April 21, 2023 – June 3, 2023
Phoebe Todd-Parrish’s exhibition, TO STAY, is a selection of work exploring the diners of Toronto and these unassuming local landmarks’ roles as bellwethers of changing architectural fashions and processes of gentrification. Through observation and comparison of these particular neighbourhood locales, patterns and particularities emerge, encouraging the viewer to re-examine their own communities, nearby businesses, and buildings both old and new as we all go about our days inhabiting the city.
The prints shown here are primarily made through the linocut relief process. Todd-Parrish finds that relief printing –like the necessary evolution of cities and redevelopment– is equal parts contemplative, destructive, and regenerative. She uses ordinary flooring linoleum as a matrix for carving, the same material found in the floors of many of the diners depicted. Behind the prints the checkerboard of deli wrappers becomes a kind of toile for the urban landscape; the single-ply napkin becomes a transcript of a fleeting thought had while sipping a bottomless cup of coffee.
Todd-Parrish’s print process has always been intertwined with themes of collection and connection. In creating this series, she draws from a combination of first-hand research that involves patronizing these restaurants, dawdling along sidewalks, scouring old Yelp reviews and blogs, leading public walks, exploring google maps’ archives, and importantly, having conversations with strangers willing to trade stories and knowledge about their local haunts. The diner series is ongoing.
Phoebe Todd-Parrish graduated from the Master of Fine Arts Printmaking program at the University of Alberta in 2018. Prior to moving to Edmonton, she lived in Tkaronto/Toronto where she completed an undergraduate degree in Visual Arts and English Literature at York University, followed by her MA in English from York University in 2016. She has shown her work nationally and internationally and has prints in notable collections worldwide including a portfolio of diner prints in the Toronto Reference Library’s Special Collections.
Currently, Phoebe is an instructor in Print Media in the Department of Visual Studies at The University of Toronto Mississauga/Sheridan and in the Printmaking and Publications department at OCADU. She is also sole proprietor of Flycatcher Press, a print studio in the Queen West neighbourhood. She prefers her eggs over easy.