Exhibition Runs: April 25, 2014 – May 24, 2014
Reception: Friday, April 25, 2014
In the UAS Main Space
In The Summit, Sarah Burwash presents a body of watercolour drawings that draw from personal and primary source research to give voice to dormant and disguised histories and to examine how these might be portrayed through human interactions, social behaviour, and relationships to wilderness, gender, and physicality.
Grounded in research gathered from journals, memoirs, and biographies of women who were persistent in forging new social order, Burwash explores the stories of past generations and their reliance on community, resourcefulness, ritual, spirituality, and tradition for survival, turning to those who came before her to create narratives that uproot her own personal mythologies.
Composed of both physical and emotional landscapes, The Summit draws attention to disconnected relationships with nature, illustrating both harmony and discordance through the portrayal of humans within their surroundings. Nature is used to reflect human emotions and psyche, focusing on their relationships to life and death, light and dark, masculine and feminine, as well as the interdependency of these complementary forces. Burwash's work challenges the binaries we construct between Self and Other, between our own ‘cannibal’ and ‘civilized’ selves, through dreamlike images in which fiction and reality meet, well-known tropes merge, meanings shift, and the past and the present fuse.
Sarah Burwash grew up in Rossland, British Columbia, and graduated from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan, in 2009 with an interdisciplinary BFA. Using various media from collage and animation to ceramics and installation, Burwash produces work that most often takes the form of narrative exploration. Her work has been shown in Canada, the United States, and Europe and is included in private and public collections internationally. She has participated in residencies across North America and abroad, most recently in Suldal, Norway, and at the Banff Centre. Burwash lives in Nova Scotia, working full time as an artist and freelance illustrator.
Exhibition Runs: March 7th - April 5th, 2014
Reception: Friday, March 7th, 8PM-11PM
UofC Visiting Artist Talk: Friday, March 7, 10-11:30AM
In the UAS Main Space
Nathalie Quagliotto’s STUCK presents two fused and reconfigured vintage children’s shopping carts. Merged into one, the carts confuse both their ultimate direction and their utility while exploring issues of immobilization and the impossibility of moving forward; remaining permanently stuck.
Nathalie Quagliotto’s conceptual and sculptural practice involves reconfiguring everyday pre-fabricated public objects associated with strict social regulations, safety, risk, and disuse. She focuses on proximity, placement, and color to the point where the social significance and usage of the original objects are both disrupted and altered. Her work often makes use of outdated children’s objects as a means to discuss their social significance and loss of value. Nathalie’s re-configurations manipulate and transform these previously discarded and antiquated objects of play into objects of re-imagined purpose, value, and meaning. The color “Safety Yellow” is used repeatedly throughout Nathalie’s art in recognition of its public significance of caution, awareness, and attention.
Nathalie Quagliotto (b. Montreal, Quebec) is a Toronto based installation artist. Nathalie earned her MFA in sculpture from the University of Waterloo in 2009 and her BFA in studio from Concordia University in 2007. She has exhibited both nationally and internationally and her work is held in various public and private collections in North America, including the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Michigan. Recently she exhibited at the Museum of Design in Atlanta and at the Art Gallery of Ontario and has upcoming exhibitions across Canada and in New York. Nathalie is a grant recipient from the Toronto Arts Council as well as the Ontario Arts Council of Canada.
Exhibition Runs: November 8th - December 14th, 2013
Reception: Friday, November 8th, 8pm-11pm
In the UAS Main Space
All My Faith to See comprises various attempts to integrate romance and longingful capriciousness into our bureaucratic language. The impious maintain that nonsense is normal in our vernacular and that the reasonable (and even humble and pure coherence) is an almost miraculous exception. So, if honour and wisdom and happiness are not for me, let them be for others. Let heaven exist, though my place be in hell. Let me be outraged and annihilated, but for one instant, in one being, let thy enormous bureaucracy be justified.
Steven Cottingham is from Calgary, AB. He studied in New York and has participated in residencies in Banff and Toronto. In 2012, he curated the inaugural Calgary Biennial. He works as Programming Coordinator at The New Gallery and has forthcoming projects and exhibitions in Moncton, Glasgow, Dresden, Saint John, Fredericton, and Schwabach. Currently he is writing, as so many have done before, a book about love and art.
Exhibition Runs: September 13th – October 19th, 2013
Reception: Friday, September 13th, 8pm-11pm
In the UAS Main Space
Starting Over is a physical and digital record of a solitary durational performance that took
place in Windsor, Ontario over an uninterrupted 55-hour, 16-minute and 39-second span of
time (Friday, June 17, 2011 10:34:34 EDT – Sunday, June 19, 2011 17:51:13 EDT). During
that period, I manually extracted every beard hair from my face, one hair at a time, using a
pair of surgical tweezers. Each hair was then placed directly into a specimen jar.
