Curious minds of all ages are invited to explore the work of six artists who engage with virtual and natural words in Surrey Art Gallery’s Garden in the Machine exhibition. The public is invited to a free tour led by Gallery curator Jordan Strom on Wednesday, October 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.
Garden in the Machine includes the work of established and emerging Canadian media artists: Faisal Anwar, Helma Sawatzky, Leila Sujir, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Paisley Smith, and Robert Youds. The exhibition looks at the relationship between computational art and the natural environment, the digital and the biological, and nature and culture. It also explores how people adapt to and use technology in a world that is always changing. Visitors will experience large-scale digital photography, installation art, and projected media art.
Digital spaces, like natural ones, need networks of connection to grow and thrive. Online and offline spaces provide opportunities for learning, reflection, and healing. They can also help create balance in life and harmony in relationships—to one another and to the land. This connective web also creates places to talk about important social issues like environmental wellness and the global climate crisis.
Strom will be joined by participating artist Helma Sawatzky. Sawatzky will talk about her photographic series Data Mulch and how it fits within her larger art practice. Visitors will also learn more about the other digital works in the exhibit. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions and share their thoughts.
About the Artists
Helma Sawatzky is a Surrey-based artist, graphic designer, and musician. Her photographic art practice is informed by both an enchantment and concern for the increasing presence of the screen and the various forms of digital meditation in daily life experiences. She also explores the impacts of consumer culture on the environment. Her work has been previously exhibited at Surrey Art Gallery in the group exhibition Views from the Southbank.
Faisal Anwar is an interactive new media artist from Pakistan and now based in Canada. His projects often bring together art, culture, and technology in an odd configuration to explore our perceptions towards private verses public spaces, surveillance and social interactivity in modern urban cultures.
Paisley Smith is a Canadian filmmaker and virtual reality creator based in Los Angeles and Vancouver. She uses interactive technology to tell important stories that need to be felt and experienced. Smith is the recipient of the 2018 Sundance Institute and Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Fellowship for Unceded Territories, with support from Creative B.C.
Leila Sujir is an artist and associate professor at Concordia University in the Intermedia (Video, Performance, Electronic Arts) area, where she is also Chair of the Studio Arts Department. Over the last thirty years, Sujir has built a body of video installation artworks using a mix of fiction, fantasy, and documentary with visual and audio collage techniques. She explores migration, immigration, nation, and culture.
Robert Youds makes artworks that challenge our everyday perceptual experience of objects, images, and things. Originally trained as a painter, he calls his work “structures” that blur the lines between architecture, design, painting, sculpture, and photography. Youds’s artworks are foremost an aesthetic system towards a mini-utopic condition—a better world.
Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun is a painter, sculptor, and advocate for contemporary Indigenous issues in Canada. Of Coast Salish descent, he graduated from the Emily Carr School of Art and Design in 1983 and makes large-scale paintings using Coast Salish cosmology, Northwest Coast formal design elements, and the Western landscape tradition. Art is a way to voice his political concerns, exposing environmental destruction and the struggle of Native peo¬ple.
Garden in the Machine Exhibition Tour | October 16, 7–8:30 p.m.
More informationa t https://www.surrey.ca/culture-recreation/1537.aspx
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