October 19 – December 1, 2023
Artist Talk + Opening Reception: Thursday, October 19, 7:30PM
Initiated by Reed H. Reed and Hannah Jickling, BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN is an artist-run taste-making think-tank where artists and children explore themes such as: pop aesthetics and marketing; kids and capitalism; adult/child power relations; food security and the dynamics of an international economy. Within public education, Big Rock Candy Mountain proposes the school as a kind of candy factory. At Hätrʼunohtän zho/Robert Service School specifically, artists and children ask – Who decides the ingredients of soda, the shape of its bottles, the persuasion of its advertising and the after-life of its waste?
As such, this is an exhibition of leftovers – warmed up, re-processed and transformed. Subjected to pressure and heat – plastic, foil, glass, textiles, wood and paper are revealed differently. Shifting in states – between gallery and classroom – these works aim to process the sensory noise of
collaborative experiences. Zig-zagging is a method for moving in and out of contexts. As material form, it is enabled by pinking shears and horizontal flow wrapper systems that produce our packaging en-masse. In the making of this show the artists wondered how a small place like Dawson could impress itself upon the mass-produced materials that arrive here in a constant stream. An hours-worth of garbage picking on Robert Service School grounds – inked and indexed.
Operating across sites and contexts, Big Rock Candy Mountain projects often look like teaching, event production and unpredictable focus groups with kids between the ages of 8 – 12.
Stay tuned for two public programs produced by and for the Grade 5 & 6 students at Robert Service School:
- Saturday, October 28, 1 – 4PM – Glass-blowing demonstrations with Lumel Studios
& Community Conversation: Creative Possibilities for Reusing Consumer Glass
(in the metal shop at Robert Service School – Hätrʼunohtän zho)
- Friday, December 1 at 6 pm – Community meal and local soda tasting event
Stay tuned for further details.
HANNAH JICKLING AND REED H. REED have been collaborating since 2006. Their projects take shape as public installations, social situations and events that circulate as photographs, videos, printed matter and artists’ multiples. They have facilitated many collaborative research projects with children, most notably Big Rock Candy Mountain (2015–ongoing). In 2017 they published Multiple Elementary with YYZBOOKS, part exhibition catalogue, part artists’ book, and part candy store advertisement, Multiple Elementary explores the elementary school classroom as a site for the invention and reception of contemporary art practices.
Jickling and Reed are recipients of numerous awards including the Ian Wallace Award for Teaching Excellence (2016, Emily Carr University), the Mayor’s Arts Award for Public Art (2017, City of Vancouver), the Sobey Art Award Longlist (2018, National Gallery of Canada and the Sobey Art Foundation), the 2018 VIVA Award (Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation for the Visual Arts). Together, they have presented work at: Western Front (Vancouver), Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver), Mitchell Gallery (Edmonton), Arts League (Houston), the Malmö Art Academy (Malmö, SE), Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), Studio XX (Montreal), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), Gallery TPW (Toronto), Kelowna Art Gallery, Theatre of Research (Hamburg), Westfälischer Kunstverein, (Münster, DE), the Tate Liverpool (UK) and the Ruskin School of Art (Oxford, UK).
Jickling and Reed are currently based between xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), səlilwətaɬ/selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in territories – working to locate their practice between urban/southern and rural/northern contexts. They teach part-time at the Yukon School of Visual Arts.
We acknowledge support from Canada Council for the Arts and BC Arts Council