Opening reception: Thursday May 3, 5:00–8:00 pm
The Department of Fine Arts and UWAG present the second of two thesis exhibitions by Master of Fine Arts (MFA) candidates from the graduate program in Fine Arts at the University of Waterloo. MFA Thesis gives the campus and community-at-large an opportunity to see the end result of two years of intensive research and studio production by emerging visual artists.
Provisional Zones is an immersive installation made mostly from found and discarded objects. My working method is quite fluid and performative, similar in approach to how Robert Rauschenberg constructed his Combine works in the 1960s. When placed together in an immersive environment, objects can mirror a heightened experience of a fractured and disjointed world, one that the viewer experiences as they negotiate the space. The indeterminate meanings between provisional forms that are propped, dragged, dropped, suspended or portable, speak to issues of dislocation, rupture and distress. This indeterminacy also points to the Liminal, a space where instability and transformation are represented by objects of passage, such as doors and gates, which have the capacity to be repositioned, alongside items that lean precariously or appear to be in a state of transition. These unexpected juxtapositions invite the viewer to engage with the work on an intuitive, empathetic level.
Search Party is an installation and video exploration of identity—how it is constructed, consumed, and what role the landscape plays in the formation of Canadian identity. Since moving to Ontario from Alberta, I feel lost without the Rockies. In attempting to confront my disorientation I developed an alter ego, the City Cowgirl, as a stand-in for my affection towards the West and a means to more objectively appraise this peculiar archetype. The development of a persona allows me to act out and comment on the troubled relationship I have with my own identity. Camouflaged as a rock, the City Cowgirl stumbles blindly along while attempting to navigate the landscape in search of home, a place of reassuring comfort and stability. Using memory as a touchstone, my work uses the guise of souvenirs and commercial display methodologies as strategies to reenact the familiar while exploring the commodification of Western Canada, the landscape, and the female body.