Movement and Growth with Laura Hosaluk

Laura Hosaluk is an artist residing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. She works mainly in but is not limited to; ceramics, painting, installation, wood, and bronze. Laura is a wonderfully bright and dynamic individual in and outside of the studio. I had the opportunity for a studio visit and to interview her in April 2015. Further biographical information about Laura and her work can be found on her website.

dolls and wood work

                                         dolls and wood work

doll limbs

                  more doll limb playfulness

Amanda Leigh: What are some ideas you’re playing with right now?

Laura Hosaluk: Something I want to utilize is the pin board. I’ve used it in past installations.

AL: What other pieces have you used the pin board with?

LH: There was a piece I sent to Toronto it was a wall cabinet, it was a floating cabinet it was made into 6 rooms, and it was lit. It was beautiful from afar because the light was shining through these little cabinets, so that would pique your curiosity, and then they were all individual rooms from my childhood. My father holds onto everything, all our drawings from when we were kids, I transferred them into the bedroom walls, and they had these little spyholes you could look through. And that was for my first show, called Purge, where I started to use the doll as a body, like a vehicle with a message. I would use poetry transferred onto fabric… you use fabric like muslin and print onto it, like little stripes. I wish I could find that doll… where would he be… oh, I burnt it! I might have. I purged it.

AL: Do you often destroy your old work?

LH: Hmmm… I could destroy more. Yeah there comes a time when I’ll just burn it.

AL: You said you were a collector and that you come from a family of collectors, so why do you burn the things you make instead of holding onto those? What does that do for you?

LH: It’s cathartic. It’s interesting because I’ve been running with the doll theme for quite some time, and I’m ready to start moving in a new direction. That’s why with these pieces here [points to current doll work] I want to have a quick show, flush it all out, and move onto something new. So I just recently burnt this old work, that was made up of more fabrics, and filled them all with dryer lint. It was a real process; every time I did the laundry, I had to collect the lint. Why I did that is because my Grandmother gave me all these old blankets, and when I laundered them they were disintegrating because they were so old, so they would throw this fat dryer lint and you could see that it layered like red/blue/grey, and that to me was exciting. In my mind I was like “I could produce so much dryer lint to fill up these dolls”, so I just kept laundering them.

AL: And then you burnt dolls with dryer lint? It’s a very flammable substance.

LH: Yeah. There was only two left, from that show, and they were just in the corner sitting, they weren’t really going anywhere… I didn’t sell them. They were from really dark periods actually, from the past, and I think that was really important that I let that go. I want to start creating art from another place that resides in me, because a lot of it comes from my imagination as a maker, that’s why I love my artistic process because its so much fun, and its ridiculous. It’s definitely self-directed and self-taught, and also having teachers that are self-taught and intuitive, you learn you just really need to trust opening up to that creative process. I want to start moving toward more playful and beautiful things.

Keystone 1 - 26 x 26 Acrylic on Panel found objects

Keystone 1 – 26 x 26 Acrylic on Panel found objects

Keystone 2 - 26 x 26 Acrylic on Panel found objects

Keystone 2 – 26 x 26 Acrylic on Panel found objects

AL: You’ve been working with the doll for a long time, and it’s a body for expression. Do you feel you need to move away from it because the doll can only hold certain themes and not expand in the direction you want to go, or is there another reason?

LH: What I’ve enjoyed most about the doll was getting back to working with my hands. For a long time I was painting and really identified as a painter. Doll opened up for me a wider vehicle of how I can portray messages through different mediums. It started with hand building and sewing fabrics, stuffing them with lint, then transferring this idea to furniture. So they were boxes originally that mounted on the wall, and at that time I was doing bronze casting. What I really got curious about was how can I transfer this idea of doll into clay? Then I started pushing clay into latex molds I made to get that relief of the mask, and then I wanted to go further, so how can I create a slip cast? Now with doll I’ve refined my technical abilities, so I want to make my own objects to cast. I want to cast objects from my imagination.

AL: Do you have any idea what these imaginations are going to entail, or is that still on the drawing board?

