Out of the Corner of an Eye, 1990
303 photographs, 268 Fresnel lenses, aluminim, glass, flourescent light fixture, carpet underlay, plastic, mirrord dome, black tape
337.75 x 365.75 x 221 cm
Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Purchased with funds from The Jean MacMillan Southam Major Art Purchase Fund
Photo: SITE Photography
Holed Out, 1994
fiberglass, felt, aluminim, enameled steel, silver diffraction, foil, paint, silicone
63 x 58.8 x 6 cm
Courtesy of Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver
Photo: SITE Photography
Over the course of a career that spanned almost five decades, Jerry Pethick (1935–2003) produced a complex and multifaceted body of work that is difficult to classify. For much of this time he focused on the way in which models of observation – including linear perspective and cultural memory – shape our understanding of the world and our place in it. Through an extended emphasis on an object’s entanglement with its surroundings and the viewer’s consciousness, Pethick challenged culturally determined ways of perceiving space and the related separation of observer and object that has occupied a central position in Western thought since the 18th century.
Pethick saw disciplinary boundaries, linear conceptions of history and language itself as regimented structures of communication that limit perception to reductive binary models, such as inside/outside, mind/body and true/false. As Pethick once put it, “We learn to make choices between, we don’t perceive among.” His practice could be described as an ongoing attempt to deconstruct these models by exploring parallels in the methods of representation developed concurrently in the arts and sciences over the past two centuries, together with the perceptual systems that have been left in their wake.
While Pethick’s methods, materials and motifs find parallels in the larger realm of contemporary art, his pursuit of a sculptural idiom grounded in virtual space and transparency through idiosyncratic combinations of photographs, optical devices, found objects and a profound engagement with the science of perception was a largely singular journey. The unusual path Pethick took is embodied in his choice to live and work on Hornby Island in British Columbia, a remote and pastoral site frequented by artists and curators from Vancouver and abroad that is both connected to and distanced from the art world’s circuits of communication.
Pethick was born in 1935 in London, Ontario and died in 2003 on Hornby Island. He studied art in London, England at Chelsea Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art, where he completed graduate studies in 1964. He began to work with plastics and lenticular materials in the mid-1960s. Shortly after he became fascinated with holography and, along with the American scientist Lloyd Cross, established a holography school in San Francisco in 1971. Finding the elaborate technical demands of holography limiting, Pethick moved to Hornby Island in 1975, where he resided for the rest of his life. There he pursued his interest in the nature of perception while maintaining a modest economy of production by incorporating found objects sourced from the island’s recycling depot into his work. Over the past 40 years his art has been exhibited widely in Canada, the United States and Europe.
Jerry Pethick: Shooting the Sun/Splitting the Pie was organized by the Vancouver Art
Gallery and curated by Grant Arnold, Audain Curator of British Columbia Art, in 2015 as the first exhibition to provide an overview of Pethick’s career. This exhibition comprises a smaller selection of works organized by the Kamloops Art Gallery with cooperation from the Vancouver Art Gallery.
Generously sponsored by Rojeanne and Jim Allworth, and Jane Irwin and Ross Hill
Curator's Tour: Saturday, July 2, 5:30 pm
Opening Reception: Saturday, July 2, 6:30 to 8:00 pm
Surface Garden (Sucker Head detail), 2016
Plaster ball cap, cone studs, epoxy resin, synthetic eyelashes, Plexiglas, sucker, steel rod and assorted hardware
Photo: courtesy of the artist
This year's Curator’s Choice is the 12th annual exhibition of work by a student graduating from Thompson Rivers University. Selected by Kamloops Art Gallery Assistant Curator Craig Willms, Curator’s Choice annually highlights talent from TRU’s Bachelor of Fine Arts graduating class and gives emerging artists an opportunity to create new work for a professional exhibition space outside the context of school. The 2016 Curator’s Choice exhibition features a new project by Ryland Fortie. Fortie’s research-based practice explores materials and video through multi-media installation. The exhibition title, Chatroom Paranoia, references virtual social spaces found on the Internet as a real time forum for exchanging ideas on particular topics. Through video, sculpture and synthetic objects like plastic fruit, artificial plants and plaster body parts, the artist examines how the lines between virtual and physical space, and therefore social interaction, are increasingly blurred.
Chatroom Paranoia is a multi-media installation that addresses various realities in relation to engagement with others. At a time when there are concerns about oversaturation from too much screen time and a lack of face-to-face engagement, Fortie considers whether these concerns are relevant or simply the way in which people engage socially now, using the technology of the day. In this new work, Fortie questions how meaning and identity are constructed within all social spaces, whether in-person or virtual, and invites the viewer to question notions of authenticity.
Generously sponsored by Cypress Insurance and OA Fine Arts & Jewellery Insurance
Curated by Craig Willms, Assistant Curator, Kamloops Art Gallery
Kim Clarke Photography
Copyright © 2016, Kamloops Art Gallery. All Rights Reserved.
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