Yvonne Singer: Waiting… still waiting
SACKVILLE, NB — Umbrella Projects, in collaboration with Mount Allison University’s Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery in Sackville, is pleased to present Waiting… still waiting, a temporary public art installation by artist Yvonne Singer.
This project consists of six banners installed at intervals on Sackville’s York and Lorne Streets. Each banner sequence starts with the word “waiting,” in handwritten script, followed by a second banner that reads “still waiting.” These open-ends phrases, inspired by the phenomenon of subvocalization (silent, internal speech), evoke a wide range of associations.
In the artist’s words, “Waiting…. still waiting encapsulates the current moment of the pandemic and the feeling of being in a state of suspended animation; waiting to get test results, waiting for a vaccine, waiting for the end of the pandemic and the restrictions to our daily lives. So much of our lives involves waiting, from the mundane waiting in line at the grocery store or waiting for the rain to end, to significant waiting, like waiting for the results of a pregnancy test or a cancer diagnosis… We are endlessly waiting for something….”
“The Owens is pleased to be partnering with Yvonne Singer and Struts on this outdoor art project,” says Owens Art Gallery Curator and Director Emily Falvey. “While our Galleries have been closed to the public throughout the pandemic, we have worked hard to continue to bring art to our community through special projects like this.”
Umbrella Projects gratefully acknowledges the support of John Murchie, the Rotary Club of Sackville, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, Mount Allison University, the Canada Council for the Arts, the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, and the Town of Sackville.
We would like to acknowledge, honour, and pay respect to the traditional owners and custodians—from all four directions—of the land on which we live. It is upon the unceded, ancestral lands of L'nuk (the Mi'kmaq) that the partnership Umbrella Projects has come into existence. While this area is known as Sackville, New Brunswick, it is part of Siknikt, a district of the greater territory of Mi'kma'ki. This territory is covered by the Treaties of Peace and Friendship, which L’nuk, Wolastoqiyik, and Peskotomuhkati first signed with the British Crown in 1725.
Yvonne Singer was born in Budapest, Hungary. She received a BA in English Literature from McGill University, Montreal, and an MFA Honours from York University, Toronto. She also did additional studies at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Singer is a full Professor at York University in the Department of Visual Art and Art History and the former Graduate Program Director in Visual Arts. She is a practising artist with an active national and international exhibition record. Her installation works employ multi-media techniques, often with cryptic texts, to articulate cultural and psychological issues of disjuncture and perception. Singer is particularly interested in everyday language and the intersection of public and private histories. Recent exhibitions include writing a gesture (Katzman Contemporary), Mother Tongue (Varley Art Gallery), Picturing Wellness (McMaster Museum of Art), The Game of Life; 1 step forward, 10 steps backwards (art souterrain and Nuit Blanche, Montreal), jst wrds (Cambridge Art Galleries), I do, I undo, I redo (Critical Mass, Port Hope) IIII wa wa want (Convenience Gallery and the Gladstone Hotel), and just in time (or hanging by a thread) (Loop Gallery, Toronto). In 2011, Singer was invited by curator Dr. Sarat Maharaj to present work at Goteborg International Contemporary Art Biennial, Goteborg, Sweden. Her work is in several museum collections.
Image credit: Yvonne Singer, Waiting… still waiting, 2021, banners on York and Lorne Streets. Photo: Lucas Morneau