January 5 - February 24, 2019
Opening Reception: January 11, 7-9pm
What do you think about when you enter a hospital? Are you here as a visitor, a health care provider, or as a patient?
Albertan artists Edward Bader and Peter Greendale, John Freeman, Megan Morman, and Isabel Porto unite in Those Who Wander to create a reprieve from whatever it is that brings you into the hospital. The artists draw on the viewer’s ability to connect places and things with their imagination. Shown as a group, the artworks create a contemplative space where viewers are encouraged to reflect on how they see and connect to their surroundings.
Bader and Greendale’s collaborative project transports viewers to unique places in Alberta by capturing Albertan culture in collages and photographs. Bader’s collages depicting North-western Alberta create a conversation with Greendale’s photographs of South-western Alberta on the contrasts and differences between the two distinct regions. While Bader and Greendale’s artwork transports viewers to different areas of Alberta, Freeman draws viewers into an intimate and calming reprieve with his still lifes of flowers. Freeman’s photographs of floral arrangements are what Ray Eames would call “visual dessert” – they coax viewers to study the distinct colours, shapes, and textures of the blooms. In contrast to the reflective relationship developed in Freeman’s work, Morman’s photographs depict objects in disharmony to each other, eliciting feelings of uneasiness in the viewer. Morman’s intentions through their images of personal disasters are to challenge viewers to find new ways of coping in uneasy and stressful situations. The feelings of unease found in Morman’s work may find an outlet through Porto’s interactive ‘walking window’ project, as it focuses on the healing nature of art. Porto’s interactive drawings invite viewers to engage with and reflect on their surroundings by collaboratively contributing to the project. It causes viewers to become more aware of the environment around them and release their feelings through the art making practise.
Whatever it was that was on your mind when you entered the hospital and brought you into the building, it is given a place to rest between the artists meditative artworks. Viewers have the opportunity to wander between the different perspectives presented by each artist and find meaning from the fleeting moments that are captured in the images on the walls.
Julie-Ann Mercer, 2018. Julie-Ann Mercer is a writer based in Edmonton, Alberta, and has a MA in the History of Art, Design and Visual Culture.