Comet MMXVIII was created for the Gallery’s Luminocity 2018 exhibition (luminocity.ca) and served as a beacon of light at Riverside Park during this evening festival of video projections and new media projects. Installed on top of the newly renovated TNRD entrance, this light sculpture will act as a beacon for this public building, marking it as a significant civic and cultural space in the city. It holds visual interest in the daytime and at night, celebrating this building as a key public space in downtown Kamloops and highlighting an exceptional example of local talent. The sculpture also serves as an opportunity to showcase a new work acquired for the Kamloops Art Gallery’s collection and visibly marks the excellence embodied in one of Kamloops’ principle cultural institutions. The sculpture is representative of the Gallery’s rigorous exhibition program and commitment to community engagement.
Donald Lawrence is a professor in the Visual Arts Program at Thompson Rivers University. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, Victoria, BC and a Masters of Fine Arts from York University, Toronto, ON and exhibits his artwork nationally and internationally. Lawrence was the 2017 recipient of the Kamloops Mayor’s Award for the Arts Artist of the Year award and was the first Chair of the City of Kamloops’ Arts Commission.
Research for this sculpture draws upon Lawrence’s duel interest in solar phenomenon and optical devices. He referenced numerous books in this research and made sketches based on medieval imagery he sourced. These ephemeral resources will also be displayed in the entrance to the TNRD building to further inform visitors about the sculpture and Lawrence’s art practice, and to mirror the Library’s fundamental interest in books, their importance and history.
Donald Lawrence Comet MMXVIII, 2018 salvaged galvanized items and fluorescent light tubes, LED lights, Bubble Wrap, rope and tackle 444.5 x 279.4 x 88.9 cm Photo: Krystyna Halliwell
In his 2013 to 2015 touring exhibition Not a new world, just an old trick, Roy Bois built a large-scale model of an art gallery inside an art gallery to house objects from the collections of various art institutions, selected by the artist, as a site to question the value and role of the objects populating an institutional collection. He has also created an interactive soundproof rehearsal space, Ugly Today, Beautiful Tomorrow, 2009, within the Vancouver Art Gallery, equipped with drums, a bass, two guitars and amplifiers, all of which visitors were invited to play. The sound from this space was then piped into the gallery’s lobby. In a more recent project looking at the effect of architecture on collective memory, La pyramide, Roy-Bois reconstructed the previous architectural footprint of the artist run centre Œil de Poisson before it moved into its current location 20 years ago and invited two artists to invite two artists and so on, until 175 artists contributed artwork to fill the space in a kind of artistic Ponzi scheme. In these projects Roy-Bois foregrounds the role of the viewer by shifting the focus away from the object and bringing attention to the gallery context.
For his new body of work at the Kamloops Art Gallery, Roy-Bois has created an ensemble of constructed and found objects that consider our contemporary material knowledge. His architectural structures act as vessels for everyday objects, pointing to the ways in which human experience is inextricably linked to manufactured things and spaces and how the greater meaning of our existence is mediated through things. Referencing what the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard called “hyperreality,” a mode of existence based on the mediated real where fiction and non-fiction are indistinguishable, Roy Bois’ sculptures and photographs of momentary sculptures that exist only long enough to document, reveal our tenuous relationship with the real. Through improvisational sculptures that re-present everyday objects in new ways, Roy-Bois’ practice works within an economy of means, blurring the boundaries between art and life and shifting ordinary objects and spaces into a poetic dimension – potentially shifting the viewer’s perception.
Love you, 2018 wood, paint, glue, nails and object 152.4 x 50.8 x 50.8 cms Photo: Kevin Schmidt
Kalynka works with the etching process, using large copper plates to depict life-sized scythes as stand-ins for each of the oldest daughters in three generations of her family. The scythe is an implement of labour used by both Kalynka’s grandmothers on farms in their home country of Ukraine and in northern Saskatchewan, where her family settled. As the eldest children, each woman in the family was expected to make sacrifices in order to take care of the younger siblings and to take responsibility for chores on the family farm. Education was sometimes foregone so these women could contribute to the family and their way of life.
Featuring a key symbol of this experience, Kaylnka’s project is intended as a celebration, acknowledging the sacrifices of these women and emphasizing the connection that runs through the three generations.
Stella’s Scythe, 2017
223.5 x 111.7 cm
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