September 18 to October 31, 2015
The Cube
Lea Bucknell
In her solo exhibition Inherit, Revise, Repeat, Lea Bucknell’s new body of work observes, dissects and recognizes people's attachment to place. Bucknell explores two modes of memory most often associated with creating a sense of place. The first mode relates to stories told about a place. These are often informal and personal accounts that get passed from one generation to the next in order to build a picture of shared histories. The second mode is a form of symbolic heritage, one that relies on mnemonic triggers to initiate meaning. These consist of more formal or official records of a place, such as monuments, architecture, symbols and objects that represent stories or figures from the past. They are used to imprint a specific telling of history on a place. Using both personal history and community research, Bucknell creates a selection of images, texts and sculptures that investigate connections people have to Kamloops in an attempt to understand what makes this city distinct.

Lea Bucknell is a Kamloops-based artist and educator who works across disciplines. She has often shown in unconventional exhibition spaces and created site-specific projects. Bucknell has participated in multiple residency projects such as the Storefront Residencies for Social Innovation and Homework with Broken City Lab in Windsor, Ontario; Forest City Garden Project with the McIntosh Gallery in London, Ontario; Wreck City: an epilogue for 809 in Calgary, Alberta; and more recently, The Midnight Sun Camera Obscura Festival hosted by the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Yukon.
Curated by Craig Willms, Kamloops Art Gallery
Generously sponsored by Valley First Insurance
View images of the exhibition here.
The Causeway
July 27 to September 5, 2015
Andrew Hood
This year's Curator’s Choice is the eleventh annual exhibition of work by a student graduating from Thompson Rivers University (TRU). Selected by Kamloops Art Gallery Assistant Curator Craig Willms, Curator’s Choice annually highlights talent from TRU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts graduating class and gives emerging artists an opportunity to create new work for a professional exhibition space. This year artists were invited to propose a project for The Cube that expands on their art practice outside the context of school.

The 2015 Curator’s Choice exhibition will feature a new project by Andrew Hood. Hood is a Kamloops-based artist who describes his work as conceptual constellations that examine the myth-making potential of objects and images. His projects are often site-specific and include diverse mediums, bringing together seemingly disparate sources to form a greater narrative. For The Causeway Hood embarks on foot on a 100 kilometre journey from Kamloops to the “Centre of the Universe” near Vidette Lake. The purpose of this walk is to explore the theme of mythmaking through notions of the journey and destiny. Hood investigates the significance of the area in relation to the First Nations peoples who lay claim to the territory and the Tibetan monks who have recognized the area as the “Centre of the Universe” since the 1980s. It has become a spiritual destination ever since this proclamation. The area is also known as a tourist attraction for fishing and for its unique natural splendor. Hood searches for the spiritual connection attributed to this place and creates three works capturing the three legs of the journey. His work reveals the apprehension and challenge of taking on such an endeavor and reflects on this spiritual discovery.
Curated by Craig Willms, Kamloops Art Gallery
View images of the exhibition here.
June 27 to September 12, 2015
CUSTOM MADE / Tsitslem te stem te ck'ultens-kuc focuses on artists referencing skills-based artistic production within a contemporary and transformative context. The exhibition explores the ways in which artists are manipulating, transposing and re-learning skills-based arts like beadwork and basketry and how they are relating these skills to cultural heritage, new materials, concepts and techniques. CUSTOM MADE frames a dialogue between artists whose works cross boundaries, challenging and conflating binaries of art and craft, both contemporary and traditional.

Artists in the exhibition employ unconventional forms, contrasting natural and commercial materials, digital technologies and found objects to investigate notions of materiality, identity and culture through forms such as performance, basketry quilting and kinetic art. More than a beautiful object, cultural display or decorative painting, these works embody concepts of cultural knowledge(s), sustainability, global production and politics in experimental forms. Together these distinct works and artistic practices reveal ways in which simultaneous shifts across cultural zones value and recognize practices that are rooted in culturally informed tradition within a transformed, translated and transmuted contemporary artistic context.

