Genetic Problem Prototype: Torso #2, 1989
mixed media on canvas, 102.3 x 76.7 cm
Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Gift of Dr. Kenneth and Joyce Morton, 2001
• Geneviève Cadieux
• Emily Carr
• Geoffrey Farmer
• Russell FitzGerald
• Lawren Harris •
• Glenn Ligon
• Attila Richard Lukacs
• Ron Martin
• Gordon Payne
• Margaret Peterson
• Jerry Pethick
• Marina Roy • Rudolf Schwarzkogler
• Jack Shadbolt
• Corin Sworn
• Elizabeth Vander Zaag
• Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun
• William Woollett
Becoming Animal/Becoming Landscape looks at the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery’s collection through the lens of today’s “post-humanist” discourse that questions the singularity and primacy of man, which has been the dominant view in the West since the Renaissance. At a time of impending catastrophe caused by the change in climate provoked by human activity, some say we now live in a geological age called the Anthropocene—the era when human activity has transformed the global climate. It is perhaps ironic that at this juncture, progressive scholars have come to question a basic assumption of the modern West, that man is the measure of all things.
While one aspect of “post-humanist” studies explores the issues around artificial intelligence and the transformation of our bodies and culture by technology, another looks at alternative ways of seeing the symbiotic relationships between people, animals and land. This latter view proposes a kind of re-enchantment with the world we live in and extends the possibility of sentience and agency to all living creatures and many places as well. The selection of artworks from the Belkin Art Gallery’s collection could be seen to be about animal/human transformation or landscape/human transformation.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun is one of many First Nations artists claiming that Indigenous cosmology insists that the land is a living physical and spiritual entity to be profoundly respected. Humans and animals transform into each other and the Creator speaks to us through nature. Reading Emily Carr’s accounts of her painting experience, we realized that her work could also be seen in light of these concerns. Her process involved her becoming landscape, not just depicting landscape. Geneviève Cadieux's Loin de moi, et près du lointain (1993) is a literal transformation of bodies into landscape. And the Viennese artist Rudolf Schwarzkogler performs a kind of alchemy with fish and paint. The idea of becoming animal/becoming landscape allowed other works from this collection to be included which expand the conversation in ways to stimulate and surprise.
Becoming Animal/Becoming Landscape: From the Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is organized and circulated by the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia with support from the Canada Council for the Arts.
Curator's Tour: Saturday, January 14, 5:30 pm
conte, chalk, graphite on BFK Rives paper, 76.8 x 113.4 cm
Collection of the Kamloops Art Gallery, gift of the artist
Ann Kipling lives and works in Falkland, BC. Her work is imbued with the beauty and quiet of this rural area. Focusing primarily on portraits, animals and the landscape, Ann
Kipling’s process includes drawing similar subjects over long periods of time, recording subtle changes and shifts in expression within these subjects. This prolonged scrutiny gives Kipling's work an unmistakable intensity, fluidity of line and graphic complexity that approaches abstraction. Her portraits are psychologically revealing, retaining evidence of a closely observed encounter between subject and artist. Kipling admits to becoming obsessed with a subject, forming a bond, then interpreting it repeatedly until she exhausts its visual possibilities. Through her repetitive mark-making Kipling suggests that one view cannot capture the complexity and changeability of a person or animal—these fields of reference are variable and constantly shifting.
This selection from the Kamloops Art Gallery’s permanent collection is drawn from a recent substantial donation of work from Ann Kipling to the Gallery and builds on previous donations of drawings and prints from the artist, establishing the Kamloops Art Gallery as a primary long-term home for her life’s work. Ann Kipling's drawings are remarkable in their skill, rigour and complex beauty. Representing the span of her career and the dominant themes of her work, this selection reflects Kipling’s enduring focus on expressive mark-making and the depiction of everyday subjects from her life. This companion exhibition to Becoming Animal/Becoming Landscape: From the Collection of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery similarly addresses the transformation of animal/human/landscape.
Curated by Charo Neville, Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
Generously sponsored by MCM Real Estate Ltd.
In progress installation shot from Banff, 2016
Moving While Looking at Things That Do Not Move emerges from the writing of Scottish author Nan Shepherd (1893-1981) and her book The Living Mountain. In it, Shepherd champions a prolonged and contemplative experience of the landscape, foregoing a hurried ascent to a mountain peak in favour of savouring the expanse of the plateau. Shepherd asserts that “moving the eye itself when looking at things that do not move, deepens one’s sense of outer reality.”
Laura Findlay’s project questions the current role of history painting through notions of narrative, empathy and the sublime. Her recent work examines historical events from fragments of evidence, re-examining the past through landscapes of dormant volcanoes. Having researched environments such as Volcanoes National Park in Hawai’i and Wells Grey Provincial Park north of Kamloops, the artist collected documents, images and data of historical and current geologic records. This exhibition includes an array of objects with cylindrical imagery and textures meant to be observed from all sides, revealing the static but shifting landscape of vessels.
Findlay's sculptural objects play against static painted depictions of the wall of The Cube, shifting focus between object and image, natural and human-made landscapes. The works move in relation to each other much like viewing a hierarchy of mountain range and landscape slowly hiding and emerging new views as one moves through the space, hinting at clues gained and lost to history, both geological and human.
The body of work developed for this exhibition emerged from research over the past year and her time living and working in Kamloops.
Curated by Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
Kim Clarke Photography
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