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The power of transformation 

An annotated look at NSCAD’s Art in Drag group show.


Next week, NSCAD's Queer Collective and its Feminist Collective team up for the annual group show, Art in Drag, at Anna Leonowens Gallery. Curated by Emily Lawrence and Ryan Josey, with the work of 11 artists, the show is an exploration of transformation. Here we take a detailed look at what's going into one piece, a dynamic sculpture.

1 "Butterflies are a symbol of transformation," says co-curator Ryan Josey. "We were looking at what kind of strategies and aesthetics artists could use or borrow from drag to bring into an art practice. Transformation was an obvious theme. All of the works feature a transformation of some sort, and will shift over the course of the show or as the viewer engages with them. It's very dynamic."

2 "We used a lot of different materials to plan the look of the show, like blue tarp, plastic, burlap, pink," Josey says. "Because the show is constantly changing, we hit on ideas that the artists are trying to communicate, like configuration, accumulation, unfolding, being broken, being consumed, being worked in different ways. These construction materials pop up throughout the show."

3 "Pink is a very gendered colour, and it's a drag queen favourite," explains Josey. "Many of the artists had used pink or bubblegum pink. It's a very soft, gendered stereotyped colour, and it also shows two sides of drag: one that's being a construction, and another that's a performance of femininity."

Art in Drag
December 7 (opening reception 5:30pm) to December 12
Anna Leonowens Gallery (11am-5pm daily), 1981 Granville Street

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