Immediately following, two photographs were taken remotely: one of the front of my head
and one of the back. The actual time length of the overall process determined the duration
of the performance. The resulting sets of photographs were stitched together to produce
time-lapse digital video loops, for projection onto two translucent suspended screens,
eternally gazing at one another. The isopropanol-filled specimen jar stands between them,
housed securely in a minimal white museum case.
Just as clothing and other quotidian objects become encrusted in memories of the places
they’ve been worn, the events they’ve been a part of, or the people who have come into
contact with them, human hair becomes a cemetery, filled with the living gravestones of our
past relationships and experiences. However, unlike an old and tattered pair of shoes, which
can be easily removed and placed on the top shelf of a dark closet for future reminiscence
or disposal, hair stays with us. Dyed, cut, or shaven, the roots remain hidden beneath our
skin, sheltered by their follicles. Therefore, it is only through their meticulous and complete
removal that one may physically extricate oneself from the past and begin anew.
In Edward Yang’s 2000 film, Yi Yi: A One and a Two, eight-year-old Yang-Yang inquires of
his father, NJ, about the nature of truth and human perception. Can any of us realistically
hope to see more than half of our relative truths, he wonders. After all, our eyes can only
ever perceive that which is in front of us, never what is behind. Following his own youthful,
uninhibited logic, Yang-Yang proceeds to document the backs of the heads of his friends and
family members, eventually offering to them the ‘missing halves’ of their overall truths, in
the form of Polaroid photographs. In Starting Over, the past and the future are forced to
confront one another in an endless loop of self-dissection, with the seemingly futile belief
that, through repetition of a cathartic act, fear and regret may prove themselves tangible
and, thus, more easily defined, organized and conceivably overcome. Yet, in truth, it is the
conception, execution and successful achievement of the formidable goal itself, which serves
as an architect of self-confidence and, consequently, a suppressor of the greater, more
encompassing unconscious terrors of perceived human failure and encroaching quiescence.
A native of Windsor, Stephen George Alexander Mueller lives and works in London, Ontario.
He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of Windsor (2004)
and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts from the University of Calgary (2006). A
former Member of the Board of Directors and the Programming Committee at The New
Gallery in Calgary, Mueller is currently a project-based PhD student in Art and Visual Culture
at The University of Western Ontario. His performance-based installation work has been
exhibited across Canada, with upcoming exhibitions programmed for 2013–14 in St. John,
NB (Third Space Gallery), Edmonton, AB (Latitude 53) and Victoria, BC (Open Space),
Exhibition Runs: April 5th to May 11th, 2013
Opening Reception: April 5th, 8PM to 11PM
Artist Talk: May 2nd, 2013
In The Islands, Sarah Nordean explores the relationship between image making and our connection to space and place. Considering place from afar as well as from within--from a macro and a micro perspective--she is curious how we organize and classify our environment, as well as how we experience places first hand.
Nordean’s process begins with walking through spaces while recording her movements using GPS, then using these “drawings” as compositional elements for her visual works. This project began as an exploration into parks and green spaces within Calgary, and how these spaces interact with their urban surroundings. It evolved into something more personal, encompassing daily practice and a connectedness to place. The works from The Islands are linked through continual movement, repetition in returning to the same places again and again, and a rhythm of step and breath.
Sarah Nordean is grateful to Calgary2012 for their support of this project.
About the Artist
Sarah Nordean is a visual artist based in Calgary Alberta. She holds a degree in Art Education from the University of Victoria (2000), and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design (2009). She is currently a low-residency Master’s student at Emily Carr University. Her work has been exhibited nationally in group shows.
Islands of Meaning
The problem with most maps is that they’re designed to be universally decipherable, in order to relate very specific information as clearly as possible. In attempting to find a design that clearly articulates a limited amount of data, these maps tend to render our environment as a flat, sterile space, seen from a disembodied and inhuman top-down perspective.
Obviously, it’s important to have maps that tell us which bus to get on, or which exit to take from the highway. But I think these diagrams might be the worst way to really make sense of a place. By packaging our surroundings into crisp categories and calculated lines, the land around us becomes a distant, static and emotionless background.
I think the only way we can really relate to our surroundings is from a personal point-of-view; by observing, interacting, walking and reflecting. A map created from this perspective would look very different than a conventional roadmap. You might not be able to find the nearest gas station on it, but I think it might communicate far more important information.
Sarah Nordean’s The Islands could be seen as a collection of these sorts of maps. Here, relationships between objects are not always geographic relationships of measured direction and distance. A memory of a tree branch can be as important as the weave of a streambed. A walking route may also be a city skyline or the leading edge of a pool of paint, and these are all important to the mapmaker’s understanding of a place.
