FINA Gallery Exhibitions

The FINA gallery in the foyer of the Creative and Critical Studies Building hosts exhibitions throughout the year.



FINA Gallery

Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies

The University of British Columbia, Okanagan Campus

November 17 – 22, 2019


Aiden de Vin

It’s Bedtime

I’ve always been intrigued by the way that domestic space has had the ability to allow us transcend reality, to daydream and become lost in our minds. In thinking about my home, Gaston Bachelard’s writing; The Poetics of Space inspired me to think about my home in a new way. Bachelard writes that “the house shelters daydreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace” (6). As a child, my home was a safe place for me to dream and often this dreaming came at night, during quiet moments when the business of life had slowed and all that was left was the glow of lights coming from bedrooms bringing comfort andstillness.

This project It’s Bedtime addresses this connection to my home through an image of the inside of the place I grew up, illuminated by soft glowing lights that have been left on after everyone has gone to bed. The window itself belongs to my childhood home, connecting the materiality of the work to the site of inspiration. The imagery suggests a sort of dreaming, of entering a space where something almost magical could happen as the glow from of the lights suggest another world beyond where to viewer is positioned in the space. As a child I would dwell on these moments of stillness, allowing my mind to wander through the imaginary places that existed within the walls I grew up.

Works Cited

Bachelard, Gaston. The Poetics of Space. Boston: Beacon Press, 1969. Print.


Tiffany Douglas


With this project I would like to bring natural aspects to an urban setting. This specific building is seen clearly from Highway 97 and is fairly unsightly. The site is a direct reflection of the City of Kelowna to any traveler passing through. I want to add projections of plants to the face of this building that are Indigenous to Kelowna as a way to reclaim the urbanized community. In this particular example I have used Snowberry plants to allude to a “living wall” on top of the concrete face of the building. The Snowberry plant, scientifically known as the “symphoricarpos albus,” is a plant native to Kelowna. It’s multi-seasonal lifespan and drought tolerance is a perfect embodiment of Kelowna. The purpose of this idea is to show how nature is reclaiming its space in an urban setting. The use of Indigenous species add to the reclamation of the space.


Dillon Eichhorst


Degeneration speaks to the future of our landscapes and forests with changing climates and ecosystems. This piece was created by with a projector and a generator in the middle of the woods here in the Okanagan. I projected an image of a desert landscape onto these trees. The resulting image comments on climate issues while playing with light and color. If we don’t do anything about our current climate situation this very well could be the fate of our forests. Aesthetically, Degeneration was deeply inspired by Kevin Schmidt’s Fog which I saw at a young age in the Vancouver Art Gallery. Schmidt’s piece was a lightbox image of a foggy forest that stood alone in a large dark space, lighting which I tried to emulate with the gallery lighting.

Kevin Schmidt has been a huge inspiration for my art practice. My goal with this piece was to expand upon my work with night photography, while introducing artificial light and color to the scene.


Bailey Ennig


Ben Lee Park has received a bad reputation over the past 20 years. It is commonly known as a dangerous part of the Rutland area as it attracts several people that could be misunderstood to be dangerous. It does not help that some parts of the park can become uncomfortably dark during the late evening. Contrary to this notion, it is truly a safe space. Luminosity sets out to rebrand Ben Lee Park by fostering community building. A campfire conjures fond memories of sitting with friends, staying warm, and sharing in good conversations. This sitespecific installation aims to recapture that feeling and embedding it into this urban park space. The intention of

Luminosity is to foster a third space for people in the neighbourhood to gather, share, and enjoy each other’s company. Luminosity proposes a site-specific installation that resembles a well-crafted stone fire pit with accompanying sounds. The installation is not intended for a real fire, but only simulates the effect. This will be done through a lighting setup within the installation to simulate the flickering of a camp fire. In terms of the sounds design, speakers would be installed within the installation as well to play the sounds of a night time soundscape with accompanying campfire sounds. The whole work models the look and sound of a campfire without the hazards that accompany fire. The lights and sound will be scheduled to run from sunset to sunrise.


Vanessa Mercedes Figueroa


Sex and emotional labour are both forms of invisible labour or unpaid labour which a woman puts forward to the world. When considering how many women have felt obliged to satisfy or prove themselves worthy a man or compared to a man, this does not just apply to sex, but also to emotional labour, and the labour within the institution. When most institutional settings undervalue womanly labour to a mans practice, this becomes problematic.

