Events > 2007

18 - 08 Sep. 2007

The North End

Cathy Busby

The North End is an archive of posters that celebrate the abundance of cultural activity emerging from this small Halifax neighbourhood. Artist Cathy Busby presents them as a floor-to-ceiling installation at Art Metropole, papering the walls with hundreds of scavenged posters from music, political and art events. Collecting, archiving and re-contextualizing transforms the posters from the left-behind remnants of events to a massive array of socially and graphically rich cultural artifacts. The posters, from various subcultures and poster-makers, collectively make an energetic and hopeful statement in contrast to corporate branding efforts. With modest means, the DIY posters, make big business advertising seem like a tired formula.
The North End book is a 276-page limited edition of 10 with full-colour bleed images arranged in chronological order filling each page. The occasion for this installation is the launch of its sequel, The North End: Volume II, a 300-page limited edition, picks up where the first book left off. Together these publications are a consolidated statement bursting with energy, hope, and graphic sensibilities – a compilation that shows just how varied a poster can be.

The North End project also includes a third component: t-shirts. Cathy Busby first made The North End t-shirts (in gold-on-red and silver-on-blue colorways) in conjunction with an exhibition of the posters at the Emerson Gallery in Berlin in summer, 2006 – in recognition of the neighbourhood and of all “North Ends.” They were best-sellers and were re-issued for the “Go North” community festival in north-end Halifax in fall, 2006. The new North End t-shirts will mark the new exhibit and, out-of-context, be a free-floating signifier in the heat of a Toronto summer.

Please join us on August 18, 2007, 2-5 pm to open this exhibition. The artist will be in attendance.

About the artist

Before collecting posters, Cathy Busby assembled a collection of public apologies which was compiled into the related best-selling publication Sorry. Exhibitions of this work took place at McMaster University, Hamilton and Saint Mary?s University, Halifax. She has a long-standing interest in the emotional pushes and pulls of consumer culture and early on she assembled and worked with a large collection of self-help books and was contributing co-editor to an anthology about pain When Pain Strikes. More recently this interest lead her to look at the spillover of corporate workplace language into popular culture and she assembled a collection of management jargon (“kiss up and kick down;” “ramp up,” “swap out;” “turn the page”) which was a key element in her installation 24/7 at Work (Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, 2005). Busby’s artwork derives from her background as a conceptual artist (BFA, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design) and her interests in Media Studies and Communication (Phd, Communication, Concordia University).


2: The North End installation at Art Metropole.
3: The North End tshirt as worn by Art Metropole staff, and Cathy Busby's family members and friends.

  1. north-end-270h.jpg
  2. entrywall1web.jpg
  3. tshirtsweb.jpg