Phoebe Todd Parrish – Waiting Room (screen shot)

Phoebe Todd Parrish

Waiting Room

My print practice focuses on the notion of desire for connection and communication in living and non-living things: present/absent, material/imagined in a shared environment. In an ever-more augmented reality, distinctions between fact and fiction are blurred, affecting our interpersonal relationships through miscommunication, misrepresentation or paramnesia. Paramnesia is a psychiatric term that refers to a distortion in ones memory where facts are confused with fantasy. Experiences like déjà vu, confusing a dream you had for a waking occurrence or feeling you’ve met someone before are common examples of paramnesia. Using imagery from found spaces, I investigate themes of loneliness, and its distinction from aloneness, through narrative world-building; conflating unreality and reality.

In this short video, I am thinking about what it means to be idle or to have to wait. There is, often, a sense of anxiety that can accompany the act of waiting when we exist in a world that is so fast-paced and instantaneous. Conceptually, it is important for me to animate this video, frame by frame, drawing each movement of the figure by hand. This practice re-enacts the kind of durational patience and delayed gratification that comes with waiting—the making of many similar marks through drawing to see it come to life as an animation when they are sped up and played back. One hundred drawings can make up only fifteen seconds of video, but the time it takes to contemplate the movements shudders and shines through the film. In the end, it all builds to a sense of unease in the character's movements.


Phoebe Todd-Parrish is a visual artist and graduate student at the University of Alberta. She is an MFA candidate specializing in print making. Originally from Schomberg, Ontario, Phoebe moved to Toronto to complete her undergraduate degree in Visual Arts and English Literature at York University. She went on to complete her MA in English from York University in 2015-2016, and began her MFA at the University of Alberta in the fall of 2016. She has shown her work nationally and internationally, and has received accolades and awards for her research such as the Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship.

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