17 | 16 | 15 | 14 | 13 | 12 | 11 | 10 | 09 | 08 | 07 | 06 | 05 | Prev
September 8 to October 7, 2017

ruins and reclamation

Daniel Laskarin

Daniel Laskarin is a sculptor and educator working out of Victoria BC. After a career as a helicopter pilot/engineer, Laskarin turned to fine art, completing an MFA at UCLA in 1991. His work reflects his experiences in the aviation industry: combining industrial forms with elements of minimalist sculpture, material exploration and the lyrical sensibility of visual metaphor. Laskarin describes his work as means for thinking through the world, a process by which he might give sensory experience to consciousness. Objects and materials, combined and manipulated, form things that find their own order in a condition of disorder and yet refuse that which orders everything. Independent materials congeal to create an interdependent network, resulting in unique forms that generate a complex and shifting subjective experience.

His diverse media incorporates photography and video, optics, robotics systems, installation and sound. He has been involved with set design, public image projections and large-scale public commissions in Vancouver and Seattle. He has exhibited in Canada and internationally, and teaches at the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Victoria in Western Canada.
July 28 to August 26, 2017

Dark Sand Asks Why You Talk So Fast

Megan Hepburn

When you ask the painting “What do you want?” you are not asking, “What colour do you want right now, next to this one?” (Although you might think you are.) I asked this question, and this is what the paintings answered:

We want to tell you about a dream where we can lie on the rocks, in a place where there may be ravens, and a sailboat. We might be in the rain in a boat, or a bathtub in the ocean. We want to be a lighthouse in the storm, to ride the waves, and to send signals to the circle. We may keep fires burning so you know there are others out there. We will protect what is dormant, let it fallow, germinate and rest. We want to talk to Picasso in Morocco, to feel the sun, to speak in french with the other dancers and not have any worries. To be mad. To transcend time.

In this work I am exploring a conception of meaning that ties back to Matisse, and the disconnection of meaning inherent in materials or concepts. He said, “In my way of painting, yellow does not mean sun, and blue does not mean sky.” This is obvious and very simple, but it describes a separation from representational thinking—even in its early modern stages where painters are still ultimately painting tableaux. I'm trying to pull this all apart, I want to be able to move on from Matisse, but I'm finding it hard. One hundred years is in fact not that long. I'm still questioning how paintings currently relate to any systems of meaning at all, aside from the economic ones. The ways they make meaning are multiple, and not only circumstantial.

The paintings in Dark Sand Asks Why You Talk So Fast are an ungainly choir, all with distinct parts. I have been interested in using brushes that are too small for the amount of canvas they are meant to cover (at least in modern terms). This constraint allows for little dexterity and detail, or any ease of action or gesture. Using too-small brushes feels more like scribbling or drawing than painting. It's the exact wrong amount of detail orientation, like reading the news on your phone. The choir sings from across a gulf. Some of them mumble, some hum. Their voices vary from soft and low to hysterical. Speaking isn't easy for them. Listening comes naturally.

– Megan Hepburn, July 2017

Megan Hepburn received her MFA from Concordia University in 2010 and BFA from Emily Carr University in 2005. She was shortlisted for the RBC Painting Competition in 2015 and 2010 and won the Joseph Plaskett Award in Painting in 2010. Hepburn's work has been exhibited across Canada and in Europe since 2006, and published in journals including The Capilano Review, AAB and The Benefit of Friends Collected. Recent exhibitions include A Terrible Signal at Access Gallery in Vancouver and Painting Enquiry at the Salzburg International Summer Academy of Fine Arts, Austria. She is currently based in Vancouver, Canada.

People People, Megan Hepburn, 2017, oil on canvas, 20x26".
June 24 to July 22, 2017

Unmade Spaces

Thomas Draschan
Dana Berman Duff
Zachary Epcar
Janis Crystal Lipzin
Klaus Pamminger

A media installation comprising five pieces that investigate concepts of environmental psychology and socio-architecture, Unmade Spaces uses a variety of media, techniques and scales to refute determinism and reclaim bodily experience in the built environment.

Thomas Draschan studied at the Academie of Fine Arts in Frankfurt and at Cooper Union in New York. He works with video, film and collage. The re-combination of existing images into a new, condensed and enriched form is one of his main concerns. Draschan has exhibited widely in Europe and USA since 1998, and has been the recipient of numerous awards for his films, which include documentaries on Viennese Actionist Herman Nitsch and music videos for New Order.