The Islands are maps of meaning. They afford us intimate, complex, and contradictory points-of-view. The artist is contained within these maps; just as their contents indicate relationships to each other, they also describe the mapmaker's engagement with her surroundings. They are ambiguous, meaningful and active objects that we can reflect upon and interpret in many ways. And by observing, interpreting and reflecting on these objects, we also form relationships to them, we come to understand our surroundings better, and we become a part of the maps ourselves.
When I see The Islands as a body of work, I realize that a place is not a static entity. A place is alive and it transforms in a constant association with myself. I don’t see this exhibition as a finished result, a progression or an evolution; I see it as an oscillation between many meanings. It is a small part of an ever-expanding understanding of relationships that will never stabilize or reach a culmination point. It reminds us that it is important to involve ourselves in an ongoing process of understanding and relationship-building; not just with other people, but with all the entities that surround us.
- Jay White
Jay White is an artist based in Vancouver, BC. He will be exhibiting at the Yukon Arts Center in Whitehorse from May to August 2013, and at the Emily Carr Concourse Gallery, Vancouver, July 2013. See http://draworbedrawn.wordpress.com/
Exhibition Runs: February 15th to March 9th, 2013
Opening Reception: February 15th, 7-11PM.
Part of the Exposure Photography Festival.
At the UAS Satellite Gallery
We’ve seen them on our travels -- their geometric facades and neon signs remaining as historic highway beacons of the nostalgic motel. Since the late 1940s, the roadside motel has been an integral part of North American landscapes and culture.
Intimately captured by award-winning photographer Heather Saitz, Rooms for Tourists is a photographic exploration of the architecture, landscape and changing social meaning of the Canadian mid-century motel. Shot over two years across five provinces, Rooms for Tourists visits the nostalgic motel in present day, revealing the rise, fall, and resurrection of a now-elusive cultural icon.
Ampersand 4 - a collaborative art exhibition
&Ampersand 4 is an annual art exhibition curated by Vicki Chau. She organizes group exhibitions to “inspire, encourage and motivate artists to create new work” and has been doing so since 2009.
Chau says collaboration brings out artists’ strengths and weaknesses and motivates them to explore new terrain not necessarily explored on their own.
It is the unique and experimental nature of the exhibition that sets it apart from others in the city. The creative process attained from collaborative effort is highly interesting to me and brings forth a genuinely engaging exhibition.
As a first-time attendee of the &Ampersand series, I was captured by the ingeniousness and interactivity of the well-rounded exhibition . A total of 18 collaborative art works are displayed. The diverse shapes, sizes, colours, and media used added to the dynamism and unique character of the show. There are no two pieces that are remotely alike. They each have their own spirit, message and distinct characteristics.
The exhibition is assembled in an aesthetically clever manner where each piece shines individually but also as a whole as attendees can enjoy the art work flowingly from one side of the gallery to the other to then be found into a smaller room where video art can be viewed fittingly. Somehow, the collaborated works end up being inter-connected with each other, bouncing off each others’ mastery.
The first project that caught my attention was one of mixed media by Tia Halliday & Andrea Williamson called ck137 Northwest Loop, Nineteen Ninety Nowhere/Thanks for Art School Dad. It exuded this witty and enigmatic charm that made the piece memorable. The personal and intimate nature leaves us wanting more and the dreamy and odd assemblage leaves us perplex. The physical presence of the paint-splattered work boots is accompanied by an illustration depicting the work boots in all its similarities. It made me think of Magritte’s Ceci N’est Pas Une Pipe and its surrealism sensibilities towards our preconceived perceptions of reality.
On the right, digital prints of colourful wrestling masks by Joel Monea, Mark Eadie & Helen Young follow. A cardboard box sits in front of the “Nacho-Libre-like” display with prints selling for $10 a piece. The masks stand out with their macho-esque quality and quite frankly, I wouldn’t mind buying a print for myself. Next up, a more girly display called Shoegasm follows. It is comprised of multiple framed shoe illustrations of various size andshape, from stilettos to sneakers to blue & yellow Oxfords. Similarly to the Wrestling Mask Series 1-9, Shoegasm, creates a visual pleasure for the eyes and one oughts to enjoy the colourful cluster of footwear. The artists, Dat Tran & Bailey Copithorne, inspire us to spice up our living rooms with these framed beauties or perhaps develop our own – DIY style.
Counterpoint by Andrea Mann & Sandra Vida took over the corner of the gallery. I liked the interactivity the feminist piece offered. The audio track had the artists talk about their distinctive feminists point-of-views on different matters ranging from birth control and second wave feminism, women-centered spaces, thoughts on womanhood, art as a mean to open up dialogue on women issues, wisdom that comes with aging and their ultimate optimism towards progressive thinking still being “out there”. What made this collaboration equally interesting and important was the age gap between the two artists – a retired artist and a younger artist – which provided a broader feminist approach art-wise and beyond.
