Small World

Date: Jul 9 - Oct 11, 1998
Artist: Sara Hartland-Rowe, Darrel Morris, Richard Purdy
Curated by: Sarah Quinton

In the 1998 exhibition Small World, three artists tell stories that are vast inventories of personal moments, presented with candour, economy and diary-like regularity. Small in scale, hand stitched and hand painted on fabric, the artworks in this exhibition are made with materials that can be found right under your nose. While virtuous qualities such as thrift, moderation, rectitude and modesty are supposed to be kept in place by activities such as sewing and other domestic tasks – in other words, diligence can foil human iniquities – in the hands of these artists, diligence is responsible for unveiling the vices it was meant to keep in check.

The three artists in Small World are:

Sara Hartland-Rowe (London, Ontario) stitches barely perceptible human interactions into a blank slate of white cotton sheeting - a deceptively spare site - in order to bring human dramas into focus.

Darrel Morris's (Chicago, Illinois) snapshot-sized narratives are palpable layers of sewing thread, cat hair, textile fragments and old clothing, where parents, bosses and lovers loom large.

Richard Purdy (Montreal, Quebec) has been keeping a daily journal since 1975. Three “chapters” of his diary are included in this exhibition, including a dhoti (cotton loin cloth) and a silk jacket from retailer, Le Château.


Small World, By Sarah Quinton, 1998