Leisure Projects—the brainchild of Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley—is a Montreal based independent artist-curator initiative that seeks opportunities. Targeting the gaps, breaks, and inconsistencies within cultural spaces they have curated Leisure Projects events in glamorous hotel basements, tiny modernist apartments and within the fissures of established gallery programming.
Reflecting upon (and indulging in) their fascination with all things "leisurely," emerging artist/curators Carruthers and Wesley are defining a hybrid practice that uses socially-historic research, the mounting of contemporary visual art exhibitions, and the creation of new work, to build environments which provide atmospheres of enchantment. Their interests lie in the Romantic intersections between landscape and fantasy, desire and terror.
Past collaborative works such as “A Festive Drop-in” and “Labour Day Croquet” explore the social history of Holidays and celebrations. By integrating guest artists into events such as croquet invitational or celebratory decorations, Leisure Projects extends the art practice of Wesley and Carruthers into a public sphere and diverse situational contexts. In a series of exhibitions including“The Huntball” and “Ice Palace,” research on historic events informs new works by the artists, and re-conceptualizes works by peers in innovative installations. With an emphasis on implementation, Leisure Projects creates a productive juncture between imaginary narratives and real life events. Other Illustrious precedents for Leisure Projects include: Tupperware parties, SWITCHSPACE (Glasgow, UK) and Art Metropole (Toronto, ON).
For this issue of Tarpaulin Sky, Leisure Projects investigates the social history of the Hotel de la Montagne lobby and nightclub. In a self-guided tour [including ivory-tusked elephants, golden crocodiles and Grecian portraits] Leisure Projects investigates the constructed atmosphere of Hotel de la Montagne, re-appropriating its contents as an exhibition of hotel décor.