Latest News

Housekeeping: Images from the installation

Posted on: 21 November 2017 by John


John Shipman, Housekeeping's audiotower and good neighbour clothesline, 2017
Take another look at 15000 Years of Housekeeping. We just posted a new slideshow of the installation without the audiotower's broadcast sounds of lawn mowers, dishwashers, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, garbage trucks and warplanes or the smell and taste of its straight-from-the-oven ginger snap cookies.

Photos · Marcelle St-Amant

Comments · 15000 Years of Housekeeping

Posted on: 11 October 2017 by John


« Every year, this wonderful space is completely transformed, and every time it is a delight. It is amazing how even the most mundane tasks can draw out such emotion when examined in a new setting. I am reminded of my grandparent's kitchen, meals and play from so long ago... My mother always said sweeping made her happy and satisfied. For me it's cleaning the pantry shelves—love that! My mother’s meditation is ironing... »

« Who knew household chores could be so alluring! I felt like I was able to quiet down and get in touch with myself... Thank you for having us for dinner. The tea was delightful. I hung some of young Charlie's laundry. I hope you don't mind... Love, love, love your exhibitions. Cookies—5 stars. Mending station—4 1/2 stars. Setting table—4 1/2 stars. Recycling throw—5 stars. Sorting station—4 stars. Kitchens—4 stars... Love the library section, the plate settings and the clothes hanging... Loved...teaching my kids to sew... Loved the smell of the cookies baking, the clothesline and the attention to the labours of the home, all its traditions, ???, and pleasures... »

« I want to fill my dining table with water, hang the recycling, and toss the laundry—all the while eating cookies from now on... I love your work—it not only smells good, but I can relate to it... This was the most interactive of the nine installations that we went to... Every year is so much fun, but this year was my favourite... This is what Nuit Blanche should be more like—a way to engage your community in quirky fun... Nuit Blanche's hidden gem... My little guy loved it... »

«  Thank you volunteers. We come here every year and it never disappoints. »

Selected from the 103 written comments about 15000 of Housekeeping left by Nuit Blanche Toronto visitors on 30 September–1 October 2017.

Nuit Blanche Toronto is tonight and you are invited to…

Posted on: 30 September 2017 by John


Clothesline photo by Wil Moll

Celebrate 15000 years of housekeeping on Lake Ontario's North Shore

Come celebrate 15000 Years of Housekeeping tonight at St. Matthew's United Church, 729 St. Clair Avenue West, from sunset Saturday, 30 September to sunrise Sunday, 1 October 2017. Housekeeping is John's 12th Independent Nuit Blanche Toronto project and this large, participatory installation is suitable for all ages.
For directions and more, go to, use their app and–or download their brochure.

Photo · Wil Moll


Posted on: 30 September 2017 by John


NBTO tweet about 15000 years of housekeeping on Sept. 16, 2017


Portfolio · August 2007–August 2017

Posted on: 19 August 2017 by John


Installations, publications, collaborative projects and works-in-progess

John Shipman, four images, four installations (2008, 2009, 2016, 2016)
The new portfolio section on features John's collaborative installations with links to project descriptions, comments and much more. We've also updated — take a look! Comments welcome.

Photos · Marcelle St-Amant

New slideshow · 100 Libraries. 99 Books.

Posted on: 15 July 2017 by John


John Shipman, Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 visitors at 100 Libraries. 99 Books.

Take a look. It took us a while but we've finally posted a slideshow for 100 Libraries. 99 Books.
For more slideshows, please go to the new portfolio section.

Photos · Marcelle St-Amant

30 September 2017 · Save the date

Posted on: 5 July 2017 by John


John Shipman, stacking bowls mockup for Housekeeping, July 2017

Clean. Dust. Mend. Plan. List. Sort. Label. Bag. Tag. Hang. Fold. Shelve. Stack. Organize. Reuse.

You are invited to celebrate 150 + 14850 years of planning, organizing, storing, cleaning and repairing along Lake Ontario's north shore on 30 September 2017. My 12th independent Nuit Blanche project in a listed heritage church, 15000 Years of Housekeeping is a large, participatory installation suitable for all ages.

When · Sunset Saturday, 30 September to sunrise Sunday, 1 October 2017
Where · St. Matthew's United Church, 729 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario
Map, directions and more information ·

Photo · John Shipman

The libraries. The books. The lists.

Posted on: 8 December 2016 by John


100 Libraries. 99 Books. An installation by John Shipman for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016.

100 Libraries. 99 Books.

From Alexandria, Egypt to Ayer, Massachusetts, the Northwest Territories to Nova Scotia, from Anne Carson to Jane Austen, JD Salinger to PD James. John's Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016 list of libraries and books is posted here or you can download the list as a pdf here.

See also…

This 21 July 2017 New York Times article on Canadian libraries which includes a list of books by Canadian writers recommended by librarians in Quebec, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Edmonton and Vancouver.

Photo · Marcelle St-Amant

100 libraries. 99 books. 89 comments.

Posted on: 19 November 2016 by John


100 Libraries, 99 Books · 1–2 October 2016

Simple and brilliant!

