In light of the pandemic, a typical gallery setting was not accessible for the documentation of this work, therefore a make-shift 'blank slate' environment was required. With this compromise in mind, please enjoy this Artist Statement and Work Documentation...
In a culture enthralled in ideological meritocracy, equality is often disputed in terms of what is deserved. However, ‘what is deserved’ is not evaluated in relative terms. This work explores the deserve-able irrelativity which ignores growing income inequality within Canada, as exemplified by the last review of income distribution by Statistics Canada in 2012. Comparing the incomes of the lowest “20% … [of families] with the least amount of family income” and the highest “20% … [of families] with the most family income,” Statistics Canada found the “average income of families in the top quintile was 13.3 times the average level of those in the bottom, compared with 11.7 times in 1999.” In other words, Canadian income inequality is growing. Two pigs were created to generate tangibility within these numbers, one 13.3 inches-long and the other a meager inch-long, emphasizing realities of low-income families. Inspired by Dave Cole’s unexpected knit forms, such as the 2003 Fiberglass Teddy Bear, and Do-Ho Suh’s sociologically derived Paratrooper II from 2005, white yarn was utilized in knitting the two connected forms, drawing on the idiom ‘fabric of society,’ while reflecting on the institutionalized white supremacy which underlies Canada’s capitalist ideals. Pigs are employed as intercultural symbols of wealth and power, with a silver spoon resting within the larger pig’s mouth to touch on another well-known idiom, ‘born with a silver spoon in your mouth’. The two are connected by the same material they are created from, yet somewhat eschewed from one another, demonstrating subdued interconnectivity along with the conceptual distancing encouraged within dominant narratives around income distribution disparities and inequality. Following a theme of engagement found in previous works such as Lot 2018, Don’t Break my Trust 2017, I AM 2017, and Burning Through Sentience 2017, new and recycled soft materials were manipulated and combined for critical and conceptual address. The thick and chunky twenty-nine-millimeter blanket yarn, consisting of artificial and natural fibers, was stripped down to appropriate thicknesses to knit each pig. Then, the pigs were stuffed with contents from an old pillow. Finally, the spoon, a family heirloom, was inserted directly through the snout of the larger pig. In these materials, sustainability, accessibility, and convenience interplay to inherently underscore the conceptual bases informing this and past works, asking how do Canadian’s replicate and reinforce existing sociological and ideological realities, how could society members be better served, and how will changes be accomplished?
Government of Canada, Statistics Canada. “Changes in Wealth across the Income Distribution, 1999 to 2012.” Government of Canada, Statistics Canada, 27 Nov. 2015, http://www150.statcan.gc.ca/.../201.../article/14194-eng.htm.