Lastly, I’d like to touch upon the video art by Nigel Yez, Claudette Morgan-Yez & Peter Curtis Morgan. The video reveals an honest and poetic monologue which at first is muffled by the sound of the ocean. Upon careful listening (although still muffled by waves and nature sounds), we begin to decipher soft-spoken and monotonous phrases that slowly begin to stick in our minds. They make us re-question EVERYTHING, our desires, our struggles, our purpose. The repetitive phrases such as “it was never words, it can’t never be words”, “We tried to live outside of the rut we get pulled in from time to time”, “struggling is not always bad. It is a necessity. We need a necessity”, “I used to think everything was endless and fluid” create a strong existentialist message with inner-tumoil that makes us think of our tortured souls after a bad break-up, someone’s death or a major turning event in our life.
Exhibition Runs: October 16th to November 3rd, 2012
Opening Reception: October 16th, 7-10PM
Part of the MST 6 Festival of Performative Art
At UAS Satellite Gallery
In 1874, Joseph Glidden patented an invention that would forever change the face of the landscape—“devilʼs wire”. Legend states that his wife had encouraged him in her yearning to grow a garden—a paradise that would be preserved by walling in that which is desired and walling out “undesirables”. This wire has been used in every military engagement since. Yet in terms of tensile strength, steel is surpassed by silk.
Babcock's install/action The Garden engages a tactile juxtaposition to explore the borderlands between apparent opposites—between comfort and agitation, between attraction and abhorrence, between danger and sanctuary. Over the course of the install/action, at times together in collaboration with viewers and at times in solitude, Babcock engages in a continuous silent action of transitioning the wires from their original narly[NR1] twig-like state, to a sea of silken white; graceful and enticing, but nevertheless potentially treacherous.
Mary Babcock is a visual and performance artist, and Associate Professor and Chair of the Fibers and Graduate Programs in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her installation and mixed media work has been exhibited regionally, nationally and internationally (including Canada, France, Korea, Japan, Hungary and the Ukraine). She has performed across the United States in individual and collaborative contexts, as well as throughout Japan, in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the Philippines. She has lectured at numerous conferences on her work linking fiber, performance and peace and justice studies.
Exhibition Runs: September 14th to October 6th, 2012
Opening Reception: October 14th, 7-10PM.
At the UAS Satellite Gallery
Larissa Tiggelers’ painting practice is an indulgence in her obsession with colour relationships, the composition of form, and the ‘push and pull’ of spatial perspective. Shape, form, colour, and texture are used as tools to manipulate and fracture space. Though her paintings appear measured and systematic, the works are highly experimental and guided by intuition. This is evident in the breakdown of perspective and playful relationships between elements within the work.
Calgary based artist Larissa Tiggelers received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2010. She maintains an active studio practice and contributes to the artist-run community in Calgary.
Exhibition: August 10-September 1, 2012
Opening Reception: August 10, 7-10pm
At the UAS Satellite Gallery
I am an artist and a writer and a performer.
You are a viewer and a reader and a participant.
Of course, I can't truthfully speak for you, but I do anyway. I'm sorry for that.
I am interested in these three mediums (writing, drawing and performance) as being methods to expose a psychological process or psychological beliefs. Conveying abstract concepts in a visual way is arguably the purpose of contemporary visual art. The purpose of my art practice runs parellel to this: My work is a physical manifestation of a psychological process. As with any process, it is a narrative. Each piece of art is connected to a larger narrative, just as each psychic tangent connects to a larger psychological framework.
What I have recently discovered in my work is that without a viewer to see the art object, it cannot be activated as a psychological process. In psychology, there is a distinction between an obsessive thought and an obsessive compulsion. In quantum physics, atoms behave differently as a viewer observes them. In some forms of Evangelical Christianity, common belief is that God created humans in order to worship Him. Things change their meanings depending on what is around them. So art objects have meaning dependent on the proximity of the viewer. A viewer is integral to completing the psychological cycle.
Just as a thought without action becomes a memory, without a viewer to experience an artwork, the art becomes a simple object. The viewer completes the cycle.
These ideas do not exist in my mind. All I do is steal from others. Individuals smarter than I come up with an idea that explains some portion of reality. These ideas are then made into books or podcasts or diagrams and I consume. After consumption I create an object or a story or a performance. This is a blind thing--a way to process the process. I am only continuing the cycle of input and output. Ultimately it is up to the viewer to continue said cycle and act upon reality as best they see fit through the culmination of their experiences, just as I have.
Sage Wheeler is an artist living and working in Calgary, Alberta. She graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2010 with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Drawing and is a member of the Bakery Studio Collective.