Robert Dayton: The Empty Bed

Presented by UNIT/PITT at Access Gallery, 222 East Georgia Street
Friday, May 25, 7 – 10 pm (free admission)

Robert Dayton will present an interdisciplinary performance as himself and as The Canadian Romantic based around his artist’s book The Empty Bed published by Impulse [b]. Also on view will be drawings and copies of The Empty Bed for purchase. And a few other surprises!

The Empty Bed is a darkly funny pen-and-ink heartbreak book, a self-pitying lonely odyssey taking place after the end of romantic relationships. It is playful and mystical with many one page jokes of heavy truths in a loose narrative flow. As well the book includes an interview with the author’s Mother on divorce and death, an excerpt from the secret files of ghost-hunter Dr. Fourteen, and The Death Wish Guide To Loss. All of it rendered in quill and brush where words and pictures mingle freely revealing relatable yet unspoken content.

Robert Dayton is an interdisciplinary artist and writer. Comedy? YES!
His writings and art have appeared in numerous exhibits as well as such books and publications as Kid Power (Spectacular Optical), Lost in The Grooves (Routledge), Cinema Sewer (Fab), The Onion, long running music magazine Roctober, international noise magazine Bananafish, as the interviewer for Hazlitt’s National Magazine award winning series Pagelicker and more! Robert has performed across North America and Australia. As The Canadian Romantic, he manifests as a series of videos, live performances, a doll, an artist’s book (published by UNIT/PITT) and a winking photo to make people in Canada and everywhere feel more attractive. His collaborative musical performance and recording projects include legendary song-and-dance duo Canned Hamm, July Fourth Toilet, and Hallmark. Robert holds an MFA from the University of Waterloo.


“Writer, artist, cartoonist, singer and performer Robert Dayton bluntly and humorously exposes the nerves and feels of a broken heart.”
—Fiona Smyth, cartoonist, artist, and co-author of Sex is a Funny Word

“Robert’s work on the stage and studio has always been both side-splittingly hilarious and goddamned distressing; working in the book format he offers up an additional, unexpected outcome — pure beauty!”
— Gregg Turkington, comedian

“A blackly humorous descent into the depths of self-loathing, which emerges on the other end of ‘the wallows’ with a profound message of acceptance and hope.”
—Kier-La Janisse, author, House of Psychotic Women

“I love The Empty Bed, it contains all of the best parts of what Robert does – on top of new heart-wrenching parts that I never knew he did!”
—Dan Bejar, musician

“A brilliantly original, painfully hilarious, and surprisingly touching ode to love and loss.”
—Jodi Wille, director of The Source Family

Find out more about Robert Dayton:
THE EMPTY BED excerpt available for download here:
All press inquiries: