The world’s longest-running photography magazine (established in 1854), recently featured the new exhibition by James Nizam, view it here: BJP: James Nizam
Winner of the John and Joyce Price Award of Excellence for the 2010 edition of the BAM Biennial: Clay Throwdown!, Dirk Staschke returns to Bellevue Arts Museum with his first museum solo exhibition, Falling Feels a Lot Like Flying.
Inspired by the unsettling and beautiful Flemish and Dutch Vanitas still-life paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries and the celebration of excessive ornamentation of the Baroque period, Staschke’s monumentally lavish yet hollow ceramic work uses symbols of abundance to offer
a breathtaking commentary on craving, over-consumption, and excess in our times.
Like paintings of the Vanitas genre, which—through a display of symbols such as skulls, fresh and rotting fruits and vegetables, hourglasses, butterflies and dead fowl to name a few—invite the enjoyment of earthly pleasures while forewarning the viewer of the fleeting nature of life and the futility of amassing material possessions, Staschke’s sculptures capture and freeze the beauty and ephemerality of a moment in time. His references are eloquent: a bounty of vegetables and seafood is artistically arranged over a table with fruits smashed and left open to rot; game and fowl, the hunter’s catch, stiffly hang from hooks on the wall; butterflies and taxidermy birds remind us of the levity and colorfulness of life, while dangerously stacked mounds of buttery sweets in their tempting deception, invite us to gorge while it lasts. Everything is offered to the viewer’s eye as a bounty captured in the precarious instant just before or during collapse and decay.
From January 14 – May 21, 2012.
From the curatorial statement by Melissa Bennett:
Kristin Bjornerud’s lyrical watercolours convey myths and legends, dreams and superstitions. This exhibition features recent works including several made during a residency on the island of Gotland, Sweden in 2010 as winner of the Brucebo Fine Art Foundation scholarship, which is juried in part by the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The Foundation was established by William Blair Bruce, a celebrated Hamilton painter of the turn of the 20th century, and his Swedish-born wife, artist Caroline Benedicks Bruce to support young, emerging artists.
During her summer residency, Bjornerud’s immersion in Gotland’s fabled history and mythological atmosphere had great influence on her works, and she incorporated her usual set of female characters drawn from life experiences. The paintings show scenes of women in tableaux, often in a mode of creation or peculiar activity–whether in Making the Land which shows a woman knitting a large textile piece that flows out like a landscape from her lap; or in A Long View, where a woman gazes out at sea, and her view is captured in a surrealistic manner. Bjornerud’s scenes are playful, laden with references to women as producers, and to fables intertwined with historic events.
For Drive-by, artist Danny Singer returns to a format that he experimented with ten years ago, a digital panorama of photographs taken while driving through the city of Vancouver. With the camera mounted in the passenger window of his van and pointed perpendicular to the sidewalk, Singer drives slowly, tripping the shutter with a remote control, using speeds slow enough to blur the backgrounds and a strobe that freezes or ghosts the foreground. The resulting images both capture and suggest movement while being frozen in time.
In this new digital photograph created for the exhibition at the Seymour Art Gallery, Singer builds on his earlier image by adding new scenes, editing, scanning and stitching to create a continuously blended print that reads like a film strip. He plays with the order and juxtaposition of images, implying a narrative and relationships that may not have occurred. By mixing scenes shot ten years ago with ones photographed recently, Singer demonstrates that “fragmentary images can trigger memories and emotion” and reminds us that memories have a way of blurring and fading as time passes. The resulting print is more than 70 feet long and 3 feet high and wraps around the gallery walls, so that as viewers walk along the image they re-enact the drive-by experience.
Like Singer’s photographs of main streets of towns in the Canadian and American prairies, this single long print raises questions about the nature of reality and perception. The prairie images depict real Main streets but present them in a way that we could never see with the naked eye, just as the Drive-by image shows us scenes that we might have seen but which did not take place in the order in which they appear.
Danny Singer is a photographer living in North Vancouver. Born in Edmonton, he studied acting and film at Simon Fraser University and embarked on a career as a filmmaker when hired to work in the film department at CBC. Singer made the transition to photography in the 1970s, while living in Montreal. His artwork has been exhibited across Canada and is in the public collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Glenbow Museum, Calgary, the Vancouver Art Gallery, and the Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, among others. He was included in the 2010 Alberta Biennial and two of his photographs will be exhibited in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s upcoming exhibition, Shore, Forest and Beyond: Art from the Audain Collection. He exhibits his work in Vancouver at Gallery Jones.