Joshua Vettivelu’s This Light

4 March – August 9, 2019
Davis Campus Library, Learning Commons and Rotunda


This Light is composed of text and images cut from plexiglass and diffraction grating that cast rainbow light and shadows on the interior surfaces of the library, revealing messages and scenes throughout different times of the day. The words “Care Taker Take Care” as well as the hand gestures, some of which are loosely based on Bharatanatyam classical dance, allude to internal conflict, friendship and the ways a small shift in the tension of a hand can communicate deeper meaning.

The installation responds to perspectives shared by members of our Davis community. In Fall 2018, Vettivelu invited students to reply anonymously to open-ended questions like “how far have you travelled?” and “what makes a good life?” They were moved by a few deeply honest responses that came from students who are also parents. “These students shared some of the risks that were involved in going back to school, immigrating, and making large life decisions (like leaving abuse) for the benefit of their children” explains Vettivelu. The medium is also connected to stories that community members shared with the artist, such as international students experiencing their first winter in Canada. Vettivelu “started to think about the effect of light, and what longing can feel like on a molecular level, when we can no longer absorb something that we expect to always nourish us.” They add that the installation “is a reminder to those who care, that they must also care for themselves; and a reminder to those who are cared for, that they must give care as they receive it.”

About the Artist
Joshua Vettivelu is an artist, programmer, and educator, working within installation, video, and performance. Their works explore how larger frameworks of power manifest within intimate relationships. Recently their practice has been looking at how desire and language build the world. Vettivelu is the previous Director of Programming at Whippersnapper Gallery and currently is an instructor in the Faculty of Art and Faculty of Continuing Education at OCAD University.

About the Creation Process
Vettivelu worked on-site in the Faculty of Animation, Arts, and Design’s glass studio at Sheridan’s Trafalgar Campus in Oakville, Ont., as well as in the Davis Campus’ Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Design Technologies (CAMDT) to create this installation.

About Temporary/Contemporary
Launched in 2012, the Temporary Contemporary program is an annual installation of a new artwork on one of Sheridan’s campuses. It provides creators with the opportunity to incubate and implement new ideas through exchange with Sheridan’s vibrant interdisciplinary community.

The 2018-19 Temporary Contemporary program is presented by Sheridan in collaboration with the City of Brampton. On March 7, 2019 at 6:00 PM the City of Brampton will offer a professional development workshop for aspiring public artists. In addition, Vettivelu will present a public artist talk in May 2019 (date/time TBA).

Details of the workshop are at