Laura Kay Keeling
& Meghan Krauss
July 15 - August 26, 2021
Other Ecologies is an online group exhibition featuring the work of Pamela Dodds, Laura Kay Keeling, and Meghan Krauss. Through various modes of digital and analogue photography, printmaking, collage, and animation, the artists in this exhibit create an open-ended dialogue of embodied ecologies and complicate the divisions between self/other, nature/culture, rescuer/rescuee, and observer/observed.
The participating artists of this exhibit were selected by a jury of curators and artists, Suzanne Carte, Bryce Kanbara, and Sonali Menezes.
Pamela Dodds | Undertow
In my relief print practice, I explore the complexities of the human relationship. I create imagery where the gesture of the human form, reflected or counterpointed within an expressive environment, can describe a complex and layered moment. I find meaning in the pairing of figures to represent an intimate exchange between individuals, and to examine the correspondence between the uniquely personal and the universal.
Undertow creates a space for meditation on rescue, whether actual or metaphorical. The inherent imbalances in a rescuer-rescuee relationship unfold – whether a moment of acceptance of help, or refusal of it; the impulse to provide help, or hesitation to do so, the insistence on rescue, or the acceptance of letting go; and, the confluence and conflicts of these inclinations.
Observing the resemblance of wood grain patterns to water, I was inspired to print in colour on a large scale, in order to convey the depths of the ocean, and the overarching sky. The sky-water imagery is created through layered printing of gradient colours from natural wood grain patterns of long plywood boards onto Japanese paper. The figures are carved in relief in separate wood and lino- blocks and then registered and printed in into the water/wood grain patterns.
The suspended prints hang from wires extended between opposite walls of the gallery space and float just above the floor. The installation engages the viewer in a palpable experience of both pulling up and pulling down, a characteristic of the rescue experience. The viewer is surrounded by the changing impressions of water as she wanders through the installation, experiencing the unfolding narrative.
The installation images are simulations, combining photos of the prints with photos of Centre 3 Main Gallery
Pamela Dodds’ work is exhibited regularly in Canada, the USA and recently in Spain, Norway and the UK. Her print suites been purchased by Capital One Bank, Cleveland Museum of Art, Purdue University, Boston Public Library, and many individuals. She has been awarded residencies and fellowships in Canada and abroad. Undertow first appeared in a 2017 survey of her print work at Visual Arts Centre of Clarington, Ontario, and again at Impact 10 International Printmaking Conference, Spain. Selections from the prints have been shown internationally. In new work in progress, she addresses the violence of border walls that impact refugees.
Laura Kay Keeling
The Advantages of Tender Loving Care
Laura Kay Keeling | The Advantages of Tender Loving Care
The artworks included in this exhibition are from a series titled The Advantages of Tender Loving Care which showcases analog video, moving images as well as static images alongside a series of cyanotypes. The imagery features scanned / photographed natural elements merged with sourced imagery from books and field guides as well as my own analog photography practice. All works shown in this exhibition have been created digitally though some analog processes were part of the overall creation of the works. I have always been attracted to the wonders of the natural world, so it would come as no surprise that natural imagery plays a large role throughout all of my works. In 2018, a traumatic accident occured at a place I have spent my whole life visiting and is very near and dear to my heart. This experience led me to think about our connections to place while at the same time, grappling with the fact that somewhere I loved and was very connected to, was now also the site of such a tragedy. I continue to think about and explore concepts relating to reciprocal care and how one might engage and interact with other humans, plants / animals, nature and the land as well as what the relationship of caring for each looks like. I think about how the artist selects and cares for materials throughout the creation of artistic works and in thinking more about these concepts, have begun to shift my practice to include elements from plants and flowers that I have grown or have foraged from other folks’ garden clippings. I scan, photograph, press and repeat.
Laura Kay Keeling is a visual artist whose work encompasses analog photography, video, collage and installation-based projects. Exploring and unpacking emotions through the creation of new work, while examining concepts related to “the visitor” as spoken about in Rumi’s Poem ‘The Guest House’. Keeling’s work addresses her feelings of being very connected to and at peace in nature; her new works explore ideas relating to plant sentience and reciprocal care.
Meghan Krauss | Observer Observed
In 2012, I moved to Banff National Park, an area that attracts over three million visitors per year. It is this incredible number drew my attention to the idea of tourism. I am fascinated by the abundance of photographs taken by people and that wherever we find ourselves in this world, we are compelled to document and share our experiences.
In 2013, I began to explore these ideas by creating large-scale panoramic photomontages, where multiple images of tourists are compressed into a single image. One of the first photomontages in this series was of this mountain and is titled 94 Tourists. In Observer Observed, these masses of tourists condense together within each of the eight panoramic photographs in the exhibition, representing the flurry of human activity that occurs at these sites of significant activity.
In September of 2014, upon expanding the project to Iceland where I attended the Listhús í Fjallabyggð residency, supported by a Saskatchewan Arts Board grant, my focus expanded to the travellers there, creating a thought-provoking comparison to the photographs taken in Banff. In 2008 Iceland experienced a major economic and political financial crisis and because of this, tourism become a significant part of their national economy. In 2014, the population of Iceland was 300,000, yet there were over a million tourists that traveled throughout the country annually. This is in comparison to the three million people who pass through Banff National Park’s gates every year.
In Observer Observed, through the photomontage process, I seek to engender in my viewers a similar angst to my own feelings about the current state of tourism. Compressed together, these people are all equally enthusiastic to be documenting the same picturesque landscapes, regardless of the quality of images taken or on what social platforms they will ultimately be displayed.
Meghan Krauss is a practicing photographic artist living in Victoria, BC. In 2015 she completed a three-year photography practicum at The Banff Centre, obtained her Master of Fine Arts at the University of Windsor (2012), with a SSHRC Scholarship and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan (2005). Meghan has exhibited her work across Canada and the US, attended a self directed Residency in Northern Iceland (2012) and has also been the recipient of a BC Arts Council Professional Development Grant, an Alberta Foundation for the Arts Project Grant and a Saskatchewan Arts Board Project Grant.
Exhibition is generously supported by: