April White's show With Very Little Space Between was featured at the English Harbour Art Centre, which was originally an Anglican church and still holds its historic beauty. During the exhibition, the high ceilinged, naturally lit space was filled with faces sneezing, a ready to eat breakfast, and other moments of daily life that often pass unobserved.
April White's work causes us to pause and consider our involuntary actions and mundane routines. Whether it is a commute, waking up, or her nose mid-sneeze, she freezes these moments, turning them into carefully considered watercolours and animations that transform the fleeting into the endless. White highlights the commonalities of life while giving the viewer insight into her personal, yet relatable experiences and expressions.
The focus on vulnerable, or even embarrassing, bodily functions forces both the artist and the viewer into an intimate experience with White's face. She removes the hand, the elbow, and the tissue and uncovers the unflattering moments of life. In "I didn’t volunteer for this," a series of 100 watercolour frames of White sneezing, a short moment is prolonged and exaggerated. The intensity of labour necessary to complete this work is evident and brings a sense of struggle to the sneeze itself. A contrast is created between the quick, involuntary action and slow, deliberate depiction of the sneeze.
White is challenging herself, and by extension, challenging us, to see the funny in the unflattering and appreciate the beauty in the boring. With Very Little Space Between brings us to the altar of the sneeze and causes us to imagine 100 frames of our own face twisting, squinting, snotting, and dripping. April White's work reminds us to be kind to ourselves in every unglamorous moment of our everyday lives - and that it's okay to laugh at ourselves along the way.
With Very Little Space Between ran from July 21 - September 3 at the English Harbour Arts Centre in English Harbour, NL. See more photos of the exhibition on April White's website.