A project that began September 1, 2006 and carried out for minimum of one year, lasting until at least August 2007. During this period, one sheet of drawings is produced at work during each workday. One square on the grid is filled with a drawing every fifteen minutes. No sheets are produced on weekends, since this is not a scheduled workday. The grid is laid out so that there are four squares per line, with each line representing one hour. No drawings are produced on days when no work is done. Therefore, lunch breaks or holidays are left blank. A blank sheet represents a statutory holiday or other time spent away from work. In this way, the sheets visually represent time worked. At the end of one year, 260 individual sheets will have been prepared – arranged five sheets in a group, each set of sheets will represent a workweek. Fifty-two sets of drawings will represent one year, to be exhibited chronologically.
Leigh Mayoh was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1967. He grew up in and around Saskatoon until his family moved to Regina, Saskatchewan in 1979. He remained there to complete a BFA in Visual Art and a BA in Art History at the University of Regina.
After graduation, Leigh traveled extensively to countries including Australia, China, India, Nepal and Greece. He eventually settled in Nelson, BC to study Wood Product Design at the Kootenay School of Arts.
After 5 years in Nelson, Leigh would find employment in Calgary, Alberta working with the design of Architectural Millwork and later high end Custom Office Furniture produced for clients throughout the world.
After more than a decade away from producing art, Leigh returned to art making in 2004. Initial investigations saw a return to painting, and then later included the use of industrial fabrication techniques coupled with industrial finishes. This evolution has seen a move from the specific view of ‘painter’ to the greater position of ‘artist’. The planning of future projects includes site specific work, and installations.
The majority of the drawings produced for ‘The Grid’ were produced while employed in Calgary, Alberta. The project continues in a modified form and sees 24 one centimetre drawings produced daily (representing the 24 hours in a day).
Leigh Mayoh has recently returned to the Nelson area and currently lives in Ymir, BC with his wife and four children.
It started out simple enough.
I made a simple grid that represented the final minutes of my shift.
I shaded in the squares as the final minutes ticked by.
Then I started to do a simple grid of the final hour and fifteen after coffee.
Then from lunch.
Then the whole day.
Now I come in early to make sure that
The simple grid is done before the first minute ticks away.
It started out simple enough.
The above was written: December 6, 2004
Then it evolved. Relentless clock-watching is now married to incessant doodling. Every square in the grid is now filled with a drawing. A one centimetre square drawing is produced every fifteen minutes; four drawings an hour. Over the course of one year there will be over 7500 individual drawings produced. Drawings take from two to thirty seconds each. My workplace has evolved.
As I drive to work, I am no longer on my way to the monotonous repetition of a job that discourages me. It is as if I am going to the studio to make art. There are quick decisions. Fifteen minutes are up. Something needs to fill the square. Do I have time for a little more detail? Is somebody watching? Do I need to fire off a simple squiggle before the grid slides back into my daybook to hide from those inquisitive eyes around me?
The daily repetition of filling pages has evolved into creating a journal. The individual drawings often reflect how I am feeling, or what I am thinking. As time swaggers through the day, I may be a different person with each successive drawing. Daydreams and distractions float in and out of view, sometimes entering into the drawings.
After a couple of months on the project, text has found its way into the margins of the page. Disjointed thoughts have had a way of stringing together, over time, to form a loose narrative. There has been a metamorphosis in the project occurring over the year. These changes are an intended, yet unpredictable, part of the project.
The unrelenting tick of time records disjointed images that form a mosaic. Time slips away from me while I am here, at work. While I am here I am not supposed to be an artist. I am not supposed to write this Artist Statement. I am supposed to be whatever it is that they need me to be. But, I am reclaiming myself, one centimetre at a time.