state violence and anti-Black racism.
Thank you, Linda! The video was produced by Chris Ikonomopoulos in 2018, and incorporates photographs by Clarence Sormin and Justin Wonnacott.
Upper photo: Fierce Passengers at CUAG (Credit: Justin Wonnacott)
Lower photos: Linda Sormin at work (Credit: Seth Hisiger)
The CUAG team (Sandra, Heather, Patrick, Vicki, Dani, Fiona, Emmett, Jason, Mifra and Destiny)