Artist Sara Guindon on her new show, Barkley Towers
Why did you decide to set the show in Barkley Towers? Is that a real place?
These situations were based off memories a bit, and so I wanted to create a base for the show and a context. So immediately my thought was, I'll call it Barkley Towers, because that was the name of these buildings I lived in. But that was just a base for things. They're really just centered around this little community so I can have these people hanging out and they're all residents of these buildings. Now I'm like, maybe I shouldn't have called it that? Just because it's not my life or anything like that. I wanted a base, basically. I was inspired by that.
It is a real place. It's a building. There are these two buildings, like, '70s apartment buildings that were attached together and there was a pool and lots of kids in the buildings. And at that age you just remember things, little things, so well. There's lots of funny things that I remember, so I'm just sort of pulling things from that time. But there's also things from other times, too. But actually, I don't think they're called Barkley Towers anymore. I was looking it up and the buildings don't have a name anymore. They're still there, but there's another set of buildings in Ontario that are called Barkley Towers. So now I'm like, were they called Barkley Towers? Did I make that up? But I'm pretty sure they were.
Your paintings seem to suggest intricate back stories for the people in them. Do you think about that when you create the characters?
Sometimes I have people in mind. It's not like an actual character and story, it's not really real. I really feel like I care about the little people and I wanna make it something....To me, they're sort of precious in their own way.
How do you hope people react to this show?
To me there's a bit of humor. Not maybe laugh out loud, but emotion of some sort. They're not realistic or anything; you're not gonna cry. But I'd like to think that people will be tickled by my work. I also just like to make them smile, which sounds really lame. I kind of like to let the work speak for itself. It's pretty literal, it's not too abstract.