After reflecting on the history of the White Water Gallery as well as several other Artist-run Centre’s Curators Fynn Leitch and Clayton Windatt generated the following text as a summary. It was installed at the WKP Kennedy Gallery on behalf of the White Water Gallery, at Ice Follies 2014: Ohkwamingininiwug on the frozen Ice of Lake Nipissing and at Artspace in Peterborough. Each site has significant relevance to each statement and the meaning behind each piece connects to the space.
1) ARTIST-RUN CENTRES WERE FOUNDED IN REACTION TO A PERCIEVED LACK OF EXHIBITION SPACE FOR EXPERIMENTAL CONTEMPORARY ART. WE WERE, AND STRIVE TO REMAIN, ALTERNATIVE SPACES THAT PUSH BOUNDARIES. WE ARE OBSESSED WITH NEWNESS. OUR GROWTH RESPONDS TO EMERGING PRACTICES THAT ARE SHAPED BY ACADEMIC INSTITUTIONS, AND A NEED TO APPEAL TO THE STATED PRIORITIES OF OUR FUNDING BODIES. THOUGHTFUL AND CAREFUL REFLECTION SEEMS A LUXURY. DO WE REALLY UNDERSTAND WHAT IT MEANS TO BE RESPONSIVE AND INNOVATIVE FOR MORE THAN 4 DECADES?
2) AS WE GROW, THE QUESTION OF FOLLOWING OUR ROOTS BECOMES PRESSING. RESPECTING OUR ORIGINS IS IMPORTANT BUT IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE GIVEN THE CURRENT ENVIRONMENT? IS THE CLIMATE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO ACCOMMODATE A NEW MODEL OF EXISTENCE THAT ALLOWS FOR THOUGHTFUL REFLECTION AND AN INTEREST IN THE PAST?
3) THE STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE ON INCREASINGLY SCARCE RESOURCES CAN BREED COMPETITION, FEAR, AND THE WILLINGNESS TO COMPROMISE. STRENGTH DURING THIS TIME OF RENEWAL IS CRITICAL AND WE NEED TO STICK TOGETHER. IT IS EASY TO BECOME CYNICAL, ESPECIALLY AT OUR AGE, BUT NOW IS THE TIME FOR OPTIMISM. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND CHANGE THE WORLD AFTER ALL; WE ARE ARTIST-RUN CENTRES.
These statements lead towards an additional campaign where Fynn Leitch took the conversation further at the Festival of Alternative Art Sudbury (FAAS4) which was conducted by La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario in Sudbury. The Hyperbolic ARC was created as a result and a series of slogans were produced on tote bags furthering the temporary nature of our existence and emphasizing many of the changes that we are facing in Artist-Run Centres today.