LH: I wanna flush this stuff[doll] out first before I get too far. I’ve gone back to wood turning. Wood turning isn’t my strength but I would like to revisit that and that’s what I’ll be doing here shortly. Wood bending is new to me. My father has been showing me how to wood bend.


wood turning sculptures

wood turning sculptures

laura pouring wax into moulds

laura pouring wax into moulds

LH: I’m doing some work for my father. I poured some casts yesterday… I was going to pull some molds. These [wood turned objects] will then be realized in bronze. So they start with a wood sculpture, my Dads carving, and with these latex molds you pour your wax, and those will be cast in Pent, Saskatchewan. Our friend Joe has a foundry over there.

I remember always knowing I wanted to be an artist as a child, but my rational was like “oh your father’s an artist so you have to choose something else”. And just how… irrational that is.

AL: Why did you think you could have only one artist in the family?

LH: I don’t know, it came through so clear. My father always told me, “Whatever you do in life Laura, you’ve gotta love.” And so I was like, “I’m gonna be an artist,” then it was like, “oh but he’s doing that.” Maybe it’s because when you’re a child, what’s immediately around you is all you know, so you want to know more. So maybe I thought, “Do something different.” Which began this serious pursuit of what do I love. It always came back to working with my hands. I did hair dressing right out of high school for four years, which reinforced I wasn’t doing what I loved. I started tattooing, did an apprenticeship for a year, but after that I ended up working in a gallery representing other peoples art… and that’s when it was really clear I was unhappy. Sitting there, representing other peoples work when it was my work I wanted to be focusing on. I ended up back in Saskatchewan in 2007… I ended up back home, and began painting. I painted some really beautiful work, and I remember thinking “This is it, this is what I have to do.” I met a really good teacher at that time, Paul Crepeau, who was working with my father. He was working on stop animation and I became his assistant, I was moving all these little chairs for a chair show. 2007 was the year I started to take my practice more seriously. I’m excited about painting again, and drawing.

Here let me show you this drawing… I was sitting in a board meeting and making little lines… little lines little lines little lines. And here [points to large drawing board], I haven’t worked that big yet. I guess as a maker I’ve always made smaller, more intimate pieces.

large line drawing

large line drawing

AL: Why do you think you’re working big? Are you trying to push yourself out of your usual realm?

LH: I think it will be a great challenge to transfer these ideas on a larger scale. I have this one idea to build a large braid. I’ve been really interested in land art, planting grass and letting that grass grow and manipulating it then just leaving it on the land. So a 20 foot long braid, four feet or five feet wide. I think it would be beautiful to leave it in the land, and let the elements and the earth to take care of it.

AL: You said you like working with your hands, but these larger projects seem like they will produce more bodily movements. Have your smaller pieces hindered the ability to have a wider scope of movements, a sort of interaction with the piece if you will?

LH: It’s a more kinetic approach to the work, relation to the material and environment. The small pieces are almost so internal, so intimate, there’s so much going into it, so it’s complex, almost overwhelming. Whereas the braid is larger but more simple, with beautiful moving lines and a certain technique.

AL: It seems with the smaller work it has very much been a reflection of yourself, and sometimes a darker part of your past. With these bigger works, maybe part of that physical movement is part of the process, which translates a kind of beauty, and the process ties into the end result your trying to achieve.

LH: It’s also a very basic material. It’s nice to have space and lots of materials to work with, but the grass is simpler. I still have an interest in doing more bronze casting though, my own molds, making my own objects, and found objects. I can’t see myself moving away completely from found objects.

AL: What’s so appealing about working with found objects?

LH: Oh… the history I believe. Their have their own unique history which conjures up playfulness in my imagination. It creates a dialogue from me to my environment. I love engaging with the world this way. Like these beveled frames with shell art in my Grandmother made, I’ll probably hold onto them. I’ve been really curious about these lenses I got from value village, I’ve been collecting these.

Grandmothers shell art

Grandmothers shell art

found lenses

found lenses

AL: Maybe your not exactly looking for an idea, but is that what found objects provide? They might provide a sudden starting point?

