Carolyn Code

May 14-28, 2016

Saturday, May 14 at 7pm


Spill is comprised of sculptures that emphasize and exaggerate the accumulation of objects in our personal spaces and examines the categories of objects that are piling up. Modern western culture tends to emphasize the acquisition of objects, while de-emphasizing the responsibilities that come with acquisition, including use, care, storage, removal and disposal. Homes are museums full of cultural artifacts. Just as in 16th century cabinets of curiosities, contemporary objects in everyday household collections can have complex relationships with each other, each specific collection telling a story.

Individual objects can have multiple uses and functions. While objects can seemingly hold a place of permanence to us, our relationships to them are evolving and ephemeral. After we have parted with a possession it can be used and re-used, it can be made into something else or be interpreted as something entirely different by being placed in a different context. Michael Thompson’s “rubbish theory” provides a critical framework for this. Thompson’s theory explains the cycle through which objects lapse from useful items into trash, and then, through time, gain value again. Spill investigates the semiotic significance of the objects that we use and pose questions about why we own what we own and what happens to these objects once they are no longer ours.

With increasing frequency, the objects found in contemporary homes are spilling out of their assigned spaces and into common living spaces, creating a tension between order and chaos. Each piece in Spill consists of static objects, but each implies motion. Spill examines categories of objects that we collect and explores how they accumulate, how we attempt to maintain order and how they can have purpose and existence after their time with us.


Carolyn Code is a visual artist from Toronto, Ontario. She received her BFA from NSCAD University in Halifax in 2006 with a major in jewellery and metalsmithing. Recently Carolyn has been working in sculpture and installation, with a focus on re-imagining objects in the domestic sphere. Carolyn has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and the United States. She has recently exhibited at Xpace Cultural Centre, Roadside Attractions, and Artspace artist-run centre. She now lives in Peterborough, Ontario where she is continuing her studio practice.

Carolyn gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ontario Arts Council.