The exclusion of women from paid or acknowledged labour become synonymous with feminine qualities of invisible labour which can include nurturance, docility and eagerness to please. When all these associations and connotations become synonymous with womanly labour and then that of being a woman, it becomes increasingly more difficult to be taken serious within the institution.

For this piece I intend to explore sex as womanly labour, juxtaposing the domestic to the institution, as the expectation of the woman as an object of desire in the home parallels the woman as an object of desire in the institution. In this performance, I have hand washed white sheets, scrubbing for four hours straight, symbolically “washing away” “sexuality and sin”, making a domestic and laborious effort to disconnect oneself from the sexual/gendered connotations which restrict women entering the institution. This piece is meant to be a paradox, critiquing how even in an attempt to displace oneself from the domestic, invisible labour which can mean different things for different people, ie sexual or emotional labour, is still required in the journey towards acknowledgment.


Kohl Finlayson

Acts of Renewal

The restoration of commonplace things left in decay can generate a renewed sentiment for a site’s past and its potential future. Acts of Renewal explores the process of restoring fragments of damaged public sites by sampling Google Street View’s historical imagery and photo manipulation. Alterations based on the sites past are presented as a potential renewal of the site. The images mimic the stylistic cues of Street View to illustrate the documentary nature of the project and present the images as if they are from Street View’s own archive. The purposeful interventions aim to reclaim sites that have been forgotten and left in decay.


Miranda Koetsch


Bustling in the heart of Central Okanagan, Kelowna has become a hot-spot for tourism and is called home by avid adventures, business moguls and students alike. As a result, over 2 million people pass through the gates of Kelowna International Airport a year and all kinds of aircraft from commercial jets, to luxury planes, to water bombers, touchdown and takeoff at all hours of the day. Now the 10th busiest airport in all of Canada, the YLW is a hub of activity that connects the Okanagan Valley to the rest of the world.

Takeoff examines Kelowna International Airport as a site that is both a fixed entity and fluid organism where long exposure photography creates a light signature depicting a single trip associated with the space. Many factors such as the plane’s design, speed, and direction interconnect to create a light signature in the sky. Contrasting these bright signatures with rich blacks in a structured composition juxtaposes the methodical and chaotic nature of travel. Even though each flight is one-of-a-kind, they all share Kelowna as a central theme and convergent point.

In its full-scale intended state, the work would be printed and affixed to the terminal floor near the departures counter of the airport. In this space, it becomes dynamic as each passing traveler interacts with the piece by contributing footsteps and luggage-wheel prints. Much like the light signatures, different prints, directions and residual soil and dirt particles speak the to uniqueness of each traveller but all share the space as a commonality.

By recording from and residing in YLW as a principle site, this work speaks to paths previously traveled and participates in present and future journeys.


Shibo Liu

William R. Bennett Bridge

The William R. Bennett bridge is a pontoon bridge connecting downtown Kelowna and West Kelowna across Okanagan lake; it is the only bridge crossing on Okanagan Lake. It was built on May 25th, 2008 to replace the older Okanagan bridge, which was built in 1985. It was named to the former Premier William Richard Bennett who was a local of Kelowna. William R. Bennett bridge is an important link for the residents of Kelowna and West Kelowna, as it is a part of Highway 97, there are average over 50,000 vehicles crossing this bridge every day. The bridge is 1,060 meters long and it designed to handle 80,000 vehicles daily. The William R. Bennett bridge is now becoming one of the most important landmarks for Kelowna, it is the first icon people will see when entering Kelowna from the west.

My project documents the view of this bridge through time lapse photography, recording the traffic going across the bridge, the outlook of the bridge and the beautiful scenery people will get from the important locations around the bridge. The locations chosen include City Park and its pedestrian pathway on the bridge, and the time period was chosen from night to sunrise to sunset, showing how busy the bridge gets through different time periods. The view includes Okanagan Lake, downtown Kelowna and West Kelowna. Using time lapse allows me to document the bridge in a dynamic way ang allows people to feel the busy traffic on the bridge, which also shows the importance this bridge in functional way.