LH: Yes, they provide something that piques my curiosity.

AL: Do you realize an idea right when you start collecting? Or do you feel that the collecting is important and go with it till something surfaces?

LH: Being self-directed and intuitive as a maker, I trust that my inner knowing is onto something so then the collection and the gathering comes, and from that I become more informed about the process and how it will reveal itself. Definitely part of how I work is an intuitive approach. Right away I want to make this [the lens] into an abdomen, which goes back into the dolls and the wall box… so is that maybe an intelligence of my own body, of my own self? It’s telling of me; do I need to go back into something of my own body, or my own being?

AL: Yeah, are you “just creating things” or is your unconscious trying to tell yourself something?

LH: Yeah, that’s kind of the connection to the land art. How can I be separate from this? It’s coming from me, it’s through me, and it’s an extension of me. So if I create from that place of beauty, that’s going to transfer into the work, and that will influence the world. I like what you said about the land art: its very physical. I think it’s really important we take care of ourselves, that we’re taking care of our body by moving it, feeding it well, taking care of ourselves mentally, and that’s what appealing about the larger work, it’s another way of feeling balanced and whole.

AL: And that’s the balancing, moving to larger pieces. The past pieces of yours are smaller and are full of mentality, but the larger pieces move towards the unexplored realm of physicality.

LH: And it requires a refined technique to work with the land; to make the grid, grow the grass, to secure the grass, manipulate it… and I can’t do it alone.

AL: Look out everyone, Laura needs you for grass braiding.

LH: Yeah [laughs] I’ve already started hunting.

AL: It can be very hard to do some projects alone, knowing people and having that support is an important asset.

LH: My exposure to the EMMA conference has been quite formative for me as a maker. It’s a gathering of 100 artists who come together, from a global community, who make works in a collaborative way. A lot of the times my making is very private, and isolated. So working on this larger piece of land art is good for getting involved with other makers.


dotted rocks with backings

                      dotted rocks with backings

rocks in wax

                                      rocks in wax

LH: This is something I’ve been doing a lot of: painting rocks. I meant to make earrings but I just kept going, they look really nice mounted in wax. This began with a daily walk, and looking for the perfect round rock for an earring. I get kind of manic in some of my processes, so I collected like thousands of round rocks, and smoothed them on a lapidary wheel, and started fastening little backings onto them, and then they led to a little series of mounted rocks and framed.

AL: This is very meditative.

LH: Yes, it is, I loved that. A lot of repetition. When I first started playing with dots on the rocks, we were at a little mini collaborative stonehouse on the Old Man River in Alberta, and I said, “I could do this forever.” And my Dad’s like, “No you couldn’t! You couldn’t survive off of dotting rocks for the rest of your life!” But it was just the meditative quality of it, how fulfilling it is to have that connection to the object, and to just be content. I have my purpose here, just to dot rocks! From here I can visualize a whole beach with dot rocks shoreline, but from here I need many hands, a hundred people.

This idea of doing residencies are really appealing to me; I would like to continue to foster my practice with people who want to work cooperatively and collectively, and to do some really beautiful projects that bring joy into this world.

dotted rocks on wood, framed

dotted rocks on wood, framed


Laura is curating pieces for a collaborative art project for Burning Man 2015. Here is the information to get involved.

Burning man Sask-Playa info


IN THE MAKING at College Art Galleries, U of S Campus

In this next segment of 3 Gallery Shows You Need to See in YXE we are looking at In the Making at the College Art Galleries.

In my opinion, the College Art Galleries (located in the ground floor and 1st floor of the Admin Building on the U of S campus) have repeatedly and secretly been the best gallery shows in Saskatoon. Strangely, the College Galleries are often overlooked by the general public. If you appreciate art, In the Making needs to be seen.

