Leisure is a conceptual collaborative art practice between Montreal-based artists Meredith Carruthers (1975) and Susannah Wesley (1976). Working together under the name “Leisure” since 2004, they engage with cultural historical narratives through research, conversation, published texts, curatorial projects and art production. Their recent research on collaboration, gesture and spatial narrative has included Conversation with magic forms (most recently exhibited at CAG Vancouver, 2020), the solo retrospective How one becomes what one is (Musée d’art de Joliette, 2018), Panning for gold/Walking you through (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2017) and Dualité/Dualité (Artexte, Montreal, 2015).
How do we shape our path and what form does that path take? How do we move around or against obstacles in our way? What are the consequences of our gestures and the direction we choose? What happens when our path joins with another? When do we assert power over, accommodate or embrace moments lacking in control?
For a number of years Leisure has looked to art history and the lives and practices of often overlooked female artists to provide models for complex, multi-faceted and collaborative ways of living and creating. We examine the alternative practices resulting from these strategies and question how these models might apply to present-day realities—across shifting definitions of gender and our ever-changing relationship to work/life balance.
Our research involves interviews with artists, site-visits, reading and rifling through archives, reflecting on our own experiences, and vicariously inhabiting the spatial and material experiences of our subjects.