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Derek Liddington

Message to Japan

In this work I have cut the knapsack into 150 squares. They are meant for you to take and wear with you at all times. Students are encouraged to take a square and wear it in support of their own memories, hopes, aspirations and dreams. Those students who choose to wear the square will be connected to one another, in solidarity of future dreams and past memories.

Artist information

Derek Liddington works and lives in Toronto. He obtained his MFA from the University of Western Ontario and BFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Liddington’s work has been exhibited in numerous public settings, most recently at the opening night of Art Toronto 2011 where he staged Dandy Gangs. In 2010, Liddington staged Allegory for an Opera as part of Nuit Blanche. He had his first solo show, titled Coupe de Grace, at Clark and Faria Gallery in 2010. Liddington’s work has also been exhibited in group shows, most recently in Meet us on the Commons, curated by Elizabeth Underhill for the Art Gallery of Mississauga. Derek has received project support from the Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council and the London Community Foundation. In 2011, Derek Liddington was shortlisted for the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Artist Prize.

Official Website: Derek Liddington

Brett Despotovich

Message to Japan


Artist information

The work of Brett Despotovich (b.1982) draws from the liminal space between the physical and metaphysical. Brett is a multidisciplinary artist living in Toronto. He studied at OCAD before leaving to work on the multi-award winning feature documentary FLicKeR (NFB/Bravo! 2008). He organized Toronto’s seminal alternative figure drawing event ‘Dr Sketchy’s Toronto’ from 2007-2011. Brett currently works as the ‘Head of Visitor Services and Gallery Operations’ at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

Official Website: Brett Despotovich

Aleksandra Rdest

Message to Japan

I know that you will find balance and come out of this crisis even stronger than you were before. I hope that you continue to see beauty in all that surrounds you. Just as we, artists, draw inspiration from your country; we hope that you will gain something from the work we produce.

Aleksandra Rdest 2012

Artist information

Aleksandra Rdest lives and works in Toronto. She is most well widely recognized as a painter but her practice also includes photography and sculpture. In 2004 Rdest travelled to Japan and was deeply impressed by the culture and art; which continues to inform her work to this day.

Since graduating from OCAD Toronto in 2002 Rdest’s work has been exhibited across Canada in commercial and public galleries; as well as in Japan and the United States. She has been an active member of art collective A Collection of Foreign Objects since 2004. With the collective she has participated in Nuit Blanche as well as numerous exhibitions in artist run and alternative venues. Rdest has curated exhibitions in Los Angeles and Toronto,In addition to her artistic practice; Rdest is Creative Director at Tatar Art Projects, a hospitality art consulting firm.

Her work has been featured in Magenta Foundation’s Carte Blanche: Painting and Flash Forward Photography 2011 Publication; she was a semi-finalist in the RBC painting competition in 2007.

Recent exhibitions include: CRISScross, Sopa Fine Arts, Kelowna BC; Bungalow Colony, Gendai Gallery, Toronto; SWAGGER AND SASHAY, Angell Gallery, Toronto; Postcards from the Void, Tatar Gallery, Toronto; Fuzz, Newzones, Calgary.

Official Website: Aleksandra Rdest