Organized by Alberta College of Art + Design as an alumni show, the curator Diana Sherlock took a different approach. Rather than a broad survey of ACAD alumni, Sherlock looked at artists that have practices where their craft is merging with digital media/ technology. As an artist, I think about this all the time: is what I’m doing completely outdated? Should I be using technology to assist my process and/or be tied to the product? Does using technology (over completely handmade/ analogue) affect the worth of art? All of this is completely relevant and pretty interesting. Despite these art philosophy questions I ask myself, there are some really beautiful and intriguing work to check out.

Upon entering the lower gallery you are greeted with Dean Drever’s “Pass the Hat” which is a stack of laser cut papers to resemble a totem. To my recollection of Diana Sherlock’s curator talk, Dean Drever first made the totem out of wood, 3D photographed it and entered that data into the program that laser cut thousands of individual pieces of paper that were stacked to create this piece.


Along the wall on a shelf you’ll see a 10 piece china set Handle Series by Jenna Stanton. These were created by a 3D printed cast with the lips / edging hand finished. These porcelain vessels look perfectly made by a combination of machine and human hand.


Perhaps the most visually captivating sculpture is Brendan McGillicuddy’s Overtone. McGillicuddy designed this work using computer modelling software with the intent of using CNC machinery to mechanically produce it, but found that the machine couldn’t make it to his finishing standards. So he hand milled it, which is pretty amazing (I also like the custom made base that it rests on)


There’s a small room in the back of the gallery with a blue lit globe of liquid, Here in this room is a bit of fun. The dark room with the blue light gives a cool ambient mood and you’ll soon discover that the globe reacts to sound. Every sound made in the room is echoed in the globe by bubbles in the liquid. While I was viewing it, there were small children having a blast clapping, talking fast and yodelling to the globe. One creative boy laid under the globe and stared straight into it explaining that he felt like he was being abducted by aliens! Make sure you break typical gallery conduct and have some fun interactions with this piece.


I was captivated with a picture that appeared to look like a modern minimalist painting on a super glossy finish. The edges of the white lines in the work were intriguing to me. No wonder, it wasn’t a painting but photo.


^Ward Bastian was a glass blower that used photography to document his work. He fell for the images he made and began to create special glass works for the purpose of his photography practice. What you see here is Highlights 02 which is light reflecting off of black glass in a black room. Pretty cool stuff.

Many of the works in this show beg you to ask, “is the process more important than the product?”
For most of these works the products are amazing and by learning about the process they gain additional worth. There are some in this exhibition that are process driven.

For instance, the work of Hyang Cho. Hyang Cho listened to audio English translated version of Franz Kafka’s The Trial. And what a trial! While listening to the audio-book she attempted to transcribe it word for word on a giant scroll of Stonehenge paper until she ran out of room (over 6 times!). Hyang Cho tested herself in a performance aspect to become machine-like herself. Though maddening to think about attempting a task like this, there’s something interesting looking at her work compared to the original German version of the book. Does this serve as a document of her recollection of the book and how much is lost from the original version through translating, listening, transcribing.

It’s difficult to see this from the picture, but the writing is interesting. She kept straight and neat but lots of it is illegible and a form of shorthand. It’s also super long.

I’ve only gone through a few of my favorites. There are still 2/3 of the exhibition worth discovering for yourself.
Up until April 11th, In the Making is a show that you can’t miss!

“Self Same” Maia Stark’s MFA show

Maia Stark has had her MFA show “Self Same” up at the Snelgrove Gallery AND TODAY IS YOUR LAST CHANCE TO CHECK IT OUT IN PERSON!!
but I guess if you can’t see it live you can at least read about it online.


I’ve had a bit of an obsession with pink lately (or the last year!) so I was excited when I walked into the gallery to see this.


A huge pink title wall!!
What’s with pink? It’s a crazy color. It’s more than being girlie, pink is extreme on the eye. It’s really GROSS and that’s why I like it!
So from this pink wall, I was intrigued “is there something gross in this exhibit??” (more of this later on)

Maia’s exhibit is dominated by some large oil paintings with some smaller mixed media and drawings.

You’ll probably find this out, but I’ll just say it: Maia is a twin. She has a twin sister that I often confuse with her, Cassandra.