AJ Salter

Paper Doll

This project was based on the theme of “Site Specific”, which involved choosing a place in Kelowna to present our work that would be outside the typical gallery setting. I chose the body as my site since I thought it fit this theme, and the body can be used as art in many other styles such as performance, or Gutai art. With my piece Paper Doll I wanted to explore the societal expectation surrounding what is acceptable to wear as everyday clothing. I use the children’s toy of the paper doll to demonstrate clothing items that stem from the typical white t-shirt and jeans style are considered to be for “dressing up” when there is nothing wrong with wearing them as casual dress. The model for these photos owns all the clothing items pictured and wears them regularly and she always inspires me to wear outfits that are more my style for no other reason than I like them and to not be insecure just because they are a little wild. All her clothes are vintage or bought second hand, and are made with such good quality that they last a long time as well as she is skilled in sewing and repairs damaged items to increase their lifespan. With the fast fashion industry pumping out so many cheap clothes that ultimately end up in landfills I think it would be interesting to see how we can restyle old clothing to make it something new.


Chantel Snyder

Your Kelowna Street Market

This is trash…. Literally…..


Arianne Tubman
Do You See Me?

My Piece, Do You See Me?, revolves around mental health and the relationship between professors and students in large academic settings. When struggling with mental health, people tend to try to keep their struggles private. However as students we are expected to still show up for class and participate, regardless of any negative mindset we may be experiencing. In smaller classes and faculties professors are more in tune with their students, and are more likely to realize when someone is in distress. However, in large faculties, were a student may only be one face in a crowd of hundreds, how likely is it that the professor could notice someone having a breakdown? And how likely are they to try and reach out to that student? For this piece I documented my model in a few of the 200+ seat lecture halls on campus, from the perspective of each room’s lectern. I then made a life-size cutout of my model, and inserted it into these lecture halls. From the viewpoint of the lectern, my photo creates the illusion of a student crying. If a professor were to attempt to reach out to this student, the illusion is broken. If left unaddressed, then the cutout remains alone in its struggle.

Mental health struggles have a direct effect on a student’s performance in a class. When professors are aware of someone’s struggle, they are able to work with the student to improve the situation. UBC’s Thrive month promotes “mental health literacy, [reduce] stigma, [and create] a supportive campus culture”. Like this initiative, my piece works to raise awareness, and reduce the disconnect between professors and students.


Jade Zitko

Down in the Woods

Once upon a time there was an enchanting path that lied deep within the forest just outside the city of Kelowna that would take you on an exciting journey unlike any other. Although, those who did travel this path knew they had to be very careful, because even though this path was filled with magic and wonder there was also a powerful creature that roamed within those same woods. One that was strong and wise but incredibly deceiving with its appearance. He may look soft and welcoming be he was a master trickster. The creature roamed freely and tended to avoid contact with anyone who walked the path. However, on rare occasions when he spotted something that interested him, he was known to steal. Even in broad daylight he would do so without any sign of being seen. He would bring all of his stolen treasures back to his home and add them to his collection. And every once in a while, someone would go and try to find this creature and his treasures, but this is a fool’s quest for anyone who came in contact with the creature would be instantly terrified and scarred for life. But this is just a fairy-tale and no such creature really exist. So, if you go down to the wood today be sure to keep your curiosity in tune for you never know when a fairy-tale may come true.

Listening to the River

Mixed Media Installation

MFA Thesis Show

by Crystal Przybille

Listening to the River speaks to the hope and potential for the transformation of “Settler” (or non-Indigenous) society in a process of reconciliation/conciliation with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

The work speaks to the importance of moving beyond western world views which perpetuate isolation, suppression of Indigenous rights and Peoples, and unsustainable relationships with nature. It speaks to the importance of learning from Indigenous world views, values and knowledge systems to develop reciprocity with Indigenous Peoples and nature, and to restore vital balance, benefitting all.

Okanagan/Syilx activist Dr. Jeannette Armstrong has written:

The act of “collaborating” with Indigenous peoples, on its own, would produce a transformative shift from a dominant framework of “control” toward instituting new ways of being. Such cooperation would be a crucial starting point of calling all peoples back to “Indigeneity” through forging new relationships of “coexistence” in land use practices and structuring new economies as a process of “restoring” Indigeneity to Peoples and lands. The “shift” that constructing such mechanisms would require would be tantamount to a pronouncement of justice for Indigenous Peoples as well as for all Peoples.

