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Do You Hear What I Hear?

Myfanwy MacLeod Do You Hear What I Hear?

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Exhibition on display in the windows at 1265 Howe Street, Vancouver
Viewable 24/7 throughout Winter 2022-23

Photos: Rachel Topham & Blaine Campbell

  • File number: EXHI1079

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Limited edition prints are for sale that accompany this exhibition

“Do You Hear What I Hear?”

Exhibition on display in the windows at 1265 Howe Street, Vancouver (viewable 24/7 throughout Winter 2022-23)

Art installation celebrates holiday season with satirical references to pop culture, social distancing & ongoing war

Like many of us, Vancouver artist Myfanwy MacLeod—infamous for her public artwork in Olympic village of gigantic birds that reference Hitchcock—doesn’t exactly embrace the holiday season and its conventions.

For over a decade, MacLeod has used her collection of postcards that caricature drinking and drunkenness to develop of a series of sculptures and collages—the most recent iteration is currently reflected in the window displays at 1265 Howe Street.

In this exhibition, the profile of a woman’s face is mirrored, tiled into a repeating pattern, silkscreened onto bespoke fabric, upholstered onto a chair, printed on craft paper, and used to wrap 'Christmas' gifts.

The installation of the objects presents a lonely narrative that is festive, yet bleak: unopened gifts sit beneath an artificial black undecorated Christmas tree; the empty chair is angled downstage under warm spotlights; and, the entire scene is backlit by an ambient grinch-like green glow.

“By personifying the objects in this exhibition, MacLeod transforms the mise-en-scène into a frozen play about a woman endlessly lamenting to herself, all the while surrounded by gifts to and from herself”, says curator Justin Muir. “The dark humour of this lonely scene is amplified by the title's reference to the song Do You Hear What I Hear?, which was written during the height of the Cold War—the Cuban Missile Crisis.”

MacLeod’s exhibition Do You Hear What I Hear? is presented by Malaspina Printmakers and can be viewed 24/7 through the street level windows at 1265 Howe Street. The art in this exhibition was created in collaboration with production manager Val Loewen at Malaspina Printmakers’s studio on Granville Island.

More info

MacLeod’s exhibition Do You Hear What I Hear? comes out of a year-long artist residency. Beginning in 2021 she worked at Malaspina Printmakers studio on Granville Island to explore methods of printmaking that could be integrated into her practice. MacLeod previously collaborated with Malaspina Printmakers’s printer Matt Parisien to produce Stack, which was presented at her solo exhibition titled Myfanwy MacLeod, or There and Back Again at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 2014. Her more recent collaboration with Malaspina Printmakers’s production manager Val Loewen led to the creation of new textile-based screen prints.

Do You Hear What I Hear? engages with the history and conventions of window display, drawing upon the early design work of Andy Warhol for high-end department store Bonwit Teller for inspiration. Her installation in the window galleries at 1265 Howe Street combines 1960s pop culture lyrics of Cold War angst with comical illustrations of a looming hangover, resulting in a satirical staging of the holiday blues.

Artist bio

Myfanwy MacLeod is an artist based in Vancouver, Canada. Her work draws upon art historical tropes as both influences and foils; it engages in feminist critique of the discourses of mastery, genius and power to introduce qualities such as humour, awkwardness, self-deprecation, affect and doubt. She uses humour to explore the intersection between “high” and “low” culture exploring ideas around gender, privilege and value.

MacLeod was born in 1961 in London, Ontario; she currently lives and works in Vancouver, British Columbia. She studied art at Concordia University in Montreal, receiving her MFA from the University of British Columbia in 1994. She has exhibited her work throughout Canada, Australia, the United States, and Europe. Her work is in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and numerous private collections.

Solo exhibitions of her work include Canada House, London (2019), Or Gallery, Vancouver (2015); Vancouver Art Gallery (2014); Museum London (2013) ; Presentation House: Gallery, Vancouver (2012); Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2006). Selected group exhibitions include Polygon Gallery (2017); Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto (2013); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; MASS MoCA, North Adams, USA (2012); Vancouver Art Gallery (2010); Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto (2008); Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston (2006); Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany (2004); The Power Plant, Toronto, Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Gasworks, London (2002); Canadian Pavilion, Melbourne International Biennial (1999); and the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver (1998).

MacLeod has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Award (2013), The Glenfiddich Distillery Artist-in-Residence Program (2005), The City of Vancouver Live/Work Studio Residency (2003-2005), The Canada Council for the Arts Paris Studio (1999), The Doris and Jack Shadbolt Foundation VIVA award (1999) and La Fondation André Piolat (1994).


Photos: Rachel Topham & Blaine Campbell


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