How do you feel about twins? Some people are a bit freaked out by them, some might think they are weird or perhaps even tricksters. As a non-twins, they are a bit of a mystery. I’ve read psychology studies that have spoken about mental connections between twins. They’ve been known to share physical symptoms as well as each others depression and pain. Society through the ages have shared my fascination with twins. There’s myths and stories regarding twins in many cultures.

Maia is looking at her personal story of being a twin with some mythology mixed in.


Light boxes are cool. Maia has a series of three layered drawings that are quite beautiful. I love looking through the layers and appreciating the nuances.


While most of her work includes two people. Maia has some photographic work that duplicates herself and in another combines her and her sister through collage. Her double exposure photo is really cool, with two heads mind merging. Her collage has Maia creating hybrids of herself and her sister by collaging pieces of the their faces together.

IMG_2238 IMG_2239

Ok, so back to me wondering if there was anything gross in the exhibition. There is some cryptic gross elements to some of Maia’s painting. There seems to be a reoccurring skin condition in most of them. I’m intrigued and would like to know why!


Why are we fascinated with twins? I think non-twins are really missing out. With the risk of sounding cheezy they have a “soul friend” that have a deeper understanding of each other than anyone else. A twin without a twin feels so alone… is that the way I feel all the time?


Make sure to come visit the Snelgrove tonight for Maia’s reception! 7-9 with drinks and snacks.
We can talk about twins and stuff!

Pamela Ollenberger’s “Many Feathers Flock Together: A Celebration of T-Bird”

This week at the Snelgrove is Pam Ollenberger’s MFA show “Many Feathers Flock Together”

Her work is a reflection and celebration of fond memories when Pam worked as a camp counselor at Camp Thunderbird, a camp for adults with intellectual disabilities.

Pam’s show looks awesome in the gallery. Her paintings are massive, colorful explorations of memory, where Pam uses a lot of different painting materials and techniques. With the lights being dim and calm the bright crayola colors seem to glow and jump out of her paintings. Each painting also has a sophisticated black frame. I don’t know if it was just me, but I really noticed the gallery floor during Pam’s exhibition. It could have been freshly waxed and buffed, but the bright rich colors of Pam’s paintings spilled out and reflected onto and activated the floor of the gallery.


Pam’s paintings gave me a load of feelings of childhood nostalgia. I went back to my own memories of summer camps as a kid. Allow me to reflect, summer camps are something sincerely special. The week (or two week) span of a summer camps feels as if it’s something SO EPIC. I remember coming out of summer camp and feeling like it was a month or two because the experiences were so rich and concentrated. Friendships were made, crushes formed, lessons learned, and camp counselors were always heroes. OK reflection over, sorry If you didn’t do summer camps as a kid.


My favorite paintings of Pam’s were here photo-transfer / painting collages.
The source imagery for these if pretty neat. Pam gave out disposable cameras to campers to document their day as they want you to see it. Her massive paintings look at little like a Rauschenberg without the pop culture imagery. There’s a lot going on in them so you can spend some time exploring the imagery. Pam also has painted over areas both additively and reductively.


Many of Pam’s paintings have recognizable elements with hints of an inner story. I’m sure that they have loads of meaning once dissected, or with Pam’s help.


Come down to the Snelgrove to see Pam’s massive paintings for yourself!
ORRR come for a drink and snacks at the reception Friday evening! Cya at the Snelgrove

This week at the Snelgrove: Raene Poisson, Kayla Prive and Kendall Brandt

3 more BFA shows are up at the Snelgrove this week, all very different from one another.

Raene Poisson’s “Clouds N’ Shit”

Oh Saskatchewan. A place where flat prairie horizons are engulfed by the massive sky. There’s sky evvvvvveryyyyyywheeeeeeere.
Sometimes there’s clouds and most of us like to watch them. While watching clouds roll over the prairie, it can be fun to imagine the clouds as animals and shapes. Raene Poisson definitely likes to to watch the clouds. She’s taken a slight departure from the usual prairie landscape painter and painted exaggerated, imaginative, fantasy clouds in big vivid colors. Her clouds are big purple monsters, pink sheets and shape shifting bubbling goop.