  • Excerpt from: Indigenous Peoples: Development with Culture and Identity Articles 3 and 32 of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. 2010

Listening to the River alludes to the disintegration of destructive ways of being, the re-centering of nature, and to the cultivation of a “new tree” representing new ways of being. Independent Member of Parliament and former Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould (Musgamagw Tsawateineuk/Laich-Kwil-Tach) has spoken of this need in Canada:

What we need to do together, Crown governments and Indigenous Peoples, and this work is long overdue, is dig up the dead roots and plant something new and then properly water and fertilize it. Entrenching the recognition of rights in federal and provincial laws, policies and practices – if done properly, in a way that recognizes the legitimate politics of Indigenous Peoples – is the soil for the new healthy roots of strong and rebuilt postcolonial Indigenous Nations and in which our collective and shared future will grow. A new tree.

  • Excerpt from Jody Wilson-Raybould’s book: From Where I Stand. 2019

Self-Organization – Curated by Lindsay Kirker


Curated by Lindsay Kirker

MFA Candidate

“The dynamical process by which a system forms persistent structures in space or time, often in response to a flow of energy, matter or information within and across the system boundary.” – Dr. Lael Parrott

This show is a moment to reflect on nine days spent at the Kluane Lake Research Station in Yukon Territory as guests on the traditional territories of the Champagne and Aishihik First Nations and Kluane First Nations. Taught by Dr. Lael Parrott, this field course examined the complex system of the Lhù’ààn Mân or Kluane Lake region, observing how interactions between humans and the environment have influenced the present landscape. Meeting with researchers and members of the community, we observed how interconnected this place truly is. Because the Kluane region is so culturally and ecologically diverse, it presented the opportunity to look at interactions between different aspects of this system across multiple spatial, temporal, and hierarchical scales, taking into account economic, cultural and social influences that drive them. The Kluane landscape is a complex system and we saw firsthand that a place like this cannot be studied in isolation from any of its parts. For example, nothing in the environment can be studied without the assumption that there will be human interaction, whether through population increase, tourism, or economic and means of survival. Likewise, no aspect of the humans in this region can be studied without considering the environmental context of the Kluane region.

In nine days, we learned more in the field than being in the traditional classroom setting. As the only Fine Arts student in the group, being able to participate in this trip was not only significant to my research but solidified the importance of communication and connection. All students came from different cultural and educational backgrounds but this experience connected us, and the conversations we shared were enlightening and extremely informative. Sharing stories and research, academic and personal, allowed us to approach difficult problems from all angles. Communication between and across fields is essential. Listening to multiple perspectives introduces the possibility of different approaches in how we might solve issues that impact us as a collective. As in a complex system, nothing should be considered in isolation; boundaries are arbitrary and everything is interconnected.

Artist’s Biographies:

Emmanuel Adoasi-Ahyiah

Emmanuel Adoasi-Ahyiah is an MSc Forestry Student at The University of British Columbia Vancouver Campus. He is studying the regeneration of tree seedlings post-disturbance in the UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest and hopes to provide useful information for the sustainable management of the UBC research forest and other similar forest types around the world. 

Elizabeth Houghton

Elizabeth Houghton is in her final year of a BSc in Earth and Environmental Science at the University of British Columbia. She is focusing her undergraduate research on the implications of postharvest deficit irrigation in cherry orchards throughout the Okanagan Valley in hopes of contributing to the improvement of water management techniques.

 Lindsay Kirker

Lindsay Kirker is a Master of Fine Arts Student, completing her second year at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus. Her thesis examines the emotional and ethical disconnect in the Anthropocene. Her main focus is painting the construction taking place in Kelowna as a site of contemplation.

David Lee

David Lee is a BSc student in earth and environmental science and minor in human geography at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. He is studying mapping, hydrology, and climate based fields in the major, and the area of environmental sustainability and food systems in the minor. He hopes to enter to work in environmental sustainability and urban planning/development. 

Heather Magusin

Heather Magusin is a Master of Arts student in Interdisciplinary Studies at UBC Okanagan. Her research examines the influence of language on our conception of and responses to complex social-environmental phenomena, from wildfire management to urban cycling. An avid photographer and nature lover, she spends all of her remaining time adventuring outdoors.

Kayleigh Nielson

Kayleigh Nielson is a Ph.D. student at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan campus) studying the impact of climate change on spotted knapweed biological control efficacy. She hopes to continue researching the interaction between the environment, invasive plants, and their insect biological control agents to better understand current and future invasive plant management.

Claire Thornton

Claire Thornton is a BSc student in Earth and Environmental Science at The University of British Columbia – Okanagan. She is in her final year of her BSc and hopes to work in resource and land management.

