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The University of Manitoba

School of Art Gallery, 2022


"Andrea Oliver Roberts’ Sickroom is a sound and sculpture-based installation bringing together ideas about healing and protection, property and bodily autonomy, care and control. Taking formal cues from garden architecture, the artist has crafted sculptures that resemble wrought iron gates, trellises, and a  domed gazebo, as well as miniaturized forms that recall amulets or talismans . . . Mere suggestions of walls and ceilings, these garden structures indicate that a little piece of nature has been tamed, but offer little to no shelter or protection from the elements. And they offer security from trespassers only if tacitly agreed upon notions of property ownership and privacy are upheld.


Drawing on personal experiences of navigating and accessing support as a person with chronic illness, Roberts’ installation reveals the magical thinking that reinforces the permeable, indistinct, and ultimately temporary boundaries between chaos and order, between sickness and health, and between what is yours, what is mine, what is shared, and what can never be owned"                             

  -   exhibition text by Director/Curator Blair Fornwald.

A performance shot of AO Roberts, a white nonbinary 40-something person in a black shirt and blonde mullet, wearing a mask, and Anju Singh, an early 40's Sound Asian artist with long black hair in a leather jacket playing the violin. They are both inside a wooden skeletal bandstand structure in a gallery in front of an audience. The lighting is moody, and futuristic, in light blueish green with rose highlights.
3) Void Verse (Cure/Curse).
Title of this work is: Void Verse (Cure/Curse).It is made out of sand cast iron and covered in a glossy black powder coating of thermoset polymer. The structure is 48" x 46" x 3/4" and stands on a 4” x 4” x 48” wooden post. The cast iron panel looks similar to a garden gate, but where a gate would be made out of abstract designs, this form is made out of the words CURES CURSE, repeated, interlocking, and reversed and stacked. What results is a semi abstract but still somewhat legible lattice structure.
Void Verse (Diagnosis) is constructed of sand-cast iron and covered in a glossy black powder coating of thermoset polymer. The iron structure is entirely formed out of the word DIAGNOSIS, in a serif-ed font stacked on top of itself multiple times. The serifs interlock and create a lattice-like form. The structures are made of two panels that interlock like a room divider or a privacy screen. The first panel is made of the letters DIA, which connect at a right angle to GNOSIS. The entire piece is 74" x 33” x 1/2".
Correspondences (Ocean Views) is a black white and grey marble look acrylic 3/4” square by 5” long base that has been mounted to the wall vertically. Cut into the entire length of the base there is a  1/8”  channel, inside which there is Baltic birch panel cut into the shape of the words OCEAN VIEWS, stacked, inverted, and repeated, making a lattice like form that stands 5”x 7 /12”x 1/8”.  The birch is stained with a teal greenish-blue oil ink and coated with oil varnish.
orrespondences (Shimmer). It is a small sculpture made out of flocking, wax, fibreboard, and acrylic acetate. It measures 5” x 1/2” x 3 3/4” x 3/4” and was made it 2021. There is a 5” long and 3/4” square base installed perpendicular to the wall. The base is black and white and grey and resembles fake marble.  A 1/8” in a channel has been cut into the entire length of the top of the 5” x 3/4” square base, into which the word SHIMMER has been inserted. The words are cut into fibreboard and covered with red flocking, similar to the colour and feel you would find in a jewellery box.

Liturgies for Chiron w/ANJU SINGH


Featuring electronics and voice (Roberts), drones and strings (Singh), Liturgies for Chiron draws upon the artists’ shared experiences of coming from working-class backgrounds within religious traditions that valourize labour. Reflecting on repetition in both work and worship, Liturgies alludes to the condition of simultaneity: in Greek myth, Chiron is an uncharacteristically wise and well-mannered centaur associated with medicine and healing; in astronomy, it is also the name of a centaur – a small Solar System body with characteristics of both asteroids and comets.

Presented by the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery and Send + Receive: a festival of sound

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