FINA Gallery Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus March 9 – 15, 2019
These images are a part of an ongoing project addressing gun culture in Canada. Though my work I am trying to showcase the realities of being a gun owner in Canada, as well as address negative stereotypes surrounding firearms that are perpetuated through mass media. My goal is to encourage people on both sides of the gun debate to look into the laws surrounding gun ownership in Canada and incite discussion from an informed position.
With this work I really wanted to capture the ability that black and white photography has to blend the unreal and real together. To create something that is hard to believe and imitate something absolutely tragic. Such as a mysterious death in the Okanagan in the middle of January. The illusion was created with the use of props and careful placement of the objects.
Both of these photos are from a series exploring textures that bring me joy around my home. They focus specifically on textures that are viewed from an intimate closeness to show their importance to my life. I felt comfort in these objects as many of them are used to bring brightness into my day and lighten my mood. With this I also wanted to emphasize self care and how sweet, little things, such as wicker basket, can evoke such a strong feeling of contentment and joy. I find it important to surround yourself with people, experiences, and things that fill you up to maintain a healthy state of mind.
The use of film with these photos is important because while the objects are interesting to look at, the actual tactility of them is equally as important. When using an SLR camera I find I experience the same sensations with the click of the button, the sound of the shutter, and the reeling of the film to the next film. This experience is just another moment of joy I find in my day.
Miah Shull Olmsted
“Nobility” and “Elegance”
I have always been drawn to the opposing dichotomies of simplicity and chaos. Photography is a medium which allows exploratory navigation between the two. In the stillness of early winter months with short days and long nights, I wanted to examine conceptual notions of “timeless” in black and white. So, using the department’s Yashica medium format twin lens camera, I chose to examine what classic portraiture currently feels like to me. I connect to vitality around me as a woman yet am slightly detached as photographer observing through time-worn glass. Like the old camera itself, sitting and waiting in the dark of a winter afternoon, I am a tool capable of sharing what I see in the light places of life. Beauty: As revealed though the elegance of a young woman, straightforward, simultaneously complex. Loyalty: simple on the surface, yet depths of elegant nobility in the love an old dog shares freely with us.
Ling Yin (Kelly) Lu
CHUN-YU, with ERROR
As a human, we retrieve our memories through different mediums such as sense and memory focusing primarily on texture. The purpose of this work is to discover the correlation between memory and texture, and I focus on searching textures that makes me think about my family. CHUN-YU, with ERROR, represents the textures I found that reminds me of my father. CHUN-YU,With ERROR, being a piece shown on cardboard using 35mm film helps to encompass the compassion between distance of being away from one’s father. The error represents the disconnect between young life and life as the present. One’s distancing between family and self is shown in the following work to help provide a descriptive aspect to the work.
Over the Hill Gang
My photographic work for this assignment channeled American fashion and portrait photographer, Richard Avedon. An obituary published in The New York Times said that Avedon’s portrait photographs helped define America’s image of style, beauty and culture for the last half century.” 1 His portraits are distinguished by their minimalist style, where the person is looking squarely at the camera, posed in front of a sheer white background. Using Avedon’s style as a jumping off point, I posed members of an over-65 hockey team against a white background, using minimal flash lighting.
I wanted to focus on these elder athletes, men who still loved to play ‘Canada’s game’ and met weekly to, in some ways, keep their passion for the game alive while holding on to the memories of their younger playing days. The lines on their face run deep from the years they’ve lived, but the joy they feel from being able to still put on the hockey armor and hit the ice, is evident in their smile – even though I gave them direction to “let’s see your game face.”
This is a selfie of myself being choked by a wet napkin. People constantly encounter challenges and struggles through life, which can generate the dark side of people’s mind. The emphasis of the wet napkin’s texture represents the sophistication that one needs to face in life. This picture is shot by 35mm black and white film and the purpose of using a film camera is because it shows more detail compared to a digital camera.