  1. We are excited to be here with our girls!
  2. It was very nice, serene exhibit. Casually we can interact with art work. Good idea.
  3. Thanks, John, for bringing more art into our neighbourhood every year.
  4. Very cool idea! Beautiful lamps! We loved it, great job, John, as always.
  5. Book
  6. Congratulations John and team!
  7. Congratulations.
  8. What a lovely creative event! I love it.
  9. This exhibit makes me realize the mysterious power of books and I enjoyed trying to connect with the mystery! Thanks for a great experience.
  10. Wonderful! Great selection and tour around the world's libraries.
  11. Great installation, makes you think.
  12. Superb ambiance!
  13. What fun to try and figure out the title.
  14. Great idea! Loved browsing thru so many varied kinds of writing.
  15. Thanks! It was very thoughtful.
  16. Awesome installation.
  17. This was amazing.
  18. I loved engaging with the work. There was so much effort that was put into it.
  19. Wonderful! Great tribute to libraries and community spaces.
  20. Very interesting. Immensely enjoyed ourself. Great idea!
  21. Cool
  22. Thanks! This exhibit was really cool. I loved accidentally finding the post cards in the books!
  23. It's an oddball experience. Thank you.
  24. Hi. Excellent.
  25. Impressive! Thank you!
  26. A lovely way to spend the evening.
  27. Very pretty and a cool way of experiencing a whole world through literature.
  28. Great Tinder date.
  29. I like books.
  30. Great display! Love the selection!
  31. I love books!
  32. Congratulations again! This year's was even better than last.
  33. French books are awesome!
  34. Thank you for the reminder of libraries around the world.
  35. Thank you for the many perspectives on life—and a reminder of the riches hidden in the wide and not so wide corners of libraries.
  36. Very artistic, beautifully done! Thank you!
  37. Thoughtful, beautiful space filled with wonder!
  38. John rocks! Inspiring! Great exhibit as always!
  39. Beautiful and inspiring as always, John! The book from the Alexandria Library and the juxtaposition of isolation and socialization was great!
  40. I felt like I travelled the world through books! Amazing!
  41. So perfect, the lights, sounds, feel of the books—oh my. Thank you!
  42. Wall-E loved his time here! Thank you.
  43. Always the best part of Nuit Blanche again this year.
  44. I think I've fallen in love with literature. I read for one or two hours each day. I only have one life to live, but in books I can live thousands.
  45. Thank you for always participating in Nuit Blanche!
  46. Fabulous! Thought provoking!
  47. Very contemplative and intimate.
  48. Good job!
  49. Great idea for Nuit Blanche.
  50. Excellent concept, well executed.
  51. Indulging my curiosity, trying to guess which book is matched with each library. Really excellent exhibit.
  52. What a wonderfully crisp exhibit full of tactile delight. It brought me back years and took me to places I'd never thought to visit.
  53. Thanks for a wonderful display of the love of reading. Fantastic; wish it could be around for a week. Enjoyed making my own book!
  54. We so enjoyed the transformation of the space. It works really well as a library.
  55. Thank you very much. Lots of interesting choices, love it but sadly lots more to see. Couldn't stay as long as would like to.
  56. I loved it. Thank you!
  57. This was an amazing experience and beautiful space you chose as well. I loved it and I hope to see another exhibit next year.
  58. Amazing! Mesmerizing! Well worth the journey here...very relaxing and meditative.
  59. I love it.
  60. Keep the books alive! Great show!
  61. This location always has such interesting exhibits. The lighting was soothing. The setup brought me back years to when my life was more peaceful. I actually sat for quite a while and read an intriguing book written by Ed McBain. A wonderful exhibit. See you next year!
  62. Loved location! I loved the idea. Love the lights.
  63. Hi, I'm with my friend Noah, we are exploring books and.....hope to find a tree...
  64. Such a pleasure, as always. I loved the soothing ambiance of the library and brought my favourite book to add to the collection. I wish a place like this was always open to explore, to rest and reflect. Thank you so much for this experience.
  65. That was lovely! Thank you.
  66. Thank you, John, for another thought and feeling provoking installation. I've always loved libraries. I loved travelling to so many in one evening.
  67. I enjoyed the book and listening to the chains.
  68. Fabulous as usual.
  69. Me encanto estan la raja las luceatas! Sisan asi! From Chile!
  70. Amazing.
  71. We loved the concept. Thank you for including our favourite library!
  72. Thank you. This was amazing. I hoped to see something from the Biblioteca National in Buenos Aires...and I was not disappointed! The sounds of the chains! Readers in contemplation! What an atmosphere. Dream come true!
  73. Wonderful!
  74. Great experience!
  75. Beautiful—the sound of the chains is perfect!
  76. Thank you, books are so important!
  77. Thank you—very good to know this.
  78. Good thing the cat did not eat the building!
  79. Such a simple and brilliant idea—so much organizing with many libraries. Thank you for your time! See you next year.
  80. A wonder. Thank you, John Shipman, for another amazing experience.
  81. Very good.
  82. Great exhibit. Very interesting. I work at Toronto Reference Library and feel bad that our location disappointed; you only got 99 of the 100 books.
  83. Wonderful as always. The perfect way to end Nuit Blanche.
  84. Wonderful idea!
  85. Wonderful John! Congratulations!
  86. Awesome!
  87. I loved the books from Denmark!
  88. John, it was such a pleasure having the opportunity to help you with the set up of this glorious project! Thank you.
  89. Wonderful exhibit. The story of how the books are chosen made it even better. Thank you.

Photo · Marcelle St-Amant


Posted on: 1 October 2016 by John


Installing 100 Libraries, 99 Books: a new installation by John Shipman for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2016

You are invited to 100 Libraries, 99 Books — an independent Nuit Blanche Toronto project presented by the Department of Household Sciences & Advanced Proverbs and John Shipman, from sunset Saturday, 1 October to sunrise Sunday, 2 October 2016 at St. Matthew's United Church, 729 St. Clair Avenue West, Toronto.

All ages welcomed. See you there!

Event info, maps, venues and artists' lists:

Photo · Marcelle St-Amant