ShiftWork gets naked for sixth pop-up show

At least 13 artists are coming together to make Shiftwork’s sixth pop-up art show centered around the theme of nudity. It will be held at the Connexion gallery in the Charlotte Street Arts Centre April 10 to 11.

Stefan Westner, ShiftWork member and artist, says the word nudity has a certain weight to it and he’d like to see it interpreted in a more open way.

(Submitted)
(Submitted)

“There’s this huge amount of baggage that comes with a word like nudity and it kind of evolves out of a lot of different conversations. It’s difficult for people to talk about. I’m wondering why it is such a hard word to bring up in conversation,” said Westner.

The show, like all of ShiftWork’s galleries, will last for 24 hours and for the first time is taking place in the Connexion gallery rather than the ShiftWork studio on Queen Street.

“The biggest plus is that it’s a blank slate. It’s a clean fresh space that we can just show up with our artwork and put work on the wall and we don’t have to focus as much on prep work,” says Westner. “It (CSAC) is just a great building to have a show in. It’s such as storied building too. There’s so much culture and its really important to the art scene to be a part of that.”

Along with a new space, the artists participating also gave some things a try for the first time in order to push themselves and the theme.

“A lot of people have experimented with new media by virtue of trying to deal with a complicated idea,” says Westner, who can’t give away too much about the show but did mention an interesting collaboration.

“One of the pieces is really different. It’s actually taxidermy-based. That’s never been done in a ShiftWork show and it’s definitely not something you see very often.”

Westner says with such a polarizing theme, some artists have struggled with how to approach their pieces, having to start fresh and tackle it from another angle.

“Originally there was this duality of nudity being tasteless or tasteful and that was sort of a starting point. Trying to pick one of the other just didn’t work at all. People couldn’t justify it just being one of those things.”

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