Fourth-year Drawing & Painting students Carson Campbell and Kristina Hicks are this year’s winners of the Relative Space Toronto’s Upscale Concept Retail Showroom Competition. The competition has invited students to submit proposals for the storefront gallery of Relative Space since 2008, through a partnership between Relative Space Artistic Director Fraser Greenberg and the fourth-year course “Painting in the Expanded Field” (DRPT 4C08), delivered by Professor Colette Laliberté.
Relative Space is an upscale design store with a storefront gallery located at the corner of King and Parliament Streets in the heart of the Toronto’s inspiring design and development core. Formerly located at 360 Dupont Street, Relative Space’s new location offers OCAD U students multiple possibilities to mount site-specific works in a non-traditional gallery setting.
This year’s competition was juried by Dr. Vladimir Spicanovic, Dean of OCAD U’s Faculty of Art, Luke Painter, OCAD U Assistant Professor and Fraser Greenberg. Campbell and Hicks’ works are now installed and remain on display until the end of October.
Step Lightly by Kristina Hicks
“Upon entering the Relative Space Floorworks Store, I was initially struck by the architecture of the interior. In particular, how the natural light highlighted the space. I was then drawn to the area beneath the second flight of stairs, which is seemingly hidden and has a minimal light source. The light that is present within this area filters through the breaks between the steps creating cast shadows and streams of light on the two walls. This intimate area offers many possibilities of showcasing the cast shadows without overwhelming the space and emphasizes the structured architecture of the store’s interior and light patterns that already exist under the staircase.
Step Lightly occupies both walls under the staircase. A series of 5 painted vertical lines on each wall run down from each step above. A second set of transparent lines trace the light cast onto the wall from the fixed light source, which emanates from the platform above. The artwork creates a framing effect within the space. Painted in latex paint ranging from very pale pink to vibrant red as well as the addition of a high-gloss medium to enhance the second set of lines energize this unused area.”