Twenty-Three Days at Sea, Chapter Two
Access Gallery, Vancouver BC – Sep 9-Oct 28, 2017
By Michael Turner
Amidst the bustle of the December 2014 holiday season came a press release issued by Access Gallery and its project partner the Burrard Arts Foundation seeking artists interested in a 23-day residency aboard a cargo ship sailing from Vancouver to Shanghai. The response exceeded expectations, with over 800 applications received from artists from Sebastopol to São Paulo.
“The caliber and strength of the submissions was striking,” writes former Access director/curator Kimberly Phillips. “It was immediately clear that what we had initiated was not simply an artist residency, but a powerful framework through which to address the complexity of our contemporary condition.”
In 2015, a jury of art professionals was convened to select four emergent artists “linked by the suppleness and strength of their past work and – of particular importance in this context – by practices defined by a perceptible and sustained state of seeking.”
As with the inaugural group, the Chapter Two artists (Michael Drebert, Lili Huston-Herterich, Rebecca Moss and Sikarnt Skoolisariyaporn) were offered exhibitions at which to display their artworks, as well as their logbooks. As one might expect from such a passage, it is the logs (as evidenced by Huston-Herterich’s Karaoke Songs: Possibly Symbolic/Possibly My Range) that manage to convey both the monotony of the artists’ outer world and the imagination at work within.