Vikky Alexander’s work is characterized by her ongoing consideration of illusion and material desires framed within the language of architecture and design. Since the early 1980s, Alexander has investigated culture’s appropriation and substitution of nature as it is manifest in mass-market interior design items such as photomurals of scenic landscapes, wood veneers, and decorative mirrors. Her work recognizes the artificial as a place for utopian fantasy, a surreal space where the natural is recreated in an improved or even perfected form.

Working primarily with photography and installation, Alexander examines how the formal signs of photography, architecture, and interior and graphic design reveal and shape meaning in our contemporary culture, bringing to the fore discussions of capitalism, commodification, and desire within the parameters of fantasy and cultural longing.

Between Dreaming and Living is a body of work that was originally exhibited in Vancouver in 1985 at Coburg Gallery. The images originated as sandwiched 35 mm colour slides, which were then converted into black-and-white negatives, printed, and framed with a coloured Plexi overlay. In 2008, Alexander revisited these works by making colour Cibachrome prints from the original sandwiched slides. The images combine figure and landscape using both appropriated imagery from magazines and calendars and Alexander’s own landscapes.

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