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 Back  Vignettes | Alberta | November 2012 – January 2013

By Robin Laurence

JEREMY FOKKENS: I AM CALGARY Art Gallery of Calgary, Calgary Sept 7-Dec 23 This Calgary-based dancer-turned-photographer is acclaimed for his highly detailed, black-and-white images of people encountered on his extensive travels around the world. Fokkens turns his lens towards his home city, capturing the faces of its inhabitants within the context of its social and ethnic diversity, the shifting character of its neighbourhoods and evolving industries. Part of Fokkens’ ability to create “visually stimulating and thought-provoking photos of contemporary society” relates to his collaborative approach, immersing himself in their lives and times.

JENNIFER WANNER: FLORILEGIUM Glenbow Museum, Calgary, Sept 29-Jan 2 Calgary-based artist Jennifer Wanner is an “avid gardener” and “foodie” who mimics traditional techniques of botanical drawing and specimen pressing to raise awareness of the dangers inherent in the scientific manipulation of our food sources. Employing images of genetically modified plants found on the Internet, she has developed collages, watercolour maquettes, rubbings and a stop-motion animation video as part of Florilegium. Initially, her botanical images charm us with their beauty and delicacy, then shock us as they become increasingly unnatural and cannibalistic.

CLAYTON ANDERSON: ATMOSPHERE Diana Paul Galleries, Calgary Nov 3-23 Representational painter Clayton Anderson delivers a series of lovingly rendered landscapes, from open fields, rolling hills and wooded river valleys to the rocky beaches, cliffs and still coves of Canada’s West Coast. Often these quintessentially Canadian scenes are eerily lit under cloudy skies or washed in dusky atmosphere. His objective, he writes, is to infuse his landscapes with “a new vitality and emotional content” that express his vision of the natural environment.

ELEANOR KING Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Dec 7-Jan 27 Halifax-based artist Eleanor King has an uncanny ability to create installations (and performances) from recycled Styrofoam drinking cups to video tapes to vinyl records in their well-worn cardboard sleeves. Commenting on overconsumption and conspicuous waste and drawing inspiration from Dadaist assemblages, Fluxus happenings, and modernist sculpture, King often works site-specifically. Employing everyday materials, her SAAG exhibition is intended to respond to the architecture and history of the place.

REBEKAH MILLER: SKINS The New Gallery, Calgary Jan 3-Feb 2 Beautiful and evocative, Rebekah Miller’s mixed-media installation tugs at the meaning of home and its relationship to a culturally constructed notion of the natural world. Employing hand-sewn materials, from lace fabric to birch bark, she creates the hollow forms of a house and a small grove of “trees” – “the skins” of her installation’s title. Together with relief prints, photographs and a video, she probes the “gap” between memory and place. In her artist’s statement, Miller quotes poet Emily Dickinson: “Nature is a haunted house; art, a house that wishes to be haunted.”

Jeremy Fokkens
Jeremy Fokkens

Jennifer Wanner
Jennifer Wanner

Clayton Anderson
Clayton Anderson

Eleanor King
Eleanor King

Rebekah Miller
Rebekah Miller

 Sun, Feb 24, 2013