In summer 2014, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre invited Toronto-based artist Derek Sullivan to respond to the gallery’s architectural site and space in a commissioned work, Problems That Arise from Continually Confusing Left & Right (2014). This conceptual in situ work, located above the gallery’s reception desk, is the artist’s first monumental wall drawing. Problems… comprises a 10-segment folding ruler rendered in coloured pencil directly onto the wall. While retaining Sullivan’s handmade aesthetic and conceptual rigour, the work signals a shift in approach through its large scale and considered attention to site. Future, alternate configurations of the drawing, which has entered the gallery’s collection, may be composed using a template and instructions provided by the artist. Sullivan produced the work during a 2-week visit to the Agnes and Queen’s University, through shared engagements with and collaborative assistance by Kingston-based artists Jane Derby, Erin Milliken, Sara Perosa, Joan Scaglione, Anna Soper and Aïda Sulcs.
Sullivan’s artistic practice was further developed for Queen’s and Kingston audiences through an artist talk, “Filling In,” moderated by Sharday Mosurinjohn and Kevin Rodgers. The talk was presented in conjunction with Sullivan’s exhibition, “Four Notable Booksellers,” at Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre (7 March–18 April 2015).
The commission of Problems That Arise from Continually Confusing Left & Right was made possible by Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Grants program and the Donald Murray Shepherd Bequest, Queen’s University.