Raene has an interesting approach to color in her paintings. Her skies are usually dark and slightly ominous, sometimes with streaks of bright sun breaking through the darkness. She has a thing for purples and pinks in her clouds that really makes them stand out in the dark skies. Then there’s the gold accents and metallic interference gels that really capture and move light through her paintings.

What are these about? Is there a message in her use of colors? Maybe they’re about imagination (clouds) and hope (sunlight) as they push through the despairing dark skies. .. Or maybe it’s Raene just playing around making Clouds N’ Shit.



^this one has a Schnabel feel to it as she glued on broken cups and plates to the surface.


Kayle Prive’s “A Look and a Listen”

Music and Art have been Kayla’s companions since her early childhood memories of listening to music with her crayola crayons. Kayla’s show merges music with visual art as she has created multi-media works of art that accompany specific songs. She’s even included a handful of mp3 players for gallery goers to listen to the songs as they explore her artworks.Some of her paintings are very literal, others take some teasing out.
Her memories of crayola are evident in her handling of color. Kayla’s show is an explosion of color that made me want to taste the rainbow and have a candy fix (conveniently, she included cotton-candy lollipops for the taking beside her guest book). Her paintings look like surreal, bubblegum pop, illustrations that are laden with symbols. I felt a bit of 70’s nostalgia, as I was reminded of trippy concert posters and The Beatles Yellow Submarine music video. Kayla might be an inner flower child. Kayla show has a lot of experimentation with media as he mixes in numerous objects and peculiar materials into her portrait scenes.





Kendall Brandt’s “Assemblage”

Kendall’s Brandt has an interesting painting/drawing BFA show that sticks out from the other two shows in the Snelgrove. Kendall’s work isn’t light and easy, and he’s using a more subdued natural palette.

Kendall has paintings and drawings of bodies and people emerging from or disappearing into a fog. Some details in his paintings are beautiful, lush and crisp while other parts are hazy and unfocused. There’s a huge feeling of unknown and a tinge of angst as the figures blur and disappear into their surroundings. It’s hard discerning what is going on because they are strange scenes of certain beauty but also some potent ugliness. Is he trying to mess with us? His figuration is really well done and pleasing to see and then he blurs them, has them disappear, or has them do something strange that makes you question yourself and how you are reading the image.

Then amongst these strange scenes there’s a painting of a cow. What’s that all about? With all of the states of human bodies and random body parts is Kendall addressing existence and mortality. In the long run, are we just bodies after our consciousness enters the fog of unknown.
Ask Kendall about it, and don’t be deceived by his funny nonchalance.






Come by the Snelgrove to check these shows out. The closing reception is Friday from 7-10!


Samantha Braun, Lesley Kerpan, Rhea Lonsdale and Laurissa Nagel at the Snelgorve

This week the Snelgrove Gallery is packed showing 4 BFA students’ exhibitions!

We’ll start with Samantha Braun’s show “Facade”

I don’t know if this is a regular thing that people do but me and my partner go for walks in desirable neighborhoods and talk about houses. We look at them as if they have a personality. It’s like people watching. Some are cozy and cute, others serious, some are bland, others are whacky. We revel in roofs and eaves-troughs, windows and porches, accents and foliage. Samantha must do this too, because she sees her houses as personalities.


For her show, Samantha has painted a series of small house portraits combined with a wall mounted sculpture of the front of a house. Samantha hints at her subject matter with her title. Facade is not only the word for the front of a house but also how people can put on an act, or appearance. Samantha’s show is both of these meanings. The facade of a house is also like a mask – it’s an appearance to the public, a communication that people respond. In a way when we paint a portrait of a person they are putting on a facade. Is their facial expression/ pose of friendly, elegant, melancholic? When I look at Samantha’s house paintings I think about what kind of person they are, but also who would own the house -because houses can be like dogs, reflecting their owners.

