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The Living Colouring Book Project

August's Awesome Ottawa award goes to Brenda Dunn to support a giant art piece for viewers to colour.

"So often, in gallery settings," says Brenda, "we are told not to touch the artworks. To challenge this taboo, I'll be creating a giant colouring page that will stretch the length of the Lalande-Doyle Exhibition space at the Shenkman Arts Centre. The work will be comprised entirely of line drawing in black ink on heavy drawing rolls that measure 4 feet high by 30 feet in length that I'll be inviting the audience to 'colour' in order to complete the piece."

Brenda's Living Colouring Book will consist of many scenes of Ottawa's creative spaces, both interior and exterior. "I will be documenting the evolution of the piece throughout via time-lapse recording," she says, "in order to capture the process of collective completion. The struggle of viewers to reorient themselves as participants, and overcome the taboo of touching is a tension I'm fascinated by and keen to explore. I want to encourage people to subvert the usual gallery expectations, and break down the idea that galleries places for quiet, passive contemplation. I love the idea of a piece we complete collectively."

The exhibition will take place in January or February of 2019.

Brenda is a self-described community-engaged Ottawa-based artist. "I make things," she says, "but I also make things happen."

Funded by Ottawa, ON (August 2018)