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Dorothy Cross

October 5, 2018 to January 6, 2019

Opening reception Thursday October 4, 7pm

The Libby Leshgold Gallery is pleased to present Stalactite, a solo exhibition by Irish artist Dorothy Cross. The exhibition features two works: Stalactite, a single channel video work; and Foxglove, a small bronze sculpture.

Cross’s video work depicts the Great Stalactite of Doolin Cave in Country Clare, Ireland. More than seven metres long and weighing over ten tonnes, the stalactite is an enormous calcite formation made from accumulated drops of water over hundreds of thousands of years. Twisting and folding like sheets of fabric, the stalactite defies gravity, clinging on to the cave ceiling by a mere three square metres of calcite. Below the chandelier-like form stands a boy soprano, his clear voice echoing through the cave as he sings a series of vocal utterations. Both the stalactite and singing attest to the progression of time – from the passing of millennia to the bittersweet temporality of a boy soprano’s voice. 

Like Stalactite, Cross’s bronze Foxglove is a contemplation on time and mortality. As a flowering plant, the foxglove blooms for a short period before falling dormant for two years. As a bronze work of art, the foxglove is frozen in time. The foxglove has the ability to both take life and prolong it, as it is not only one of the most poisonous common plants but also the source of digitalin used in life-saving cardiac medications. 

The work in the exhibition speaks to the artist’s interest in exploring the place of human beings within the natural world. Often using materials associated with the sea including pearls and shark skin, she makes objects that blur the boundaries of both territories.

This exhibition is the first in a series of exhibitions and events that will take place at the Libby Leshgold Gallery entitled Drawn from the Shadows, that will explore time, mortality, loss and spiritual investigation.

Dorothy Cross has participated in numerous group and solo exhibitions internationally. Her work has been included in the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial and the Liverpool Biennial. A major retrospective of Dorothy Cross’s work took place at the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin in 2005. She is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London and Kerlin Gallery, Dublin. A work by the artist was included in The Voyage, or Three Years at Sea at the Charles H. Scott Gallery in 2012. This is Dorothy Cross’s first solo exhibition in Canada.

We are grateful for the financial support of the Canada Council for the Arts and presenting sponsor RBC Wealth Management.

The Libby Leshgold Gallery respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the unceded, traditional and ancestral xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and səl̓ilw̓ətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) territories.

For further information please contact the Libby Leshgold Gallery 

Libby Leshgold Gallery
Emily Carr University of Art + Design
520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5T 0H2

15 June to 16 September 2018
Opening reception 14 June at 7pm


Join us this summer at the Libby Leshgold Gallery as we present It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox, an exhibition devoted to exploring publication as an artistic practice. This exhibition marks the first iteration of a new programming initiative, laying the groundwork for the future development of a Summer School for Artists’ Publishing. The Summer School will expand on READ Books’ mission to create a platform and social space for experimental practices in publication by bringing leading local and international artists and practitioners together to present exhibitions, seminars, and public events.


This summer, READ and Publication Studio Vancouver (PSV) will host a series of events including workshops, launch parties, panel discussions, and talks. Participants include: Danielle St. Amour of Art Metropole; Jacquelyn Ross of Blank Cheque Press; Casey Wei of agonyklub; Emma Metcalfe Hurst and Christian Vistan of SPIT; Jonathan Middleton of Distribution Office; Ryan Smith of Brick Press; Louisa Bailey of Publication Studio London; Kristy Trinier of Publication Studio Edmonton; and Patrick Kiley of Publication Studio Hudson. During this time, PSV will be making books in the gallery while interacting with artists, students, and members of the larger public. We will present a diverse range of artists’ publications drawn from Emily Carr University’s Ian Wallace Collection, the Banff Centre’s Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives, and from private collections.


It’s difficult to put a painting in the mailbox is a quotation from John Baldessari’s artist book Ingres and Other Parables(1971). The book is comprised of short stories about the art world and our borrowed exhibition title is the punchline-like moral of “The Best Way to do Art”, a parable about an artist experiencing paintings by Cezanne in person for the first time after only having seen them reproduced in books. Although Baldessari’s sentence is from 1971, it touches on key ideas and issues that artists producing publications—be they digital or paper—continue to consider, work or even grapple with such as audience, circulation, and distribution. Lucy Lippard echoes Baldessari’s maxim in her assertion of primary information, that an artist book is an artwork as such (as opposed to a book about an artwork).


Publication Studio Vancouver has been publishing books and projects by artists and writers they admire since 2010. PSV is part of an international network of Publication Studios made up of studios in cities such as London (UK), Glasgow, Rotterdam, São Paolo, San Francisco, Hudson (NY), Hong Kong, Edmonton, and Guelph (ON). Publication Studio is a laboratory for publication in its fullest sense—not just the production of books, but the production of a public.


READ is an ongoing public program of the Libby Leshgold Gallery. It is a social space for the fostering, cultivation, and promotion of publication as an artistic practice and aims to further the discourse around and support the production of contemporary art and design. READ also serves as the bookstore for Emily Carr University and the wider community.


Please visit our website, and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for announcements and event listings which will soon be posted.

READ Books acknowledges that it is located on unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples, including the territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.

The Libby Leshgold Gallery gratefully acknowledges the financial support of the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Presenting sponsor RBC Wealth Management



READ Books | Libby Leshgold Gallery | Emily Carr University