Dana Slijboom: Romance
June 7–July 6, 2019


Dana Slijboom
Romance
June 7 - July 6, 2019
Opens: Friday, June 7, 6-8pm

ESP is pleased to present Romance by Dana Slijboom

You were drawn in by the large rectangular property. It was empty for months then—it was flat and green; filled with grass and flowers.
You said, When I build a house here it will be perfect, even if it takes me three tries.

Everyone told you it must be nice to have a house to call your own, so you invited them there to see what it was really like. A housewarming party.
On a day before the party, when you finished painting, you shook the heavy drop cloths off the furniture and tidied the rooms. Swept old dust left from building and cleared out the stale air. You stood alone in the house and felt the space around you. The house was warm and inviting. There were many rooms on every floor and each was large enough that you had space for all your things—furniture, ornaments, patterns, colours.

Come in! Please take your shoes off inside. This is the living room. Here’s the kitchen. I’ll show you the backyard.
At first a few people came and the noise was a slow rustling of feet and quiet talking, but then as more arrived the air was yellow-orange. There were louder voices and sharper edges.
At the end, people stepped out of the house, ones and twos, feet crunching in the gravel. The sounds faded down the driveway.

The next day when you woke up you saw the remnants of the party.
Ash, shrivelled rinds of a cantaloupe. Leaves tracked in from the yard and sticky marks of hands and feet where someone had spilled some red juice and left it; glasses greasy with lipstick and a pair of house flies that came in through a window left ajar. Candle wax spattered on the wood table.
When it was like this it did not belong to you but you knew when you straightened it up it would turn back to yours. And then you did and were happy; and the housewarming party would never need to happen again.

Text by Jillian Kay Ross

Dana Slijboom (b. 1984) is a Canadian-Dutch painter living and working in Toronto. She holds a BFA from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, NL (2009). She has been included in multiple group exhibitions in both Canada and the Netherlands. In 2018, she presented a solo exhibition Ranch Dressing at Towards Gallery, Toronto, CA.