In 2020, the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery initiated Umbrella Projects, a partnership designed to pool our resources, energies, and respective strengths in order to facilitate off-site, in-print, online, and onscreen programming during the COVID-19 pandemic. Following an open call in the fall of 2020, eight exciting artist proposals were selected via a jury process. We are thrilled to announce that, over the next five months, Umbrella Projects will be realizing projects with Izzy Francolini, John Haney, Lee Henderson, Marcia Huyer, Arianna Richardson, Yvonne Singer, Derek Sullivan, and Nic Wilson.
Umbrella Projects is pleased to present Waiting… still waiting, a temporary public art installation by artist Yvonne Singer. This project consists of six banners installed at intervals on Sackville’s York and Lorne Streets. Each banner sequence starts with the word “waiting,” in handwritten script, followed by a second banner that reads “still waiting.” These open-ends phrases, inspired by the phenomenon of subvocalization (silent, internal speech), evoke a wide range of associations. In the artist’s words, “Waiting…. still waiting encapsulates the current moment of the pandemic and the feeling of being in a state of suspended animation; waiting to get test results, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for the end of the pandemic and the restrictions to our daily lives. So much of our lives involves waiting, from the mundane waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting for the rain to end, to significant waiting, like waiting for the results of a pregnancy test or a cancer diagnosis… We are endlessly waiting for something….”
Yvonne Singer was born in Budapest, Hungary. She received a BA in English Literature from McGill University, Montreal, and an MFA Honours from York University, Toronto. She also did additional studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Singer is a full Professor at York University in the Department of Visual Art and Art History and the former Graduate Program Director in Visual Arts. She is a practising artist with an active national and international exhibition record. Her installation works employ multi-media techniques, often with cryptic texts, to articulate cultural and psychological issues of disjuncture and perception. Singer is particularly interested in everyday language and the intersection of public and private histories. Recent exhibitions include writing a gesture (Katzman Contemporary), Mother Tongue (Varley Art Gallery), Picturing Wellness (McMaster Museum of Art), The Game of Life; 1 step forward, 10 stepsbackwards (art souterrain and Nuit Blanche, Montreal), jst wrds (Cambridge Art Galleries), I do, I undo, Iredo (Critical Mass, Port Hope) IIII wa wa want (Convenience Gallery and the Gladstone Hotel), and just in time (or hanging by a thread) (Loop Gallery, Toronto). In 2011, Singer was invited by curator Dr. Sarat Maharaj to present work at Goteborg International Contemporary Art Biennial, Goteborg, Sweden. Her work is in several museum collections.