Dana Berman Duff lives and works in Los Angeles and Mexico. Her object works are included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art (NYC), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (NYC), the Phillips Collection (DC), Brooklyn Museum (NYC), the Carnegie Museum (Pittsburg) and numerous private collections. Her works in small-format film and video have been screened at Toronto International Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Biennale de l'Image en Mouvement (Geneva), EXiS Experimental Film Festival (Seoul), South London Gallery, Northwest Film Forum, (Seattle) and other programs. Duff is a professor at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Zachary Epcar is a film and video maker based in Oakland, California. His work has shown at the New York Film Festival – Projections, Ann Arbor Film Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque’s Crossroads, Les Rencontres Internationales Paris/ Berlin, Images Festival and Rotterdam, Edinburgh and San Francisco International Film Festivals. Epcar is co-organizer/co-programmer of Light Field.

Janis Crystal Lipzin studied painting and photography at Ohio and New York Universities and received her MFA in Film from the San Francisco Art Institute. She taught Film and Interdisciplinary studies at the San Francisco Art Institute from 1978 to 2009, where she served as Chair of the Film Department, and before that directed the Film/Photo Program at Antioch College. Lipzin's film and photo works have been featured in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum, Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, Centre Pompidou, Berkeley Art Museum, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art and Kunstmuseum Bern. She has been the receipient of three Fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, purchase awards from the Carnegie Museum of Art, Rene di Rosa Foundation and Kramlich Collection.

Klaus Pamminger is an Austrian artist and film-colourist living in Vienna. His artistic practice includes photography, film and sculpture across different media which often converge in sculptural installations. A key theme of his work is the exploration of space as both architectural and social dimension — spatial and temporal reference levels merging into each other.

Top to bottom:
Wotruba, Thomas Draschan, 2014, 6:00
Catalogue Vol. 2, Dana Berman Duff, 2015, 8:44
Return to Forms, Zachary Epcar, 2016, 10:00
De Luce 2: Architectura, Janis Crystal Lipzin, 2013, 8:30
Notes on Mackey, Klaus Pamminger, 2015, 3:44
March 24 to April 22, 2017

Birds of Paradise

Lauren Marsden

Birds of Paradise is a video installation that tells the story of a near-future, post-energy crisis world, one in which pole dancers become symbols of the human struggle for resources. Set amidst a series of energetic landscapes, dreamy narration and kinetic props, their performances point to a seductive yet frustrated vision of paradise. This work features performances by Sydney Southam, Jiles Barrett and Leiah Engel, narration by Pia Shandel, costume design by Megan Veaudry and additional aerial footage by Robert Krogh. Co-produced by Sydney Southam and Justin Muir. Directed, filmed and edited by Lauren Marsden.

Lauren Marsden is an artist, teacher and editor based in Vancouver, BC. She produces films, performances and GIFs that are developed collaboratively with a range of professionals and performers. She has recently exhibited her work at CSA Space in Vancouver, The New Media Gallery in New Westminster, Alice Yard in Port-of-Spain and the Trinidad + Tobago Film Festival. In 2015 she was a Visiting Tutor and Artist-in-Residence at Quest University and she currently teaches Video Art at the University of Victoria. She is also the Founder and Editor of Decoy Magazine, a Vancouver-based publication of art and writing.
Lauren Marsden, Birds of Paradise (production stills), 2017.
February 3 to March 4, 2017

Everything is Being Perfected

Neil McClelland

My current body of paintings explores tensions between utopic and dystopic visions. I inquire into notions of human happiness and perfectibility, the creation of Edenic paradises, disruption and dissolution of society, alienation and consumption, nature and culture, the monstrous and the beautiful, myth-making and storytelling. I am especially drawn to the title of Paul Gauguin’s painting "Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going?" as evoking crucial questions for contemporary examination. I take imagery and inspiration from literature and film, along with art historical, historical, contemporary and personal sources. Drawing on an array of source material, I create combinations and layers of digitally edited compositions that form the basis for beginning a painting in oil. Using the qualities and possibilities of paint, I seek to convey a visceral sense of place and time to suggest what is simultaneously familiar but strange. Fragments of the real and unreal merge to create possible futures that have potential to evoke the dangers inherent in thinking that human ingenuity and technology can create a perfect society, but that might also hint at possibilities of a new beginning. I see my painting process as a form of inquiry in which I am attempting to grasp and create a sense of the utopic and dystopic contradictions that pervade our lives at this time. My narratives are ambiguous and open, leaving the viewer to create their own story and meaning. Merging fragments of the present, the past, and an imagined future I hope to create a fictitious world, a “no place” but one in which we might find something of ourselves and our world. 

Neil McClelland is a Canadian artist originally from Quebec and currently located in Victoria, British Columbia. He received his MFA from the University of Victoria in 2014 and is a 2016 Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation grantee. He has exhibited in artist-run, public and commercial galleries across Canada and teaches at Vancouver Island School of Art and sessionally at the University of Victoria. In his paintings, McClelland frequently engages with art historical conventions and traditions, intentionally disrupting their boundaries as he seeks to understand their meaning in an increasingly mediated and troubled world. 

Neil McClelland wishes to thank The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation for its financial support.

Times Colonist Article