CIRCLES & WIGS is the shared practice of Jessica Groome (Berlin, Germany) and Ashleigh Bartlett (Calgary, Canada). Together, we have been exploring themes of friendship and distance through performance, installation, drawing and painting since 2015.
In our recent show Best Friends Forever at The Kamloops Art Gallery, we created 24 monochromes for each other based on memories. As an extension of the BFF project, we made a series of postcards with individualised mood-colours to over 100 friends internationally. For our show The Sleepover we occupied The Lily and made an exhibition overnight, reminiscent of girlhood nostalgia. Viewers were encouraged to interact with the space which included a VHS movie corner, drawing material and a collection of nail polish.
CIRCLES & WIGS can make a studio anywhere with limited means. When working together, we initiate and respond to each other’s gestures. Occasionally, one artist will direct the other, especially while working large-scale. We also create work from afar, focusing on the long-distance aspect of our relationship: texting, email poems, lists, skype, postcards, emojis/bitmojis have become the focus of our exchange. We are fascinated with the endless possibilities of communication and how it frames our collaboration.
Living in different countries, we have conducted three intensive self-directed residencies in each other’s studios, (Toronto, Berlin, Boston). The residencies, ranging from two to three weeks each, are highly productive. Speed, spontaneity, experimentation and play are all key components of our process.
We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.