Throughout my life I’ve been intrigued by sites that appear to blend into the normalness of everyday life. Things that have always existed seem to become invisible in the public sphere. My work draws attention to these everyday scenes to suggest the aesthetic beauty of them, which is often overlooked. Using a 35mm camera and black and white film, I am able to precisely create the frame within which the scene will be viewed, and furthermore, to produce a physical artifact—the negative—which highlights my intentional emphasis on the scene itself. These two images were taken in November 2018 as part of a project on the town of Ashcroft, BC.
The Watchers in the Woods
The Watchers in the woods is part of a much longer body of work about staging paranormal and cryptid sightings. My first series was Ogopogo Hunting and my second was UFO Sightings. The Watchers in the Woods follows a mysterious group of cloaked individuals in the woods in the dead of winter. It is meant to strike interest and imagination with the viewer. This was shot on 35mm black and white film (400 ISO) scanned, cleaned up digitally, and printed. I am influenced by the paranormal and conspiratory communities, as well as recently the work of Christopher Mckenny, a surrealist horror photographer.
Vanessa Mercedes Figueroa
98% & Vitamin C for Careless
A majority of my work touches on femininity, empowerment, sexuality and the male gaze, this piece in particular focuses on sex and its stigmas for women. The two images shown are from the series Unplanned Parenthood, a photo series touching on reproductive rights and the stigma associated with women and sex. This series was shot on 35 mm film, and are darkroom prints which were manipulated through the use to stencils to burn text which did not previously exist into the images. The image of the condom is titled 98% because of the effectiveness rate of a condom alone in preventing unwanted pregnancy, using stencils this text heavy subject was manipulated to include the text “supposedly prevents pregnancy”. The image of the birth control blister pack has the text “vitamin c for careless” burned into the image in the darkroom process, commenting on the stigma associated with the pill and the implication that being on it meant that a woman was planning on having sex, which remains a taboo subject.
If I were to give this piece a medium, it is a mounted digital print of an enlarged collage or spliced negative darkroom print. This is not obvious by looking at it, and the average gallery-goer would not be able to see the extensive process and many steps to get here. I want people to know though because the photo itself is unassuming and is not specifically of anything. Even once you look at the photo past a quick glance you can see that the photo is actually showing multiple perspectives which play with how the viewer imagines the photo as one scene. This photo is required to be looked at more than once and the collage aspect of the print is subtle while also being the main aspect of the image.
The title of this show is in reference to informal private conversations and the role they play in shaping the work of artists. The learning that happens in a casual setting like a shared studio space is sometimes the most valuable part of any educational experience. By learning from the safety of the informal and private, we gain the creative skills to express ourselves in the formal and public. This idea breaks the myth of the successful isolated artist and we hope this is evident in the work of these four graduate students from UBCO learning from each other through collaboration and conversation.
When the word confab is broken down into syllables it hints to the unifying thematic words of construction and fabrication that each artist addresses, from their own perspectives and mediums. The artists in this exhibition are responding to the material culture through material practices, using objects to explain objects, and objects to explain people. With each artist coming to strikingly different conclusions, we hope to present an exhibition that demonstrates the strength in a difference of opinions along with the learning and growth that comes from private and public communication.
- Jorden Doody
- Joe Fowler
- Lindsay Kirker
- Rylan Broadbent
i feel u
As an interdisciplinary artist I wade between image and materiality, the concrete and the mercurial by investigating the tactile qualities of sculpture and three-dimensional space in the virtual light of screen culture. By remixing and re-contextualizing the realms of historical sculpture with the dematerialization and fragmentation of the self in the digital era, my sculptural installations evoke and hold space for new and alternate perspectives of connectivity.
My recent work has focussed on blurring the boundaries between ceremony, the theatrical stage and the gallery. ‘I feel u’ is a site-oriented artwork created as part of the MFA exhibition at the UBC-O FINA Gallery. Here, I am investigating how our contemporary culture responds to notions of presence and absence of the body in the digital age where illusion, escape and distraction are at the forefront of the collective consciousness.