The exhibition features important works such as Ayumee-aawach Oomama- mowan: Speaking to Their Mother (1991) by Rebecca Belmore, a sculptural and audio work that seeks to locate political protest as poetic action. It also includes leading contemporary artists not often shown in Kamloops as a way of opening up spaces to consider works that engage community, where the performative, the customary and the conceptual infuse the art object. CUSTOM MADE assembles a complex narrative of artist, object, process, community and concept as a generative act of interrupting the spaces between convention and innovation.
Curated by Tania Willard, Aboriginal Curator in Residence, Kamloops Art Gallery
Generously sponsored by MCM Realty
View images of the exhibition here.
June 27 to September 12, 2015
Tslex te sk’ult.s te tmicw
Prior to disruptive contact with colonial educators, the First Peoples of North America did not distinguish between craft and fine art. Traditionally, expressions of material and spiritual culture were grounded and conjoined in a concentric network of relationships that fluently linked language to place – place to placement – and placement to purpose. In this context, the Canadian Pacific Railway Company completed its transcontinental line in 1885. From Banff, Alberta to Kamloops, British Columbia (and onwards from Kamloops to Vancouver), the railway would subsequently connect each of the Interior and Coast Salish territories.

CPR managers relied deeply on photography in their successful efforts to publicize the railway line's poised advance across a vast and simultaneously occupied/unoccupied hinterland. Under the company's auspices, “pioneering” professional photographers recorded “unforeseen” moments of contact between autochthonous (Indigenous) and alien (settler) inhabitants. The CPR's strategic decision to commission a program of photographic documentation – a detailed inventory of “picturesque” mountain scenery and “sublime” (previously unrecorded) territories and landscape features – aligned scientific method with exploration and discovery.

Salishan languages at the time, based on oral tradition, embodied precise environmental knowledge and its own vast wisdom of sustainable/natural resources. Without a written form, these Salishan languages, like the trans-generational culture contained by it, did not immediately present itself as a manageable subject for the field photographer's pragmatic (self-contained) documentary and pictorialist assignment.

In response to these recognizable dynamics, the exhibition More Than Visible addresses prospects for revitalized contemporary channels of cross-cultural communication. This curatorial research connects both archival examples of 19th Century documentary photography and the contemporaneous, mass-market printed matter published in Canada and England to a centuries old Aboriginal presence of cultural memory – the birch bark and cedar root basket-making cultures of British Columbia, present across domains of once unquestioned (but now perilously endangered) ecological balance.

Photographs are courtesy of the McCord Museum, Montreal and generously on loan from Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver. An earlier version of this exhibition Laid Over to Cover: Photography and Weaving in the Salishan Landscape was mounted by Presentation House Gallery, January 16 to April 11, 2010.
Curated by CAUSA / Collective for Advanced and Unified Studies in the Visual Arts
Generously sponsored by MCM Real Estate Ltd.
View images of the exhibition here.
March 28 to June 13, 2015
“The story of objects asserting themselves as things, then, is the story of a changed relation to the human subject and thus the story of how the thing really names less an object than a particular subject-object relation. And, yet, the word things holds within it a more audacious ambiguity.”  

“Temporalized as the before and after of the object, thingness amounts to a latency (the not yet formed or the not yet formable) and to an excess (what remains physically or metaphysically irreducible to objects). But this temporality obscures the all-at-onceness, the simultaneity, of the object/thing dialectic and the fact that, all at once, the thing seems to name the object, just as it is, even as it names some thing else.” Bill Brown, “Thing Theory,”Things, 2004.  

The social life of things, the representation of things and the potency of objects have been at the crux of visual culture since the turn of the 20th Century and remain central to contemporary theoretical debates. The disruption to the definition of art by French-American artist Marcel Duchamp is still being interrogated in different ways by artists today.

The art object is no longer understood to be autonomous from the surrounding world, but instead, is seen as part of and sourced from the world around us. Branches of critical theory such as Thing Theory focus on human-object interactions and call into question the ways in which we make meaning out of things, depending on the context and use. While assimilating and expanding on post-object theories and conceptual strategies, artistic production centred on object culture and materiality has persevered.

Ideas & Things looks at current material (thing) and conceptually (idea) based artistic practices that are engaged in this ethos, where objects are no longer privileged but integrated into a greater exploration of space, time, material and subject. The exhibition brings together the work of five Canadian artists whose practices share a strong research methodology and diverse approach to materiality through the investigation of colour theory, text, intervention into the conventions of gallery display and viewership, integration of the everyday object, film history and performance. New work has been created for Ideas and Things and includes installations made specifically for this exhibition space.

