Kelly O’Neill + Leslie Menagh | David Bobier
Kelly O’Neill + Leslie Menagh: in·form
Factory schooling is a term that refers to a public education model originally developed in the late 18th and early 19th centuries when learning was first provided for and regulated by the state. This approach to education emphasized impersonal, standardized teachings with the goal of producing a literate, compliant workforce. The neat rows of desks found in today’s classrooms echo these origins.
Youthful, but deflated stick-figure forms present themselves in fleshy, ordered formation while a wall-to-wall curve-stitching looms overhead. Weaving together symbols of formative school experience, these familiar and uncanny additions to the classroom prompt reflections on one’s own experiences within the factory school system questioning what is gained, lost, and transformed.
Emerging out of rich discussions about their own experience, Kelly and Leslie’s material interventions explore the exacting conditions that inform the moral, social, and cultural imperatives entangled within curriculum. The formative education we receive comes with a rulebook; our performance is measured as success or failure. Assumed into the production line pupils adapt, absorb, adjust, form, transform, and sometimes, disappear.
In their installation, in·form, Leslie Menagh and Kelly O’Neill liken the classroom to a loom – one that threads us into the fabric of society and ties learning to production.
Through the use of vibrotactile technology, Bobier breathes life into the spaces, architecture and forgotten objects of the previously abandoned King George Public School. Throughout the lower level of the school, and outside on its perimeter, you’ll find four installations that consider the space and its former inhabitants.
Desks, windows, and walkways are brought back to life, vibrating, emitting audio that invites us to reflect on the histories and people who have passed through this space.
About Erring at King George:
Erring at King George is a multi-arts festival that will more than seventy performing and visual artists as well as community groups taking over all three floors of the now closed King George Public School. Numerous performing and visual artists will transform classrooms, hallways, offices and even the gym into exhibition and presentation spaces.
220 Hunter St E, Peterborough, ON K9H 1H1
Friday May 6th: 7:00 -10:00pm
Saturday May 7th: 3:00 – 6:00pm
Sunday May 8th: 2:00 – 5:00pm
Friday May 13th: 7:00 – 10:00pm
Saturday May 14th: 3:00 – 6:00pm
Sunday May 15th: 2:00 – 5:00pm
Leslie Menagh is an interdisciplinary artist, craftsperson, teacher, curator, and community organizer. After many years working in the arts and cultural sector, Leslie opened Madderhouse Textile Studios where she screen prints cloth, hosts artist residencies, facilitates workshops, and constructs products for retail. Leslie’s varied creative practices are united by a love of textiles and the importance of story-telling and creating opportunities for communities and individuals to find their own expression. She holds a BFA from NSCAD University.
Kelly O’Neill is a sculpture/ installation, mixed media and textile artist who lives in Selwyn, ON. Working with assemblage and text, video and projection, and incorporating traditional textile methods with unconventional materials, Kelly creates objects and experiences that explore the fluidity and impermeability of embodied experience.
After completing an Honors BA in Philosophy and English Literature at Trent University, Kelly worked as a Social Worker before having a family and staying home to raise her 4 children. Having an art practice throughout her life, Kelly returned to school, completing her BFA/Sculpture and Installation at OCAD University, Toronto (2018). Her work has been shown in galleries in Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia, and New York.
David Bobier is a hard of hearing and disabled media artist whose creative practice is researching and developing vibrotactile technology as a creative medium. This work led to his establishment in 2014 of VibraFusionLab in London, Ontario, a creative multi-media, multi-sensory centre that has gained a reputation as a leader in accessibility for the Deaf and Disability Arts movement in Canada and abroad. As a practicing artist his exhibition career includes 18 solo and over 30 group exhibition projects across Canada, in the United States and the UK. VibraFusionLab is now situated outside of London in Thorndale, Ontario.
Bobier’s independent work as an artist and as Director of VibraFusionLab has received funding from Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Ontario Centres of Excellence, Grand NCE (National Centres of Excellence), Province of Quebec and British Council Canada.
Artspace is a non-profit, artist-run centre that has assisted artists with the presentation of new work for over 40 years. Artspace engages and informs the public about contemporary approaches to art, advocates for artists and nurtures dialogue across disciplines, cultures and perspectives.
About Public Energy
Public Energy Performing Arts supports the creation, touring, and presentation of innovative contemporary performing arts. Based in Peterborough, Ontario, we present a season of contemporary theatre, dance, and interdisciplinary performance, while building community through outreach programming and developing audiences that are knowledgeable and passionate. Through our programs, which include presentations, residencies, commissions, mentorships, and professional workshops and classes, we provide artists with a safe and supportive environment to create and perform new work and interact with a broad public.
If you have any questions please contact:
3-378 Aylmer Street N.