UNSPENT LOVE, or, Things I Wish I Told You
Published November 2011, Conundrum Press
Originally drawn and written as a series of online vignettes for the comics publisher Top Shelf Productions, Unspent Love addresses themes such as hope, fear, and human frailty. The project was later produced as a multi-media bookwork with the support of Open Studio’s Nick Novak Fellowship (2010).
A third iteration at YYZ Artist's Outlet in Toronto evolved the project in a series of narrative images, unfolding between November 2010 and December 2011. The experimental space of the wall allowed imaginative storytelling possibilities to develop through layering, time-lapsed animation and wheat pasting.
In 2011, Conundrum Press published a beautiful trade paperback version of the book with a letterpressed cover by Gaspereau Press.
SHANNON GERARD works across a variety of media. She writes and draws comics, crochets soft sculptures, binds books and makes prints. See more at www.shannongerard.org
UNSPENT LOVE has been generously supported by the Ontario Arts Council.
It often seems as though my life-management strategy is to put everything on a rotating cycle of neglect. I’ve been focused on some other work for a bit, but am now back to the wall at YYZ. These new animations are slightly more awkward than the first two of Gen. I should be adding them to the wall this week or next.
Leah Sandals’ Unspent Love Q&A for the National Post is online now:
Leah also posted some B Sides from our interview on her blog:
Last week I had a really great chat with Leah Sandals about Unspent Love. There’s a sweet little blurb about it now on my favourite art blog (hers!). Thanks Leah!
Sometimes play can lead to exciting, accidental discoveries. For another project, I have been researching and thinking a lot about puppets. Some potential crossover is suggested by these moments of hilarity.
Clean up at Open Studio was as fun as installing the work. I salvaged most of the heads of each drawing to paste up around town.
Unspent Love at Open Studio, Toronto. November 4-27, 2010
Okay! Here’s a first, lo-fi attempt at animating the wall at YYZ. (If you don’t see an animation in the image above, try clicking on it. It should open in another window and move)
In person, this looks really neat. There’s a nice density of paper built up already after only 10 layers of images pasted on top of one another. As I add more and more imagery and expand the animated area, I am hoping the wall will start to look and feel like a topographic map. The idea of telling stories this way is pretty exciting. Eventually, the action will move across the wall and new stories and characters will develop.
I am really pleased with the transparency that occurs before the layers of paper dry so that what you see are multiple instances of Gen showing through each other.
The biggest problem for me to solve is how to light the area. It is a pretty narrow corridor, so I have to photograph the wall at an angle. Today I just used whatever cheap flood lights I could find and rigged them up to a ladder. Is anyone an expert at lighting? Does anyone in Toronto have more professional grade lights I could borrow to experiment with? Email me on shannon AT shannongerard DOT org if you have any tips. I’m learning so many new things on this project.