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Andrea Battersby

Multidisciplinary Artist | Producer | Arts Educator | Performer
Cofounder BPL 

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bio

Andrea Battersby is a Multidisciplinary Artist, Producer, Performer, Scenic Artist, Arts Educator, and the Co-Founder of Bureau Of Power And Light (BPL) art collective  established in 2015 with partner Geoff Doner in Toronto, Canada. BPL produces original music, film and video, multimedia art and exhibitions and live performances. BPL is dedicated to harnessing creative energies for positive social impact, and committed to advocating for the value of arts in society at large.

"Drawing Fear Into Service" 

“Drawing Fear Into Service”, Suite of 15 drawings, 18” x 24” each, ink on archival paper.

Created in live performance with Geoff Doner, 2022.

Artist Statement  

       

“The drill site indicator sign was unapologetically placed directly underfoot by interloper examiners. We continued our work and politely accommodated our unwitting guests despite the burning feelings of being disrespected that their actions sparked in us. That smouldering firepit of painful emotions still lives inside me. Enduring coals of damaging energy must be guided to defy gravity and transform positively. The predictive alternative - being swallowed whole by festering dread.” 

 

A circle quartered by alternating filled segments has become a charged symbol of the chronic fear, sadness of loss and feelings of illegitimacy that have accumulated over years of subjection to renovictions and gentrification. Displacement.

 

Now I am taking back the power this mark has over me. 

 

By physically drawing it over and over again at different scales with different mediums,  a source of menace is transforming into a personal touchstone of empowerment.

 

How to turn chronic fear into meaningful service -

Draw it.

Andrea Battersby Aug 2022

Original drawings available to purchase. Connect with Andrea for further information. Email contact@bpl.productions

Improvised performance by Andrea Battersby & Geoff Doner

"Drawing Fear Into Service" | BPL Fundraiser Live Performance June 2022

 

Andrea Battersby - mark making

Geoff Doner -  music

BPL Pop Up Window Gallery 640 Pape Ave. Toronto CAN

 

Improvised live performance allowed us to individually and collectively meditate on feelings of uncertainty and powerlessness in a manner of our choosing and in an environment of safety. By engaging in our primary arts practice, we also embraced our primary self-care activity.

                                        . 

The tools I chose to have at hand were limited to a bottle of black India ink, a 1” angle sash paintbrush taped to a pole, a small paint tray and a pile of papers pulled from a single coiled sketchpad of acid free mixed media paper. I knew that I wanted to explore the Drill Site Indicator sign and allow for emergent responses to Geoff’s sonic inspirations. 

 

The first time the ink-charged brush met a leaf of paper on the floor, the paper shifted and slid about uncontrollably.  Without the benefit of anchoring by tape or staple, the task became how to tailor my movements and expectations to meet the challenges arising in attempting to create a static graphic on an unpredictable moving surface. 

"New Life" music video

In “New Life” we are reminded of the restorative power of nature and the intrinsic value of  self-reflection and creative expression in facing our personal barriers and confronting oppressive systems.

 

CREDITS              

Music & Lyrics Written and Produced by - Geoff Doner

Director & Editor - Mikela Jay

Art Direction - Andrea Battersby 

Performances by - Geoff Doner, Andrea Battersby, Mikela Jay

Produced by - BPL

Mastering - Wilson Acevedo 

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Producer 

Select Credits

                            

Butterfly Effect Mural | StART (City of Toronto) Partnership. Artists Paula Gonzalez-Ossa and Nyle Johnston tell stories of the Monarch Butterfly that honours the land along their expansive migratory route. Augmented Reality by Quinn Hopkins embedded in the painted mural. Front facade of Center For Social Innovation (CSI) 192 Spadina Ave. Mural completion August 2021.

ArtHouseTO | An aspirational model of sanctioned accessible Live/Work Creative Convergence Hubs Cultivating Community Health for all in GTA. In its current form @arthouseto is a curated Instagram hub of connection for arts and mutual aid.  Introduced in a deputation to the Ontario Legislature regarding the State of Arts and Culture during Covid, June 2020. 

Snowlion Club | CBC Arts commission, 6 min. mini doc. 2020. Directed by Ngawang Datok. Produced by Andrea Battersby and Geoff Doner with Lise Hosein for CBC Arts . Tibetan artist collective in Toronto promotes belonging. Accessible to view online at CBCArts.ca.

Light For Freedom | Toronto, CAN | 9 min. short film, 2018.  Directed by Guillermo De La Rosa. Produced by BPL. Immersive Storytelling event explores recent and recurring Tibetan self-immolations. Part of BPL produced art exhibition “Time Travellers/The Art Of Tashi Norbu”. World Premier at JAYU Human Rights Film Festival 2018, Toronto, CAN. Multiple international screenings. 

 

 

artist 

Select Credits

No Secret (ESN Mix) |  Single from album Love More Real by Geoff Doner.  Featured vocals and original Cover Art. All proceeds donated to Encampment Support Network TO. Available on all digital music platforms and BPL website. 2021 

Love More Real  | Album by Geoff Doner about waking up to privilege and celebrating solidarity around justice and transformation. Featured vocals. Available on all digital music platforms and BPL website. 2021

Drawing Is Action | Shadow-box multimedia drawings inspired by pathos related to precarity and gentrification. . Group show dedicated to drawing. Gerrard Art Space, Toronto. 2019 

MAGT Electronic Art Band | Art Direction, Vocals.  Featured Artists of Nuit Rose Queer Arts Festival. Four vocalists, edgy Electro-pop, social justice. Toronto. 2018 and 2016

Museum of the Rapture by Douglas Coupland | Performer. Durational art installation, 3 theatrical vignettes. Toronto City Hall underground parking lot, part of Nuit Blanche 2009.  

 

 

arts educator 

Scenic Art Instructor | York University Theatre Department. First and Second Year Stagecraft Scenic Paint Labs. 2017 - present

Peer Facilitator, Program Consultant | AGO, ROM, TIFF w/ Choose Health of South Riverdale Community Health Centre. Evidence-based mindfulness art experiences. In-person gallery tours and Art making workshops (2019 - 2020); online tours and talks  (2020 - present)

 

 

scenic artist 

Highlights

Assistant to Key Scenic Artist Robert Lomow | McWood Studios (est 1977) 2005-2020

Harold Award Recipient 2016, Harold Award Designer 2017 |  Independent Theatre peer award,    House of Deanne Taylor (est 2000)

                  

Freelance  | Theatre, Dance, Photography, Display, Public Art, Independent and Union, TV and Film including Acme Scenic Backdrops, Much Music Video Awards, Pride Parade, Luminato

 

 

Professional associations 

SOCAN Member since 2005, CUPE 3903 Member since 2017