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U sad bro? 

Sad X-Mas at BSide Gallery brings out all the feels

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Sad X-Mas :(emotionally unavailable holidays)
To December 7
Opening Friday December 5, 7:30-9pm
BSide Gallery, 2180 Gottingen Street

It could be the 4:30pm sunset, it could be the inevitable high expectations, but for many of us, something about the holidays often results in an impromtu crying jag.

If you identify with this, you're not the only one. Emily Lawrence and Laura Baker-Roberts, the respective booking and gallery managers of the BSide Gallery, have run with this idea with the new gallery's latest show, Sad X-Mas. "We wanted to address the underlying themes of consumerist culture and that sense of malaise when it comes to Christmas, where we don't really feel like it's about family anymore, ideas of faith, or issues with family," says Baker-Roberts. "It's fun to create a project where we can revel in that sadness together."

"Especially the experience of going home for Christmas, and exploring that Christmas imagery that we never question," says Lawrence. "This work explores vice, gender, sexuality and privilege."

A call for submissions on the theme of holiday sadness brought in plenty of work in a variety of mediums—most pieces linked to digital technology and commercialization. Some are quirky and light-hearted, some are intensely personal.

Andy Webb's "Santa Claws" is a set of "grungy and fabulous" fake nails filed to points and painted with images of a sad Santa. Kylie Dyment will create a life-sized Christmas tree out of Rice Krispie treats, with a performance element on the show's opening night. Anna Sprague's "Under the Garland" video piece deals with loneliness, isolation and the glamourization of alcohol consumption around the holidays. On December 6 at 8pm, a live show with Craig Currie, Vulva Culture and more completes the sadness circle. "It's important for us to try and bring together art and music more often," says Baker-Roberts. Both Lawrence and Baker-Roberts are part of the NSCAD student union, Sad X-Mas will be Lawrence's final school project.

"Event organizing and bringing social practice into NSCAD and studio classes is pretty fun," she says.

"And doing it in an art community where you can try to create a bridge that brings people together is really important," says Baker-Roberts. "To hopefully facilitate that space for people is something we try to do in our school and at BSide."


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