Nick Tochor

Nick Tochor is a fifth year environmental science and biology student at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan Campus. Recently, he has been researching how patterns of habitat suitability for Grizzly bears has changed in Western Alberta over the last few decades.

Natalie Trusz

Natalie Trusz is a BSc student in microbiology and political science at The University of British Columbia. She is currently developing her potential in both fields, with a hope to one day connect the two disciplines in an impactful way.

Layers – FINA exhibition by Cool Arts Society Artists


Cool Arts artists showcase original work in annual exhibition

Layers aims to introduce more disability and outsider art to the general public. Though there are many gifted animators, sculptors, and fibre artists living with disabilities in the Okanagan, too often, their work is considered amateur or unprofessional. With the increased popularity of the disability and outsider art movements around the world, Layers attempts to bring more visibility to the work created by artists who have traditionally been on the fringes of the art world. All work is representative of each individual artist, with video animations, wall hangings, and yarn-bombed furniture featured in the exhibition.

Cool Arts Society is a Kelowna-based non-profit organization that believes that everyone should have equal opportunities to express themselves through art. The organization is dedicated to providing fine art opportunities to adults living with developmental disabilities through its various classes, workshops, and special projects, all facilitated by professional artists. Cool Arts artists explore process-oriented art activities in a safe, artist-centred environment.

The Layers exhibition is made possible by the support of the FINA Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan and the City of Kelowna.

To learn more about Cool Arts Society and the Layers exhibition, visit or find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube @coolartssociety.

Alumni Exhibition: Mirjana Borovickic

FCCS is pleased to host an exhibition of new works by recent BFA alumna Mirjana Borovickic ‘19. Mirjana completed a residency at the Caetani House this summer for the month of July, and will be showing the work she created during that time.

Mirjana Borovickic is a visual artist living in Kelowna, BC. She was born in Bosnia and immigrated to Canada in 1995, at the age of 12, after living through a civil war. Throughout her life Mirjana has always been fascinated with textiles; her love for textiles was further developed during her teenage years when she opted to take sewing in high school. She graduated with a BFA in Visual Arts from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan in 2019. Currently she is working with textiles on a series titled Resilient Child in which she explores childhood memories and war trauma.

Open Studio Gallery – Alison Trim

Open Studio Gallery

Alison Trim

9 – 20 September 2019

 Over this two week period current MFA student Alison Trim will be using the FINA gallery as an open studio space to explore her graduate research within a white box gallery space and the potential for developing the work through installational approaches. This is a working studio space, not an exhibition, however the public are welcome to visit the gallery/studio to explore the work in progress and meet the artist. Alison will be in residency at the studio at the following times, when she is not present the gallery will be closed.

10am – 1pm Tuesdays

10am – 4pm Wednesdays

10am – 4pm Thursdays

10am – 2pm Fridays

Statement of work in progress

Through expanded drawing practices including collaborative and installational approaches, drawing as both action and object is at the core of my current research. Responding to the impact of a new landscape in moving from rural Ireland to the Okanagan valley, extensive walking and experimental drawing methodologies have informed the direction of my work.

The combination of resilience and fragility evident in the richness of surface found whilst walking within regions still scarred by fire is interesting to me both visually and ecologically. This has become the raw material for creating drawings through direct collaboration with Ponderosa Pines carrying the scars of past fires in their skin as charcoal. These drawings are at the core of a body of work that acts as an active surface; to be read, as a map, or experienced as terrain.

This residency is enabling me to experiment with translating somatic experience of connection with, and immersion in place, into a gallery context. Making visible those knowledges located physically in the marks made by body and land, my work explores the role of drawing in enabling active conversation with the non-human.

Alison Trim

Beyond Borders Go Global Tanzania 2019: Community, Creativity, and Communications

Beyond Borders

Go Global Tanzania 2019: Community, Creativity, and Communications

The Beyond Borders: Go Global Tanzania 2019 exhibit shares a few glimpses into the works created by students who participated in the Go Global Tanzania: Community, Creativity, and Communications program Summer Term 1, 2019.  The program enabled UBC Okanagan and UBC Vancouver students from all degree programs to immerse themselves in an interdisciplinary, intercultural context, considering questions such as:

  • What does travel and travel writing enable us to explore – not only about the people and places we encounter, but also about ourselves?
  • How are places represented and people’s stories told – or not told?
  • How can sharing diverse ideas and perspectives lead to understanding and mutual benefits across disciplines and across cultures?
  • How can creative and cultural production inspire social change and community building, both locally and interculturally?