While acknowledging art history of the past through a continued dialogue with Modernist sculpture, photography, abstraction and Conceptualism, the work of Jen Aitken, Kelly Lycan, Hadley + Maxwell, Mark Neufeld and Derek Sullivan forges new situations and propositions. Traditional display methods such as the vitrine and plinth are no longer relevant; in some cases the pedestal and the wall are the work. In a double agency where form and content merge, the architectural space of the exhibition has become the exhibition. The works question the monument and the monumental and offer a new currency of ideas about things.
Curated by Charo Neville, Kamloops Art Gallery
View images of the exhibition here.
March 28 to June 13, 2015
Colin Lyons
Colin Lyons’ recent work fuses printmaking, sculpture and chemical experiments, pushing the role of the etching plate beyond its traditional boundaries as a re-enactment of the rise and fall of industrial economies. He explores industry through the lens of fragility and impermanence, considering planned obsolescence and the nature of what we choose to preserve. Lyons adapts etching plates and uses acid to create batteries that reclaim decaying industrial parts. Once restored, the surfaces are coated with a resist material. The artist then traces over the restored surfaces, submerging them in a bath of etching acid. The results create a contour map that marks the traces of decay.

Colin Lyons grew up in “Canada’s original oil boomtown” of Petrolia, Ontario, an experience that has influenced his interests in industrial ruins and sacrificial landscapes. His work has been shown in solo exhibitions across Canada and in group exhibitions internationally. Recent exhibitions include Platform Stockholm (Stockholm, Sweden), The Soap Factory (Minneapolis, Minnesota), SPACES (Cleveland, Ohio), OBORO (Montreal, Quebec), Judith and Norman Alix Art Gallery (Sarnia, Ontario), and Kala Art Institute (Berkeley, California). He has been the recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Quebec, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation and Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.
Curated by Craig Willms, Kamloops Art Gallery
View images of the exhibition here.
January 17 to March 21, 2015
The Cube
Michael Markowsky
Michael Markowsky’s practice combines painting and performance. He typically draws and paints while riding inside or on top of moving cars, buses, boats, trains, airplanes and even dogsleds. In July 2013, Markowsky made 100 postcard-sized drawings while flying faster than the speed of sound in a Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 “Hornet” jet plane. The opportunity came about because of his involvement in the Canadian Forces Artists Program. Past participating artists in this program include members of the Group of Seven, David Milne, Charles Comfort and Alexander Colville.

Over the past year, Markowsky has painted five 3 x 6 metre paintings based on the drawings he made in the jet plane. The final project will be to build a scaled down fighter plane sculpture out of wood and canvas around which the paintings will be displayed. When it is complete, viewers will be able to sit inside the sculpture’s cockpit, thereby simulating the artist’s supersonic flight. Similar to his other drawings in motion, Markowsky is simulating the experience of moving through space and, in this case, sharing a situation that very few people have the opportunity to experience.

For two months, the artist will occupy The Cube and transform it into a working art studio. He will use the space to build his fighter plane sculpture. Members of the public are invited and encouraged to visit with him to learn about his artistic process.
Curated by Craig Willms, Kamloops Art Gallery
View images of the exhibition here.
January 17 to March 14, 2015
Pam Hall
Pam Hall is an interdisciplinary artist working across and sometimes in between the boundaries of medium and discipline. She makes visual art, constructs installations, works with language and is engaged in film, video and, most recently, performance. She works alone (inside and outside of her studios) and collaborates with others (sometimes individuals, sometimes communities). Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, she travels extensively to pursue the creation and presentation of her work. She also teaches graduate students in the United States. Her work has been shown throughout Canada and internationally.

For Hall, art’s work and thus her work is social labour.  In identifying her (art)work in this way, the artist signals her awareness of the human condition. Despite often strenuous and even coercive efforts to silence, marginalize or ignore them, the voices of (all of the) Others are always and everywhere present. One only has to listen for them. Hall celebrates the extraordinary that she finds in so-called “ordinary” lives. Her art is intentionally provocative. More importantly, her works are embarkation points that invite responses and engender candid conversations.  

HouseWork(s) represents a decade (2004-2014) of creative work. This exhibition shares the artist’s reflections, daily gestures, invitations and exchanges with people across the nation and around the world. Hall engages us in serious word play with her choice of title for the exhibition. “Housework,” generally, is understood to be women’s work. But Hall challenges some of the gendered connotations of this term. The word “house” functions as both a noun and a verb. “House” may refer to a structure or an action. As a structure, a house could be a shelter, a place of refuge, a dwelling or a sacred space. As an action, however, “to house” is to hold, to encase, to collect, to protect or to accommodate.  

Prominent throughout this exhibition are four suspended “five-pole houses.” These structures hover above the floor of the Gallery. They invade, inhabit and physically reconfi gure the space. We have to deal with them. With HouseWork(s), the artist confronts our complacency, alerts us to our humanity and reveals the complexities and layered associations underneath the skin of the easy and familiar.

Pam Hall: HouseWork(s) is organized by The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery Division, St. John’s Newfoundland, with support of The Canada Council for the Arts.
Curated by Dr. Melinda Pinfold
View images of the exhibition here.

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