Deirdre Logue/Allyson Mitchell (27/03/13)

Two smiling women carry a crocheted granny square banner in neon colours in front of a parade of people.

Deirdre Logue and Allyson Mitchell, CAN'T/WON'T, crocheted granny squares, Vancouver 2nd Annual Craft Pride Parade, 2012.

Logue and Mitchell will introduce us to the Feminist Art Gallery (FAG), located in their backyard in Parkdale, Toronto ON. The gallery serves as a space for a hybrid community of queer folks, locals, feminists, neighbours and thinkers to gather. One of their most known projects, CAN’T/WON’T, is a set of handmade banners that read, “We can’t compete,” “We won’t compete,” “We can’t keep up,” and “We won’t keep down.” With the act of brandishing these banners in art venues like the Tate Modern, Logue and Mitchell reject the patriarchal art system, which remains as impenetrable as ever in cultural structures today. Instead, they create an alternative system that opens up spaces and opportunities for communities to converge and overlap. In addition to being a gallery space, bed-and-breakfast, letter-writing organization, free school and activist group, FAG has also created a network of ‘matronage’ that ensures that artists will always be paid for exhibiting their work. In this way, FAG is sustained, not through corporate or governmental funding, but rather through the financial support of its invested communities. More…

Deirdre Logue holds a BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and an MFA from Kent State University. Her performance based film, video and installation works are self-portraits uniquely located between comfort and trauma, self-liberation and self-annihilation. By using domestic objects and spaces to contrary ends, her works capture gesture, duration and the body as both subject and object. Recent solo exhibitions of her award winning work have taken place at Open Space in Victoria, Oakville Galleries, the Images Festival in Toronto, the Berlin International Film Festival, Beyond/In Western New York, YYZ and at articule in Montreal. She was a founding member of Media City, the Executive Director of the Images Festival, the Executive Director of the CFMDC and is currently the Development Director at Vtape.

Allyson Mitchell is a maximalist artist working predominantly in sculpture, installation and film. Since 1997, Mitchell has been melding feminism and pop culture to play with contemporary ideas about sexuality, autobiography, and the body, largely through the use of reclaimed textile and abandoned craft. Her work has exhibited in galleries and festivals across Canada, the US, Europe and East Asia. She has also performed extensively with Pretty, Porky and Pissed Off, a fat performance troupe, as well as publishing both writing and music. She is an assistant Professor in the School of Women’s Studies at York University.