Install In Place embroidery thread, 2020, site specific installation, Alliston ON, 2020

Due to COVID-19, art exhibits that I was a part of were postponed and art supplies could be challenging to get a hold of.  I, like many artists, questioned how art could be helpful during this global event.  I began to consider the reasons why I exhibit my work – which is often installation based- and the benefits to creative projects during a time of crisis.  Through this inquiry, I kept coming back to the relationship between art and one’s community and the unique act of communicating with others through creative acts.  With art galleries and museums closed and much art being only available mediated by a screen, I began transforming my porch and front lawn with a fibre art sculpture to connect with my neighbours and community.

Using embroidery thread from my own art supply reserve, I began creating a home-based installation working in the historical context of other installations artists who have used a home as the install site (re: Merzbau by Kurt Schwitters or Womanhouse by Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro).  Over the course of four weeks in May/June, the laborious and repetitive process of working with fibre arts in this way allowed me to chat with people walking by, engage in conversations about art and life with the neighbour’s children, and watch my own kids playing in the driveway.  The response has been awesome!  Unexpected and nostalgic, the installation grows from the ground near the sidewalk reaching out to my porch like lines of energy mapping the space between each other; between ground and sky.  Moving gently with the wind, the fibre vertically extends up to the ceiling of the porch as flexible bars both protecting my home space and drawing attention to the architecture.

The installation is not permanent – it will face the entropy of nature.  Yet, it offers a moment to consider something different than heartache and restriction, and hopefully inspires others to keep making art and connecting with their community.

All Under One Roof embroidery thread, 2020, site specific installation at be contemporary Gallery 2020

Installation with Embroidery Thread, 2020, Bohemia, Barrie, ON

Reminders exhibit at The Campus Gallery, Georgian College, Barrie, ON January, 2019

Amy Bagshaw Art Installation Georgian College

Installation Reminders

Collected for over two decades, thousands of handwritten lists consider the performance of list writing, collecting, goal setting, and the satisfaction of completing daily tasks/feeling useful. This series observes a transformation of the discarded into ephemera and art. Here, the lists shift from their original purposes – which capture the mundane, acts of the privileged, actions that prepare and maintain the important moments and habits of lives – into reminders of that time, long ago.

Without specific reference to exactly when each list was made, “Reminders” reflects on archaic modes of communication marked with line. Collaborators who are all women, include their lists alongside mine in this large scale, wall installation. Affixed to the wall with two pins, the lists become sculptural, textural, and in various stages of stain and decay. This installation considers and visually reads as an enormous weight of fragile papers- the mountain of how we fill our days and the accumulation of time.