In 2020, Jaspal Birdi was on an art residency in Milan, Italy, when news of lockdowns began circulating, so she returned to Toronto to pursue her work. Often working in both countries, Birdi is used to living between places. The Covid-19 pandemic, however, put a twist on her otherwise mobile life.
11h02m was first shown in Birdi’s 2020 exhibition Can I Play Outside at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery. In this work, Birdi draws us back to this time of isolation, when she simultaneously felt a sense of helplessness and an elevated state of creativity and struggled with feelings of confinement, longing, and hope. The sameness of looking at the sky every day gave Birdi a sense of separation from those she longed to be with. However, seeing the clouds move collectively also gave her a sense of being among a community and hope that the world would move on from the crisis.
This painterly image of a blue sky lined with low-lying clouds was a photograph taken using an iPhone from Birdi’s window at her Toronto home. More interested in the imperfect image than the faithful duplication of her shots, Birdi overrides the settings of her printer, which would typically cease printing when the toner runs out. For this work, she scanned and enlarged the print and re-printed it in pieces. She transferred the image onto a gold rescue blanket – a lightweight, portable material that is both delicate and stable. The result is this ethereal, abstracted image offering a window into how the artist navigated a time of unprecedented collective uncertainty.
The Canada Line Art Program – InTransit BC is presented by Wesgroup Properties
Presented in partnership with the Richmond Art Gallery, Richmond Public Art, and Canada Line Public Art Project – InTransit BC