“A Day in the Life” with local artists the Broadbent Sisters

The Broadbent Sisters are multidisciplinary artists based in Toronto. Rose and Joy are actual sisters that focus their art at the crossroad of fluidity and form, and infuse mythology and wonder into the mundane rituals of daily life. Their unfolding practice, ‘Clearing Spaces,’ examines themes of meditation, telepathy, eco-feminism, and pop spirituality. Using the four elements (fire, earth, air and water) as their main thread of imagery, their work disintegrates and transmutes forms into hypnotic, mystical spaces. The Sisters are not fixed to one specific medium, rather they allow the idea to guide them to painting, performance, installation, film and more. This wide range of mediums, has put them on an international platform, with award-winning work. Whether filling the AGO with massive installations, or having their short films selected at world-renowned festivals, their work touches on the universal and the personal. Running through all of their work is a focus on the lessening of materiality and finding the inner essences of all things. Known for their meditative approach to art making, the work has a quality of peace and pause. However, this prompting for reflection has a deeper intention, asking the viewer to take a moment inward to deconstruct the density of our unconscious beliefs and systems. Side by side, the Sisters symbiotically create all of their work together. Collaboration allows for alchemy to happen, a muse and magic ignites between the two Sisters.

“As sisters, friends and creative collaborators, Rose and Joy’s intertwined lives have resulted in an uncanny attachment that transcends regular forms of interaction. It has become a central concern in their practice to investigate and experiment with non-verbal communication and try to strengthen their muscles of intuition, and, by doing so, create work that is an example of trust and generosity. One of the most provocative aspects of their work is their willingness to establish and occupy a vulnerable space on our behalf; to demonstrate the possible insights that can be discovered when we are open, giving, and willing to champion raw emotion over refined ideas. With (their upcoming show) A Telepathic Book, the Broadbent Sisters continue to experiment with the depths of intuition and attunement, testing what might be uncovered when we explore the reaches of shared experience.” – Tania Thompson

Broadbent Sisters
This is us performing lava readings at our Google Live Case launch at the Drake Commissary last Thursday!
Broadbent Sisters
Here we are working on the Google Live Cases, creating hypnotic “wallpaper” like imagery using the fire element. The hands in the piece are Rose’s hands, taken by Joy with the Pixel 2.
Broadbent Sisters
This is an installation we created made of two staircases, mirroring the shape of a volcano. Smoke rises from the centre and pink light pours out like lava. In contrast to dense volcanic rock, the ethereal clear glass filled with plants, acts like a fragile greenhouse. Both vulnerable and full of life. This meditative piece explores the power of femininity, healing and a lessening of materiality.
Broadbent Sisters
Here we are unveiling new meditative wallpaper we created, to install in a store downtown Toronto called TKVO.
Broadbent Sisters
We were walking in Bloorcourt holding coffee and a painting we had just completed, and found this perfect construction site gallery. The space complimented the volcanic explosion perfectly. Haha.
Broadbent Sisters
Here we are installing one of our inverted paintings at The Drake, that needs smart phones to invert the colours and see its true essence.
Broadbent Sisters
This is a film still from a documentary made about us, featuring our meditative, connected performance, just before our braids separate.
Broadbent Sisters
This is a sneak-peak at our upcoming show, for our award winning performance book, ‘A Telepathic Book’. For 17 days we channeled each other telepathically from two different cities and created a book of magical connections. On the left is Rose’s photo of cactus needles, and on the right is Joy’s echoing image of a fence.

What ‘hood’ are you in?

Bloorcourt! Our studio has a giant MAKE GOOD mural on it. Love this hood!

What do you do?

Everyday we begin with coffee to dream up new ideas and connect with each other. In collaboration you must be clear in your relationship in order to make good work. We let our ideas then guide us to the medium for that piece, whether painting, performance, installation, film or even hand-drawn tarot cards! As collaborative artists, we bring our unique visions to the moment and together create alchemical magic. A new form of art that neither of us could do on our own. We love to delve into every piece, whether flying to the desert for 7 days to create a performance film, or attempt telepathy in two different cities using photography. In order to ground ourselves, we always go back to the drawing board, haha literally! We love to sit in our studio and with a blue pen create massive 16ft meditative drawings. These always bring us back to a present state, and illuminate new ideas.

What are you currently working on?

We’ve been so excited to recently collaborate with Google to create customizable, mystical art phone cases for their Pixel smartphones. This ‘Live Case’ collection features 12 of our artworks, using themes of meditation, mysticism, natural elements and femininity. These cases are personalized art pieces that make a statement. There is a sense of alchemy and ritual in each case, creating a mystical mood. All of the cases are digitally rendered – what began as a photo or painting, transforms into glitched technological magic. Check them out on the Google Store!

Where can we find your work?

We have an upcoming show on May 3rd, at Stephen Bulger Gallery, featuring our award-winning book, ‘A Telepathic Book’. We also will be exhibiting our pen work & short film in June at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. You can also view our continuous practice on our Instagram or website.



About Joel Levy 2519 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography