H Space I_Nice to Meet You

Hannah Keating



Hi. My name is Hannah. I am a graduate of Carleton University’s MA program in Art History and a lover of art. I recently returned to Peterborough, my hometown, and am thrilled to be here at Artspace for the duration of the summer.

By way of introduction, I have answered a few questions of my own making. Introductions are usually characterized by a certain level of reciprocity, a quality upset by the format of a blog. For this reason, and because I find it easier to speak about myself when prompted with specific inquiries, I have given myself that structure on your behalf. I hope you don’t mind and I hope we can meet in-person should you find yourself in the gallery over the next several weeks.

What were you doing before you came to Artspace?

From May 2016 to May 2017, I was living and working in beautiful, tree-filled Winnipeg. I was the Gallery Programming Assistant at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery, and prior to that, a curatorial intern at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

What has been your favourite exhibition of 2017 (so far)?

Ray Fenwick: A Greenhouse. Evening, PlugIn ICA, Winnipeg, MB.

Along with tasty vegan burgers and the best summer weather, Winnipeg plays home and host to some great art. PlugIn ICA, at the corner of Portage and Memorial, was one of my favourites and in April of this year Ray Fenwick: A Greenhouse. Evening filled one of the gallery’s two exhibition spaces. Transporting and humorous, the centrepiece of Fenwick’s installation was a cozy shed, packed to the brim with plants of all sorts. It emanated a green glow that was unexpectedly warm and decidedly otherworldly. Seated inside the shed on a wooden rocker, I listened to a looping track of the artist’s voice musing about the prospect of sentience in plant life. I love work that asks its audience to let go and buy in. Predisposed to eagerly enter into representations of other ways of being, I was hooked. As Fenwick rambled on, the plants to my left and right felt more and more present in their presence and I didn’t want to leave.

What are you reading right now?

Breaking my own rule to keep my "on-the-go" reading list to one or two books, I presently have bookmarks in three. Firstly, a few hundred pages in, and only several hundred to go, I am reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I enjoy how the book calls attention to the passage of time—not just the years covered by the novel’s timeline, but also the steady tick of my own watch. The small print of my copy plus an abundance of literary detail combine to form a reading experience that is both slow (some might say tedious), but from my perspective, quite pleasurable. I am also making my way through a non-fiction book on biological evolution and have just begun Flush, a short novel by Virginia Woolf that combines fiction and non-fiction in an imagined biographical account of Elizabeth Barrett Browning's cocker spaniel.

Next to art, what other things do you enjoy?

I enjoy cooking and baking and just this month sold my first cake (excluding the numerous cookies and cupcakes made for bake sale fundraisers). I also like to run; however, since returning to hilly Peterborough from the unimaginable flatness of Winnipeg, and developing a pesky summer cold, my running schedule has become rather sporadic for the time being. In addition to my new role as Programming Assistant at Artspace, I am taking weekly classes in American Sign Language.

During my time here, I will be publishing weekly blogs on a variety of subjects. I hope you will follow along and enjoy.