M–F: 10 am–5 pm; Sa&Su: 11 am–5 pm
Unearthing, Folding, and Burning contains varying approaches to the still life genre through photographic experiments in material, process, and animation.
Gerri York’s work re-examines the material process of origami through deconstruction. Under the glow of a safelight in the darkroom, she folds photosensitive paper into traditional origami forms, such as a crane. The exterior of these forms are lit by an incandescent bulb from an enlarger unit—some light also leaks in through creases and cracks. The crane is unfolded back into its flat two-dimensional origin and developed using photographic chemicals. The resulting black, grey, and white shapes mark the dissected remains of the origami creature that was created and subjected to exposure only moments before. Although the work appears abstract, it is a realistic (perhaps corporeal) representation made abject by the process of pulling apart. The photograph is scanned at a high resolution and printed digitally on rag paper with archival pigments. In its final form, the artistic work mimics clinical documentation of post-mortem study.
Ryan Peter’s work employs contact photographic darkroom processes whereby acrylic paints, chemicals, and industrial materials are placed atop translucent plastic film to expose large sheets of photosensitive paper. The resulting textures often resemble topographic and woodgrain surfaces. He uses dodging and burning techniques with large cutouts to create overlapping terrestrial scenes featuring surreal and anthropomorphic characters. His enigmatic prints have been described as drawing on the shifting relationship between physical and digital forms, evoking a sense of tension between the natural and urban realms and the way humans intersect with them.
Torrie Groening’s work consists of digitally scanned pottery shards of Chinese, Japanese, and English origin that she has dug up from her yard in Strathcona, Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Connected visually by their use of a cobalt glaze, these imported pieces find themselves above ground again sharing space with their neighbours. Unlike most archaeological projects, Groening makes no attempt to reassemble the shards into their original ceramic forms. Rather, the pieces are reconstituted into loose patterns and layered arrangements that reference the fragmentation of our current political mosaic.