During its renovations, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery is hosting conceptual artist Raphaëlle de Groot for a project involving the discarding of everyday objects from our lives versus the burden of their accumulation.
Participating in the project are art students from the University of Lethbridge as well as the public at large, who have been asked to donate items no longer wanted or needed. In place of a traditional exhibition or installation, the Southern Alberta Art Gallery has created an open studio where de Groot is meeting and interacting with students and the community. The open studio is located in SAAGs temporary space at 324 5th Street South, Lethbridge.
Through collective exercises of gathering, selecting, sorting, dismantling, reassembling and displaying, de Groot focuses not on recycling but on letting go; not on repurposing the objects but on looking at the choices and actions that surface through what she calls negativity (what people discard) or positivity (what they hold on to).
Raphaëlle de Groot lives and works in Montréal, Canada. She holds an MA in visual and media arts from the Université du Québec à Montréal. She has received several grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec. In 2006, she was awarded the Pierre-Ayot Prix dexcellence by the City of Montréal and in 2008 she was a finalist for the 2008 Sobey Art Award. Her work has been the subject of several solo exhibitions in Canada and abroad. She often works within the framework of artist residencies, the most recent being in Italy between 2002 and 2004.