The Go Global program, led by Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies English Instructor Joanna Cockerline, abounded with diverse experiential learning opportunities. Students visited villages, markets, and local schools as well as historic and culturally-significant sites.  Activities ranged from participation in locally-led environmental initiatives to hands-on learning at artisans’ workshops and roundtable discussions with prominent East African authors, filmmakers, artists, human rights leaders, and community activists. Students had opportunities to delve into academic projects alongside creative pursuits such as poetry, film, web design, photography, and multi-media art.

The Beyond Borders: Go Global Tanzania 2019 exhibit shares just a few of the experiences and pieces of work inspired by our journey.

Guest Speakers and Authors

Numerous guest speakers from East Africa shared their works and ideas with the students.

Ndungi Githuku, an internationally-recognized human rights activist, filmmaker, slam poet, reggae artist, and street theatre instigator, discussed grassroots strategies for what he deems “artivism”: the power of art to inspire social justice and change


Munira Hussein, a fiction writer and poet from northeastern Kenya, travelled to Tanzania to read from her works and share her perspectives on the increasing opportunities independent publishing can forge in contexts of governmental, economic, and gender oppression

Charles Chanchori
, novelist and journalist, discussed his work plus insights on alternative publishing channels and the use of social media to increase accessibility to literature



Faith Mutheu, recently named the Most Influential Young Person in Kenya, shared her perspectives as founder of a mentorship program for disadvantaged youth, and as the author of a book based on overcoming challenges of her past



Rukia Kurwa, an Arusha-based artist, TED talk speaker, and founder of the artists’ collective The Annoyin’ Artist, further emphasized the power of cultural productions to inspire social change, understanding, and connectivity across borders


Whether exploring contemporary East African writing, film or art, discussing these works with their authors and producers, or immersing themselves in the rhythms of daily life in Tanzania, students who participated in the program all agree that the questions they asked of themselves are not uncomplicated ones – and are ones that will continue to impact them far beyond the program.

Re-covering and Remembering – Steven Thomas Davies MFA Thesis Exhibition

Re-covering and Remembering is a collaborative documentary film that weaves Indigenous stories of cultural and political resurgence on Vancouver Island. While reflecting on and sharing stories about family, my mentors and I collaborated to produce a film with a powerful counter-narrative to assert Indigenous sovereignty and connection to place.

I make films and media art that centers around spiritual, cultural, and political themes to reconnect with Indigenous histories and epistemologies to educate myself and others. I feel a huge responsibility to the cultural leaders who have mentored and supported my growth, and the individuals whose voices and actions are shared in my work. My thesis research centers Indigenous perspectives to ask in what capacity can collaborative storytelling and film creation assist Indigenous resurgence efforts, while offering new avenues for restitution and healing. This work follows an Indigenous paradigm of relationality and decolonization that privileges Indigenous methodologies and is informed by the work of Indigenous scholars such as Linda Tuhiwai Smith, Shawn Wilson, Jeff Kanohalidoh Corntassel, and Audra Simpson.

Documentary HD Video, 5 channel surround sound

7 minutes 22 seconds

Sequestered Elements MFA Thesis Show by Joe Fowler

Sequestered Elements
Joe Fowler

This exhibition explores cultural objects from my home, the island of Newfoundland. Growing up and living there for most of my life has shaped my artistic output in ways I continue to discover, not just in terms of subject matter but also in how I actually go about making my art. Newfoundland is an island inhabited by a mixture of cultures faced with many challenges that dictate how and what they make; building shelters, technologies, vehicles, and other objects in accordance to restrictions and allowances of the rugged land, harsh weather, and scarce resources.

Lobster traps, fishing nets, small houses, anchors, boats, warm clothes, rubber boots, these are some of human made objects that dominate Newfoundland’s visual imagery. In my sculptural work I recreate and reflect on these objects in an attempt to explain them; Why are they here? What do they tell us? I have chosen, fishing nets, lobster traps, anchors, and ugly sticks as a point of departure in this exploration. These objects have many functions, they are practical, often serving a function related to basic survival. They also function as displays and decorations denoting a region, a people, and a culture. It is very normal to see these objects proudly displayed in front yards, in people’s homes or sheds, or in gift shop and restaurants. I believe that Newfoundland has unique culture of creativity which is present in these objects. I hope that by creating artwork that speaks to the material culture of Newfoundland I can shed some light on this unique relationship between people and objects in a place that inspires me.