Here Comes the Sun
In Sherry Walchuk’s “Outbuilding I: Sun Tunnel Satellite Dishes,” we are in a fantastical sanctuary composed of many elements: cardboard and paper mache, an elaborate light source, and various hardware and materials using crafting techniques akin to DIY home renovation—there is a domestic feel to this structure. We are cocooned inside a place, in an elaborate set/setting that nestles our body, held by a comforting sensation felt so potently, felt instantaneously, felt by the exuberance of the light. “I built this structure in an attempt to give myself an energetic transfusion: to blast away negative thought patterns using the sun’s force and replace them with the sun’s light. Here, I become the sun.” We become the sun too.
As most of us are in the throes of a mid-winter malaise, it is truly an act of pleasure to be thinking and writing through Sherry’s “Sun Tunnel Satellite Dishes” that is presented at CIRCA. She refers to these outbuildings as “aspirational structures” that examine the relationship between internal and external architectures empowering and inspiring our capacity to transform, to explore through spatial experience our ability to change, to feel better.
Sherry’s practice puts emphasis on caregiving, death preparation, and healing, often creating environments for loved ones who are ill or dying.
For this iteration of “Outbuildings” the focus is on the force within us, and the possibility that arises when that comes into relation with the external, the light force of the sun. Through that contact, the satellite dish engages with this query, asking us to feel through what can manifest as pleasure, or reprise, providing a refuge for the body to be open and vulnerable. And in that process something may happen that can “awaken potential,” move us toward transformation. As spring approaches, I find this opportunity to experience Sherry’s work timely, as this season is all about shedding our dry winter skin, we’re emerging from the dark, preparing for new light, our desire to bask in the joy of the sun is awakened. The days are longer now, and the sun’s gift is light. In “Sun Tunnel,” we get a preview, a taste, of what that might feel like on our bodies, and how that might shift our perceptions and mental state.
In Sherry’s work, there’s an intimacy with architecture that incites imaginary considerations of built structures as they engage nature, objects of refuse, tools, and various building material. These spaces activate generative sensations and provide a dwelling in which we are able to hold near the experience felt. To experience these spatial structures is to feel through the dynamic of inside and outside. It is to consider the conditions of vernacular spaces: the power that they might diffuse is one in tune with and for tuning the body. Sherry considers our own potential relation with materials, with making, and building those open possibilities of life lived differently, felt differently.
– Text by Nasrin Himada
Biography of the artist
Sherry Walchuk lives and works in Mission BC and Montréal QC, where she completed her MFA in Painting and Drawing from Concordia University (2012). Her work has been published in Canadian Art and Border Crossings Magazine, and has been exhibited at artist run centres and galleries, including Articule and Lisa Kehler Art + Projects. She has received grants from the BC Arts Council and Canada Council for the Arts, participated in several residencies at the Banff Centre and in Iceland, and led a home building workshop at Art City.
Biography of the author
Nasrin Himada is a Palestinian writer and curator based in Tio’tia:ke (Montréal), in Kanien’kehá:ka territory. Their writing on contemporary art has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Critical Signals, The Funambulist, Fuse Magazine, and MICE Magazine, among others. Nasrin’s For Many Returns curatorial project is a continuing series which was designed and developed as a way to explore art writing as a kind of performative gesture. Manifestations of it has toured across Canada, the US and Europe, and will soon be released into a book.