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Shannon Gaden-Smith, Upright is fine, but downright is where I am (detail), accordion-fold book containing 30 double-sided archival prints; bound in a flocked clamshell box, 9" x 12", 2021, Edition of 7 © 2021 Shannon Garden-Smith

Upright is fine, but downright is where I am

Shannon Garden-Smith

Gallery TPW is pleased to present the launch of Shannon Garden-Smith’s new limited edition book, Upright is fine, but downright is where I am. The artist’s book continues her ongoing project documenting shoe treads printed in sidewalk concrete and road paint. Bound in a flocked clamshell box, the book is structured as an accordion fold-out that holds 30 double-sided prints, or 60 unique images. For each image that is immediately visible within the book, a second image remains latent on its reverse. However—tucked into slits on each accordion-fold page—the double sided prints are designed to be removed from the book structure, inviting countless re-arrangements. 


Imaging traces of touch that result from movement through the city, Garden-Smith’s photo series refocuses the way we look at the cities’ most pedestrian concrete surfaces, which are comprised primarily of sand. The project lingers on sand—a material we connect deeply with time and the infinite—just as we find ourselves inconceivably but demonstrably on the brink of exhausting this resource.

The artist would like to thank Kate Murdoch for creating the flocked clamshell boxes and Dimitri Levanoff at Imagefoundry for printing the publication.


Books are $700 each. For full details on how to purchase one, please send an email to: info @ gallerytpw.ca. 


In Conversation: Shannon Garden-Smith and Stephanie Springgay

Thursday, June 17, 6pm

Online Zoom Webinar

Join us for a conversation between artist Shannon Garden-Smith and scholar Stephanie Springgay, who will discuss their respective practices centred around walking. As part of an ongoing series, this event coincides with the release of Garden-Smith’s new limited edition book, Upright is fine, but downright is where I am. This project is a continuation of the artist’s photograph and video work, The Hourglass, which is part of Gallery TPW’s 2020 project MOVEMENTS. For more information and to register, please visit the event page, here.


Shannon Garden-Smith (she/her) is an artist living and working between Tkaronto/Toronto and Stratford, Canada. She completed an MFA at the University of Guelph (‘17) and a BA at the University of Toronto (‘12). Working primarily in sculpture and installation, Garden-Smith’s recent projects focus on the surfaces within and on which contemporary life unfolds, training a sensitivity to the ground beneath us. Through a slow, repetitive process that re-visibilizes how the day-to-day architectures of our lives become invisibilized/naturalized through repeated exposure, Garden-Smith practices in an exuberant material poetics of lack and excess. 


Garden-Smith has recently shown work with The Plumb (Toronto), Christie Contemporary (Toronto), Pumice Raft (Toronto), Modern Fuel (Kingston ON), TIER: The Institute for Endotic Research (Berlin), YYZ Artists’ Outlet (Toronto), Birch Contemporary (Toronto), Erin Stump Projects (Toronto), and 8-11 Gallery (Toronto). She and artist Amanda Boulos will present a project at The Bows (Mohkinstsis/Calgary AB) in the upcoming year. 

Stephanie Springgay is Director of the School of the Arts and Associate Professor at McMaster University. She is a leading scholar of research-creation with a focus on walking, affect, queer theory, and contemporary art as pedagogy. She directs the SSHRC-funded research-creation project The Pedagogical Impulse which explores the intersections between contemporary art and pedagogy. With Dr. Sarah Truman she co-directs WalkingLab – an international network of artists and scholars committed to critical approaches to walking methods. Additionally, she is a stream lead on a SSHRC partnership grant Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life. Other curatorial projects include The Artist’s Soup Kitchen – a 6 week performance project that explore food soveriegnty, queer feminist solidarity, and the communal act of cooking and eating together. She has published widely on contemporary art, curriculum studies, and qualitative research methodologies.