CIRCLES & WIGS: Best Friends Forever
April 7 to June 23, 2018
The Cube
Ashleigh Bartlett
Jessica Groome
CIRCLES & WIGS is a collaborative practice between Jessica Groome and Ashleigh Bartlett creating drawings, paintings and installations. Living in different cities, they have conducted intensive self-directed residencies in each other’s studios since 2015 to produce new work playing off each other’s practices. For this exhibition, the two artists worked from their respective cities for six months before coming together at the Kamloops Art Gallery for a two-week residency to complete the project in The Cube.

The exhibition uses Imi Knoebel’s series of paintings titled 24 Farben für Blinky (24 Colours for Blinky), as a departure point. Knoebel painted the series in 1977 as a tribute to his friend, artist Blinky Palermo, following Blinky's death earlier that year. This was a turning point in Knoebel’s practice because of his embrace of painting and his selection of colours based on his feelings for his friend and the works he left behind. Groome and Bartlett will determine the other’s palette from a distance based on the idea of each other from memory. Using the selected palette, one artist creates circles while the other creates wigs consisting of shredded paintings. They will finish and install the work at the Kamloops Art Gallery in the final week leading up to the exhibition, and will continue with an open studio and an artist talk in the week following the opening. The title comes from an adolescent declaration of friendship that has come to have tongue-in-cheek connotations and a casualness in the abbreviated “BFF” shared through text messaging. CIRCLES & WIGS was concocted from text, Skype and email communication for the artists’ initial collaborative exhibition and continues in this manner since the artists still reside in different cities. They are poking fun at the term, but also embrace it as a link that identifies Groome and Bartlett as being something more than only being collaborators.
Curated by Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
View images of the exhibition here.

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