In my art, I search for alternatives to neoliberal and heteronormative expectations of the self by celebrating failure, awkwardness, and losses of composure. For years I have worked with the contortions my face makes during sneezes, yawns, laughter fits, and crying. The sneeze, in particular, has held my attention for its uncontrollable explosiveness and universality. I gravitate towards involuntary bodily actions that interrupt the face partially because of the face’s connection to selfie culture as well as more generally how people present themselves to the world on and offline.
Most recently, I have been working with a character named Noodle. Started as a crudely drawn self-portrait, Noodle is now a sewn three-dimensional being that I lend my body to and animate from inside. With super long, dangly arms and a giant head with an ambiguous expression, Noodle’s body is awkward and hard to control, making Noodle a beacon to all the exhausted weirdos in the world. Noodle is perhaps an answer to the question: Can uselessness and awkwardness be generative?
April White (they/them) works with watercolour, print media, performance, and animation. They hold a BFA from Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of NL (2012) and spent much of their career in St. John’s, NL. April is currently an MFA student at Concordia majoring in Print Media. April lives with their cat, Coconut, in Montréal and really likes banana bread, long meandering phone calls with friends, and rewatching favourite tv shows.
In 2018, April travelled across Canada participating in two artist residencies at Spark Box Studio in Prince Edward County, ON and the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture Artist Residency in Dawson City, YT. In 2017, April won the VANL-CARFAC Emerging Artist Award and received the Cox and Palmer Pivotal Point Grant worth $5000. They have been part of national and international exhibitions and have shown their work extensively in Newfoundland including their 2016 solo exhibition A Day in the Life Of at The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery and 2015 solo exhibition Every day I wake up at Eastern Edge’s rOGUE Gallery.
April is an arts worker and has been a volunteer for arts organizations in St. John’s. They have been behind the scenes at Eastern Edge Gallery in many roles: from Assistant Director (2012-13) to Festival Manager (2014 + 2016) to Secretary of the Board of Directors (2016). As well, April was on the Board of Directors for St. Michael’s Printshop from 2014-2019, including assuming the role of Chair (2016-19).