Grass in the Sky

Site-specific installation in an uninhabited house in Port Union, Newfoundland
with Pepa Chan and Mimi Stockland
Curated by Pepa Chan
August 15th to September 15th, 2017

Untitled (Broom)

2017

Video installation in collaboration with Pepa Chan

Concept, props, performance: Pepa Chan
Video: Kai Bryan
Editing and Installation: Kai Bryan and Pepa Chan

Untitled (Comb)

2017

Video installation in collaboration with Pepa Chan

Concept: Pepa Chan
Prop: Chris George
Performance: Pepa Chan and Lisa Dodge
Video: Kai Bryan
Installation: Kai Bryan and Pepa Chan

Untitled (Wallpaper)

2017

Video installation in collaboration with Pepa Chan

Concept, video, editing: Kai Bryan
Performance, installation: Kai Bryan and Pepa Chan

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Grass in the Sky Exhibition Text


Grass in the Sky explores the hardships of domestic relationships, as well as narratives of abandonment, loss, and resettlement in rural Newfoundland. The project focuses on site-specific installation, textiles, interactive sculpture, and video to conjure semi-fictional family histories of this uninhabited house and the connection to our own homes.


The works strike a harmonious chord between the tenderness and violence implicit in acts of domesticity and domestic training; the way the home becomes a reflection of our own desires and fears. Walls, erected as shields, limit as they protect - a physical parallel to the influence of a parent over a child.

Entering the exhibition, our inner children may recognize the forms and textures from our young dreams, clothing worn by an imaginary friend, or toys that we doted on. We’re transported back to a time of tucking into closets and cupboards, under stairs or sinks. How we relished the sense of smallness those places emphasized; perhaps more-so the knowledge that this was a space into which adults could not come. A time when real world responsibilities were perhaps few, instead playing with miniature facsimiles of the world that granted us the agency of gods. Here we can imbue not just toys, but boxes and rocks and trees with character, and we can indulge in the fantastical narratives that propel us into the sky, into other worlds, into outer space.


The works act as a metaphor for the profound complexity of family relationships and how these leave an indelible imprint on the places in which they play out: walls, floors, and ceilings have a certain type of ghostly memory. Memory that is physical, and also intangible. Wallpaper peels, floors bubble, and water stains blossom into continents. Other-worldly objects resemble discarded toys, left to mutate, coupled up and reproducing with our old fantasies and nightmares. Finely crafted textiles, endearing assemblages, and ghostly videos tell stories of youth under siege. The familiar combines with the absurd. Teacups look back at you knowingly. 

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