NOTHING IS TOO EMPTY A PLACE TO GO is an exhibition of laboriously embroidered works on perishable materials. These objects are constructed of materials with a short life span, bringing up questions of what it means to give love, time, and attention to something that will soon expire. The embroidered paper towels, pile of leaves, flower arrangements, and insects will slowly perish during the course of the exhibition. Utilizing surfaces considered too weak to withstand needle and thread, Jackson alludes to ideas of loss, grieving, patience and ritual.


KATE JACKSON works with fragile embroidery, using materials often too weak to withstand needle and thread. This gesture translates into themes of patience, grief, intimacy, and yearning. She was chosen to represent Canada at the 2009 Cheongju International Craft Biennale in South Korea, and was exhibited at the Museum of Vancouver as part of the Cultural Olympiad during the 2010 Winter Olympics. Recently Kate Jackson was an Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre, Alberta and the Craft & Design Studios at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto. She graduated from OCADU and lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Time, contradictory to its otherness and our common portrayal of its indifference to us, is subject to our emotions. As it is a law of the universe, so it is an expression of the mind. Time can be slow, quick, joyful, ignorant, or quiet. Its experience is dependent on our present understanding of it. And the reverse can be said of us: time is subject to our emotions, and we are subject to time. The instance when this is most clear, is when a pattern of our passivity is disrupted. 
When we passively experience time, we are neither its subject (“time happens to me”), nor its possessor. Time is usually apathetic to the tiny dramas of our daily lives, and we move through it concerned instead with other sensations and laws of the universe more eager for our consent. But there are those startling moments of confrontation when time, so abstract and uncommunicative, and humans, with all our will and force of feeling, stumble upon each other. These are the moments when the patterns of emotions and the patterns of time contradict one another. Usually they are small and they aren’t of much consequence: such as the experience of déjà vu or speaking a word so many times that it temporarily loses meaning. We blink in incredulity while experiencing the phenomenon, perhaps even tell whoever is nearby how awestruck we are by its uncanniness, and nevertheless quickly move on back to passivity. 
But, every once in a while an event will happen where the contradiction between time’s destiny and our intended emotional destiny is completely disruptive. And so forcefully that we have no choice but to slow and collect ourselves: when time and emotion must look into one another’s eyes, and finally breathe each other in.

It’s here, among this pause of crossing paths, that sadness makes it impact. It comes in many forms: time has its laws of coming and going, its proliferation and its dwindling, and we have our contrastive ever-expansive daydreams and desires. When in the company of sadness our pattern of passivity is broken: one of the things that sustained us, enlivened our emotional propulsions and continued the simplicity of an emotional truth, has left us. Normally we may move through time carefree, but now we are accountable to our connection with it. We have lost something, and now we have to find a way to live in the world without it.

Sadness is a preview of the neutrality of the universe: it does not feel and we are being reminded of it. A hole is created in us from loss and now we peek into emptiness, and the neutrality is all that is left. This can be a shocking confrontation for us-who-feel-so-much, and the instinct is to flee from the nothingness and to quickly fill the hole with something else.
But what if we sit with our emptiness? What if we, instead of repulsion, offer patience to this neutrality? Can emotion and time look into one another’s eyes, but demand nothing of each other? Let us consider the possibility of an inward refuge, a space where we can become intimate with our absence. Because here, along the fringes of loss and the hole it creates in us, along the immediate periphery to the neutrality of the universe, is where the softest of our expressions lie. They murmur among themselves, too nascent to make it to the exterior on their own – fragile, distant things.

Let’s spend time here, among quiet sadness. When we move quickly and energetically, time can’t manage to grasp meaning: we’re caught in the pursuit of our desires and the majority of our emotional value is placed on their realization. But let us try to wane to the pace of the universe: if we move slowly, what will our sensations and intuition perceive that would otherwise go unnoticed? What diaphanous things will we catch sight of, softly shivering past us on their way from neutrality’s hollow? What expression will we find?

ANGELA FERMOR is an artist and writer emerging with a completed Bachelor’s Degree of Distinction from the Alberta College of Art and Design, residing in Calgary, Alberta. Fermor is interested in the use of minimal poetics to mark her interest in the expression of philosophy and the abstraction of communication.