Sad Sack ( sadsack.ca) is a slowly developing research project that will unfold during the saddest months of the year in 2012-13 (meaning the months when it rains here on the West Coast). I’ll be making a series of drawings, sculptures, writings and readings, along with more sociable pursuits like events, an exhibition, complimentary hankies, and so on.

Some highlights:

I programmed a night at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival called sad sack, by night, as part of this project. The evening featured Kris Elgstrand (sad sack troubadour), Andrew Feldmar (radical psychoanalyst), David Wisdom (music lover, CBC hero and slide show enthusiast) and Hello, Blue Roses (melancholic song stylists Dan Bejar and Sydney Vermont). It was fun– and sad, dramatic, thoughtful and fragile. Below are some hankies we gave out. Also here’s some sad sack drawings, too.

Kimberly Phillips and I curated a show called Stratiform at 221a artist run centre in March/ April 2013 of some works by Saskatchewan and Berlin-based artist Kara Uzelman. The show was inspired by some thinking on melancholy, and I presented a number of talks and events in conjunction with the exhibition on the subject of sadness, art and melancholic objects. Speakers included Drew Schaffer (artist and antiques specialist from the Baker’s Dozen, who spoke on the melancholy of objects), David McIntosh (sommelier and Artistic Director of Battery Opera), Jason Gowans and Mike Love of Everything Co. (who made us a special batch of absinthe– the most melancholic of spirits), Allison Collins, myself and Kimberly Phillips. We also produced a publication, called Unknown Objects, with writing by Kim, myself, and a beautiful piece by poet and essayist Lisa Robertson. The publication is available from the 221A website.

Pictures below, featuring Kris Elgstrand, David McIntosh of Battery Opera, Allison Collins and Kara Uzelman (installation view).

This project is funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts, and I acknowledge their support of Sad Sack, and of over $157 million in funding to arts communities across the country.