Samantha paints freely and expressively despite their small size. By the most part they are colorful characters with group of seven-esque foliage accents. I particularly enjoy the mix of paint application. Some of her painting is thick and sloppy, sometimes precise, and in some joyful instances so thin that you can see the contrasting under-painting.



Nest up is Lesley Kerpan’s “Slight Alterations”

Lesley Kerpan is interested in architecture and abstraction. For her multimedia show Lesley takes local and international architectural and slightly alters them to create a reimagined place. Lesley’s show is dominated by three large primary colour paintings. These are her most abstract, as she hints at the buildings architectural features with vague suggestive mark making. The buildings seem to have been once there but washed away from the colored surface, all that is left is memory, dust, and shadows.



Lesley also has some interesting small works in between her larger paintings. At first appearance they seem to be video stills set into a deep frame. Looking at these local photos you realize peculiarly that inside each there is something moving inside while the rest remains still. Something about this felt ghostlike and creepy.


Finally Lesley has a few digital paintings that appear velvety. Both are of local places re-imagined and distorted. I liked her choice to do these in black and white, because they had me contemplating memory and losing/distorting memories with time. Leslie created a neat 3D effect by cutting out areas of these and placing them behind or in front of the rest of the picture plane that is best appreciated in person.

Next up is Laurissa Nagel’s show “Men at Work”

Laurissa is a female artist that likes to paint/draw men. In her show, “Men at Work” she analyzes male roles. Laurissa grew up in a small town and since arriving in Saskatoon was shocked at her changing perception of masculinity. Her previous town being a traditional homogenized community of the archetypal man to living in Saskatoon encountering metro-sexuals, stay at home dads, and gay communities. Laurissa’s work looks at a variety of male roles using black and white printmaking that appear to look like charcoal drawings.


Finally, Rhea Lonsdale’s installation “Collator”

I really love Rhea’s installation. She has a intricate paper cuts that remind me of Ben Hettinga or Ed Pien combined with Jennifer Steinkamp but with an element of interaction. Let me explain: the wall of her paper cut mandala is back projected that is responding to movement inside her space. She has a cleverly hidden webcam that with her programming changes the projection/pattern behind the paper-cut screen depending on activity.

The mandala is beautiful and mesmerizing as you stare into it and it shifts kaleidoscopically with you. To either sides of her  installation room are screens with paper-cuts over top of them. The screens are distorted enough that they are familiar yet not exactly sure what is going on. It’s beauty amidst technology. The roof is also nice. She has what seems to be a massive tarp with cuts out of it.

Rhea’s work reminds me of something mystical crossed with technological with elements of psychedelia. I often get easily fatigued when looking at new media video/computer works, yet hers has a delicacy that is lovely. It’s a nice little quiet space inside the Snelgrove that you appreciate greater with the more you interact with the space. I only wish it was more and bigger.


Aralia Maxwell’s “Invented Memory” at La Scala Gallery

Have your heard of La Scala Gallery? It’s an independent student run gallery located a stairwell in the Murray Art building. It’s not an incredible space, the walls are dented and poorly patched, the walls seem yellowish; but it is a good place for art students to put up their work for people to see. Aralia Maxwell transforms the La Scala Gallery stairwell into a beautiful space with her “Invented Memory” show. Aralia’s show deals with personal memory and how it changes, fades and distorts with time. Have you looked at photographs of yourself as documentation and have been unsettled at forgetting the memory altogether? Growing up Aralia had photographs that she thought were of her, but were actually of her mother. She kept the photos believing they were of her and created a made up narrative only to find out later that it was a false memory. There’s a weird space of familiarity in forgotten and invented memory. She uses old photographs of her herself and her family, mostly on her unchanged family farmstead, and changes and distorts them. Have you ever pulled off the first layer of an old Polaroid to make the colors warped or seen old 70’s film that was developed wrong? Aralia’s paintings look like that..or an old memory coupled with an acid flashback. Either way they are striking. Image ImageImageImage Image There’s more! Come check out Aralia Maxwell’s work at La Scala. It’s in the stairwell beside the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery in the Murray Art Building on Campus. It should be up for another week 🙂