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Leslie Sweder

Movement 1

From the series:
I Saw Nothing Coming Up the Road; Notes on the Self-Centred Universe, the Big Bang and Other Eruptions

5" x 7"

india ink pen and uniball on paper


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Other – A Public Art Installation

April 22 – 25th, 2013

Epcor Centre for the Performing Arts, Centre Court, 2nd level

Presented by The City of Calgary

Leslie Sweder’s site-specific art responds to her environment in surprising and touching ways. Watch her as she works on a sculpture commissioned by The City of Calgary especially for the Festival. Presented by The City of Calgary Public Art Program.

Leslie Sweder has spent seven years or so formally meandering through studies in sculpture, philosophy and comparative religions both at ACAD and the University of Calgary. A self proclaimed late bloomer, her innate resistance to modern commerce has caused her to show sporadically over the years, usually in fringe galleries — or on very rare occasion at an artist run centre. Her practice manifests itself as a ternion. It erupts on the street with unsolicited public installations. It morphs into a meditative practice in the studio. It engages community through collaborative drawings as part of a trio collectively known as "drunken paw".

Artist’s statement:

The Others
In every one of you lives one of them
It cannot be a thing of pity
We must accompany the struggles
Each one of us must feel at last that
I am the Other!
I am the Other!
I am the Other!
I am the Other!
I am the Unemployed!
I am the revolutionary!
I am those who do not eat!
I am all of us!
- from a speech by an unknown Argentinian woman as seen in the documentary The Fourth World War

The piece I am creating for This is My City is the first one in a potential series. It is this potential series that I have dubbed The Others and it is inspired by the above quote; a Gabriola glass artist who places hearts in the centre of each animal she creates (thereby evoking their spirit); and a schizophrenic man I met through my own street practice who shared with me his thoughts on the natural movement of energy which he called spirit. My encounters with him led to the series of drawings I Saw Nothing Coming up the Road: Notes on the Self Centred Universe, the Big Bang and Other Eruptions (see As in these drawings, this three-dimensional abstract form will be executed in a playful manner — this time in human scale and using a whole lot of electrical wire (being a conduit of energy) and a little yarn. The strange wire character will contain a soft knitted heart in its form and will find its home in the public domain sitting in a location where people will have to choose to acknowledge and engage it or consciously walk around it in avoidance. It is an "Other", one of "The Others" — something we choose to see as separate from ourselves — and yet it is all of us.

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