Events > pop-up

May - 15 Jul. 2004

Ross Sinclair's Market Stall

Ross Sinclair and James Carl
Offsite Location
183 Augusta Avenue, Kensington Market, Toronto, ON

Market Stall, by Scottish artist Ross Sinclair, is a retail stand selling I Love Real Life merchandise – mugs, hats, buttons, keychains, pens, etc. The Stall will be set-up at various corners throughout the city over the course of the exhibition. When not on the street you will find the stand in Art Metropole’s front gallery space, along with documentation of the stall in action.

The stand was set-up in Kensington Market on Saturday May 15, 2004 in front of James Carl’s Balcony project, 183 Augusta Avenue, which is also featuring a work by Ross Sinclair.

Ross Sinclair is an artist and musician and writer who also teaches. In 1994 Sinclair had the tattoo, Real Life, inked on his back and since then his work has taken the form of a simultaneous celebration and commiseration of the paradigm of The Real – from the inside out, and always in relation to a particular context and audience. He has described the Real Life character he has utilised in many works since then like a character a writer would use in a series of books, appearing in different settings while remaining essentially the same through all the challenges and context of the different projects he has made. Sinclair employs many formal devices including performance and painting, installation and music, often all at the same time.

Since the late ‘80’s he has shown in hundreds of group and solo exhibitions in the UK, Europe and beyond, producing various monographs on his artworks, notably If North Was South and East Was West, (Badischer Kunstverein, 2004) as well as writing texts and essays in various books and publications. He continues to make music, often in relation to his artworks and periodically releases these songs in some form or other, most recently in the L.P. Everything Flows, Experimental art into music (Patricia Fleming Projects 2012). His work is held in many collections, The Scottish Arts Council, The British Council, Arts Council of England, Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, England, The Pier Arts Centre, Orkney, Stirling District Council, Sammlung Hauser & Wirth, St Gallen, Hamburg Kunsthalle, Collection Lambert, Avignon, France, and Private Collections, Switzerland, Germany, UK, France, USA, Hong Kong.

Sinclair’s Real Life projects, have often sought to re-imagine the relationships in our society through an ongoing investigation of the many institutions and constructs social / political / economic / cultural / geographic/ historic to which we all are inextricably linked as individuals, and collectively. Over the last 20 years, an important thread of Sinclair’s work has sought to address the very particular nature of the individual, collective and national identities of the small damp Northern-European nation sometimes known as Scotland. The Real Life Gordons of Huntly, 1318 – 2011 is the latest manifestation of this series. That work and many others from the series are discussed in the book We ♥ Real Life Scotland published by Deveron Arts in 2012.

Sinclair has won various international prizes, most notably a Creative Scotland Award, 2007, the Baloise, Statements prize at the Basel Art fair in 2001, Arendt Oetker Atelier Stipendium, Galerie fur Zeitgenossische Kunst, Leipzig, 1999 and was the recipient of a Hamlyn Award 1998-2000. He is currently a Research Fellow at Glasgow School of Art.

Based in Toronto, James Carl is one of the city’s leading artists. He creates small- and large-scale sculpture, made from a wide range of materials, from cardboard to marble, to venetian blinds. In the early 1990s Carl entered the art scene in Montreal by crafting expensive consumer goods (washing machines, stoves) from inexpensive materials such as found cardboard, only to place the finished sculptures back on the streets where their materials were originally retrieved. In a subsequent body of work, Carl carved replicas of disposable electronics out of marble – a traditional sculptor’s material with connotations of permanence. Most recently, Carl constructs large-scale, amorphous sculptures by intricately weaving brightly coloured venetian blinds in a series titled jalousie.

Carl has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally. Most recently, the first major survey of his work, entitled do you know what, was presented at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at the University of Toronto, the Cambridge Galleries Queen’s Square and the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph. Other recent shows include: jalousie at Galerie Heinz-Martin Weigand in Karlsruhe, Germany; negative spaces at Florence Loewy in Paris; plot at Vancouver’s Contemporary Art Gallery, and bottom feeder at Mercer Union in Toronto. Carl earned his MFA from Rutgers University and has degrees from McGill, the University of Victoria and the Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing. His work is in public and private collections across North America and Europe. Currently, Carl is an Associate Professor of Studio Art at the University of Guelph.


2: A young shopper holds tight to her purchase.
3: John Sasaki, the engineer of the stall, stands proudly with his handiwork.
4: A passerby examines the merchandise.

  1. Ross Sinclair - Real Life
  2. Ross Sinclair’s Market Stall
  3. Ross Sinclair’s Market Stall
  4. Ross Sinclair’s Market Stall