With ‘I feel u’, I am researching the field of contemporary soft sculpture and the ephemeral image using text within a gallery setting as a temporal installation. The scale, texture and material presence of this piece has been created as an offering to be activated by the viewers’ encounter. Please feel free to touch, document and share in this artwork.
Artist Statement – The Killick
The Dictionary of Newfoundland English defines a killick as “An anchor made up of an elongated stone encased in pliable sticks bound at the top and fixed in two curved cross-pieces, used in mooring nets and small boats.” This object embodies creativity and resourcefulness but also represent a way of life and a way of making. While still used in Newfoundland today, the killick is more often seen in front of craft stores, people’s lawns, and public spaces, purely for display and operating as a cultural symbol. This object denotes an era, an industry, and a place in a form that changes through time. With theses sculptures I hope to demonstrate the design and creativity of objects made within my home island, and a resourceful way of making that I believe is culturally engrained in the people who live there.
Researching the construction site within a landscape has become a meditation, a moment to reflect on the present and collective consciousness. The basis of my research is the ethical and emotional disconnect in living within the Anthropocene. Recognizing this time period encourages a dialogue to better understand the human connection with nature. This relationship has transformed the earth system, and the evidence of this is species extinction and ocean acidification. Understanding the human impact takes time. The Anthropocene becomes a moment to acknowledge a period of transition. Where previous philosophy contributed to a better understanding of the present, we now enter a new period of observation. For the first time, our own extinction is something that can be imagined. This calls for a further investigation of how we might comprehend this time period. The built environment will stand as a visual timeline beyond human understanding. The representation of urban development explores our values and contemplates the history we leave behind.
Rylan Broadbent is a multi-disciplinary artist that is currently exploring how the notion of power can be investigated, harnessed, and ultimately transmitted through visual art. This current exhibition examines the perceptual shift when a decorative object is seen for its individual parts rather than its whole, the role of weaponized language in the online gaming space, and how art is approached by the viewer in regards to the artist’s intent.
An exhibition by UBCO MFA students Jess Dennis, Emerald Holt and Alison Trim
Monday 25 February – Friday 1 March 2019
Making Senses is a multidisciplinary exhibition of research-based artistic practice. The work of these three artists intersects through a sensory engagement with their worlds, and the physical traces of that engagement that their differing methodologies and processes create.
Jess Dennis is a transgender digital media artist who utilizes animation to convey autoethnographical visual material derived from journaling. The current series of work focuses on the recent loss of his sister to the ongoing fentanyl crisis in Canada. Intersections between transition and loss are contextualized and explored not only as symbols of death but also of life lived. The work is inherently personal, but Jess hopes his work will resonate with broader social implications.
Emerald Holt is an Interdisciplinary artist specializing in interactive new media and performative Visual Music informed by the local landscape. Her creative research branches into three methods: using contemporary sonic technology to compose generative music, programming to create interactive audio-visual media, and field research of the Okanagan soundscape and environment. Her imaginative visual music compositions are based on the interwoven melodies and visuals of the local landscape, to create an immersive interactive media artwork that invites viewers to experience nature’s marvelous vocabulary.
Alison Trim is a visual artist from Ireland whose practice is a response to place through paper-based media, and an exploration of line, surface and movement. Walking in the landscape is an important element of her methodology which has led her to the Ponderosa Pine and post-fire environments encountered in the Okanagan. These works on paper are simultaneously physical traces in response to walking this land and investigations into the ongoing cycle of fragility, change and continuation in time that they suggest.
In addition to the many performances planned for the Living Things festival, an open call has gone out inviting local artists, students and performers to submit work to be shown in the FINA Gallery on campus. The call is asking for interactive or relational art that has minimal or no environmental footprint.
The Rave Room explores the concept of “art as event”, by changing the white cube into a stimulating audio-visual experience. The text “THE VIBE IS LIT” was a mashup of words that not only correspond to rave culture, but also relate to general understanding that we experience something that is felt; the vibe.