Claire Christerson’s Night Shade

New York-based artist Claire Christerson’s solo show Night Shade opened last week at Toronto’s Little Sister Gallery. Stepping away from the bright, collaborative video work from which she made her name, Night Shade is a personal look into Christerson’s private practice. 
Using sculpture, drawings, and a storybook, Night Shade is a narrative exhibition that follows the character Agatha as she faces her fear of nighttime by submerging herself into a dark forest. Christerson uses the fictional Agatha to explore real life experiences of night depression. With a sound installation by Sarah Kinlaw, the gallery is transformed into a kind of psychological landscape of vulnerability. Night Shade is a promising throwback to a sensitivity last seen in the early aughts—think LiveJournal, “Miss Misery,” before irreverence was cool. Christerson channels teenage energy, with emo-aesthetic drawings and diary-style scribbles: “The bittersweet pit of your stomach when you say goodbye for the last time.” Night Shade is on view at Little Sister Gallery until September 29th. – Claire Milbrath