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Where I Work: Lisa Lipton

A look inside the Sobey Award finalist’s studio


  • Krista Comeau

Along with Raymond Boisjoly (West Coast), Sarah Anne Johnson (Prairies/North), Abbas Akhavan (Ontario), Jen Rafman (Quebec), Atlantic Canada's 2015 finalist, Lisa Lipton, prepares for the Sobey Shortlist Exhibition at the AGNS, opening on September 26. The winner will be announced at a gala on October 28.

"My name is Lisa Lipton, some people call me FRANKIE. I'm a visual artist, musician, director and, some would say, rogue filmmaker. My recent obsessions include blast beats, true love and the impossibility of blue roses in nature. I love a good challenge and constructing dream worlds that push the boundaries of reality versus fiction."

"My art practice is extensively multidisciplinary. Within a studio context, jobs range from administrative work to drawing storyboards or performance diagrams, sewing costumes or soft sculptures, painting, building sets and installations, shooting and editing videos, recording or editing music or soundtracks and—when I can squeeze a drum kit in the space–drumming. Right now, I'm finalizing aspects of the Sobey Art Award Shortlist Exhibition on Saturday, September 26 at AGNS. I'm also heavily engrossed in working on a new multidisciplinary performance called HOOP DREAMS (basketball and beats), which will be showcased during Nocturne, as well as the night before the Sobey Award Gala."

"In a studio at NSCAD's Academy building as a visiting artist and while preparing for the Sobey exhibition and a performance series. Usually, I work on the road. Wherever I can—bedrooms, offices, basements, studios, backyards. Give me a space and I'll makeshift. I work where I can because that's what I've come to know, and essentially that has defined my recent body of work."

"Well, first I have to get through the exhibition, then HOOP DREAMS, which will activate and relocalize the world of Chapter VI: Greysville. I chose this chapter from THE IMPOSSIBLE BLUE ROSE for exhibition because it was written here. Having been selected to represent the Atlantic region in the upcoming award competition, I wanted to reveal the reality of arriving home and being here, even if it wasn't an easy time. Especially after writing previous chapters to the project in different cities all over North America, it made sense. Plus, Greysville involves performances from my parents, and since I recently lost my father, if feels like an honour to him. Each successive chapter was written in a different city, and the content from each was derived on location. I never really knew where or what would happen next. I was living the story as it was happening. I'm still living it, in a way. My winter will be spent in an editing room, glued to the prospect of closing the book on a project that has been three years in the making. I can't wait for the happy ending."

Sobey Art Award exhibition
September 26-January 3 Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
1723 Hollis Street

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