is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC
This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.
As Lichens no. 6, 2016
Inkjet print on archival paper
20 x 26 Inches
Jarvis Hall Gallery (Calgary)
Describe your studio/place of work. What is important to you about your workspace?
I’ve recently moved to Banff, Alberta and am subletting a studio from my colleague (artist / writer) Angela Schenstead until another space becomes available. The low vacancy rate in Banff makes studio space very difficult to find and I’m very fortunate to have access to the space at the moment. The studio is located in Banff’s industrial district which is a inconspicuous part of town that doesn’t fit within the aesthetic of a National Park. There is a range of other business tenants in the building including the packaging area of a local tea company so it always smells good when you walk in. The studio has a great window looking west towards Mt. Bourgeau. I really feel that natural light is the most important aspect of a productive studio space for me, especially during our long winters.
How would you describe your practice?
I often describe my practice as being interested in bringing the unnatural aspects of a Western conception of nature. I produce images and objects which focus on the material history of mountain environments and the ways these histories are braided with social and economic understandings of these spaces today.
How has your practice evolved over time?
My activity in the studio tends to be cumulative and the conclusion of one project typically lays the foundation for future works. My work and research always develop more slowly as the intuitive beginnings of an idea begin to come together. I used to be able to develop an idea on paper and then execute it in the studio but these days artworks seem to develop through an extended engagement with materials, as well as with the location that the works are responding to.
What works can we expect to see at Art Toronto 2018?
You can expect to see a new series of works focused on the material and aesthetic contributions that ancient organisms have made towards mountain-building processes in the Rockies, where much of the limestone is composed of these bodies and shells. By focusing on the dynamic history of life which has, over time, turned into the slow-moving materials we often identify as our “landscape,” I hope to draw attention to the multiple temporalities which bump up against our speedy human lives. Through a process of collage and re-photographing collages against a white background, these works aim to reframe ideas of figure/ground; putting the emphasis not on the panoramic mountain vista, but on the creatures who constitute this terrain. You will also see work based on certain lichen species who live directly on the limestone; at times drawing minerals and sustenance from the rocks themselves in an invisible process of exchange.
What do you want people to take away from your work?
I think there is value in extending our imaginations beyond the tempo of human life and being open to thinking about our place in the world across multiple temporalities. I’m sure that practicing this this kind of openness will be useful when confronting many of the serious environmental and social crisis we are facing at the moment. I’d be glad to know that my work can help people further reflect on the more-than-human lives we are entangled with.