The view from here: Selections from the SFU Art Collection. Installation documentation, SFU Gallery, 2021. Photos: Rachel Topham Photography.

The view from here: Selections from the SFU Art Collection

September 14 – February 25, 2021
SFU Gallery

Rebecca Belmore / Allyson Clay / Brady Cranfield and Kathy Slade / Michael de Courcy / Christos Dikeakos / Sandra Hanson / Arni Haraldsson / Corita Kent / lessLIE / Samuel Roy-Bois / Jack Shadbolt / Kathryn Walter / Jin-me Yoon / Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Lets’lo:tseltun

The view from here presents works from the SFU Art Collection that survey destructive systems of land possession guided by capital and the lives enmeshed within. With artworks spanning five decades, this selection demonstrates an ongoing call to reimagine what is experienced and to reestablish what it means to be in place.     

This exhibition, which includes many recent acquisitions, draws on an ongoing critique of urban development and resource extraction in the region known as British Columbia. The selected works challenge the recognition of landscapes viewed from a distance as the predominant connection to place. Questions of belonging emerge alongside the vulnerability of estrangement as effected by the continued impacts of settler colonialism and the ensuing ecological crisis. What lies beyond the city, the surrounding environment, its past and its future? How does the built environment position our views and mediate experiences? And, what does resistance do to politics? The view from here is a matter of perspective, encouraging one that is relational over receding where a sense of place is inseparable from community.

The specificities of our contemporary moment have deepened inequalities of wealth and power, where violence against the earth is accepted and normalized; where development leads to displacement and extraction leads to erasure. These artworks reflect on the shared sacrifices of bodies and land at the expense of a capitalist economy and the critical importance of embracing an ethos of sustainability.

Rebecca Belmore is an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist of Anishinaabe descent, and a member of the Lac Seul First Nation. Rooted in the socio-political realities of Indigenous communities, Belmore’s works make evocative connections between bodies, land, and language. Belmore has received the Jack and Doris Shadbolt Foundation’s VIVA Award (2004), the Hnatyshyn Visual Arts Award (2009), the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2013), and the Gershon Iskowitz Prize (2016). She is the recipient of honourary doctorates from OCAD University (2005), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2018), and NSCAD University (2019).

Allyson Clay is based in Vancouver and has been a Visual Arts faculty member at SFU since 1988. Her work has been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally. Her work includes photography, painting and text and can be characterized as an ongoing attempt to synthesize the complex ideologies of feminism and painting. Clay’s work also evidences her concern with urban spaces, female subjectivity and repositories of knowledge. Clay’s work is in many Canadian and international public and private collections such as the Art Gallery of Ontario; Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Banff Centre; and Art Gallery of Windsor.

Brady Cranfield is an artist, musician and instructor based in Vancouver. His visual work is often concerned with sound and music. He also collaborates with artist Jamie Hilder on projects related to the politics and culture of global capitalism. His work has been presented at Or Gallery, Western Front, Contemporary Art Gallery, Audain Gallery, Charles H Scott Gallery and Artspeak in Vancouver. He holds a BFA, MFA, and MA from SFU. He is also a member of the bands Womankind and Leviathans.

Michael de Courcy is a Vancouver based artist. In the late 1960s, de Courcy was a core member of the Vancouver artists collective known as the Intermedia Society, whose influence was felt widely across Canada and beyond. De Courcy has made a significant contribution to Vancouver and Canadian art communities. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and is represented in many public and private collections, including those of the Vancouver Art Gallery and the National Gallery of Canada.

Christos Dikeakos was born in Thessaloniki, Greece. Since the late 60’s he has played an important role in the development of conceptual photography in Vancouver. His 1980s and 1990s photographic projects Sites and Place Names in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Athens and Berlin engage in the archaeological and the topographical interests of urban typologies. These pictures take on a recuperative historical role within contemporary urban habitations, grappling with the troubled imperialistic European legacies and settler colonialism.

Sandra Hanson is a designer and cross-disciplinary artist born and raised in North Vancouver. Her works, though varied in form from photographic, painted, and assembled pieces, share a common purpose: to process, re-imagine or reconcile, a subject or condition that is simply “not right”. She studied at The School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.

Arni Haraldsson was born in Reykjavik, Iceland. After completing secondary school in Ontario he moved to Vancouver and enrolled at Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECUAD), graduating in 1983. Haraldsson served as Director and Curator of the Or Gallery in the mid-1980s and as West Coast Contributing Editor to C Magazine before completing his MFA at UBC in 1990. He has been an Associate Professor in Photography at ECUAD since the early 2000s. His photographic work has been exhibited and collected internationally.

Corita Kent (1918–1986) was an artist, educator, and advocate for social justice. Her work evolved from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics, biblical verses, and literature. Throughout the 1960s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice. She remained active in political causes until her death in 1986. At the time of her passing, she had created almost 800 serigraph editions, thousands of watercolours, and innumerable public and private commissions.

lessLIE is a Coast Salish artist. Born Leslie Robert Sam, he decolonized his name to lessLIE in reference to the deception and betrayal that Indigenous Peoples face as a result of ongoing colonization. lessLIE holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in First Nations Studies from Malaspina University-College and is pursuing a Master of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Victoria. lessLIE has shown nationally and internationally and his works can be found in the collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the Westfälisches Museum für Naturkunde (Münster, Germany).

Samuel Roy-Bois is widely recognized for his large-scale installations and interdisciplinary practice exploring the complex dynamics defining our relationships to the built environment. His work, which includes sculpture, installation, performance, photography, drawing and writing, explores the role of objects in sensemaking. His practice is broad, but finds inspiration mostly in the everyday, the history of architecture, the critique of modes of cultural production and the pure pleasure of making. Roy-Bois has an MFA Degree in Studio Arts from Concordia University (Montréal) and a BFA from Université Laval, (Quebec city). His work has been shown at numerous galleries within Canada and internationally.

Jack Shadbolt is best known for his paintings and murals which reflect his travels and experiences including his childhood in British Columbia, his studies in London, Paris and New York, and his work as a war artist during World War II. Shadbolt’s work was influenced by the natural world, including the cycles of life and death, growth, decay and destruction; ideas of metamorphosis and transformation; fetishes and homages; as well as Indigenous themes and motifs. Shadbolt received the Order of Canada in 1972.

Kathy Slade is based in Vancouver and works across disciplines in a variety of media including textiles, sculpture, sound, performance, film, video, print, and publication. Her work points to moments and events in literature, art history and popular culture from which to reimagine temporalities and existing texts, to create looping structures and to produce remakes that play on repetition and the doublet of original and copy. Her work has been shown at Kunstverein Braunschschweig (Braunschweig, Germany); Surrey Art Gallery; Morris and Helen Belkin Gallery (Vancouver); Fluc (Vienna); Cullinan Richards project space 4COSE (London, UK); Galerie Au 8 rue saint bon (Paris); and Malaspina Printmakers (Vancouver).

Kathryn Walter has maintained a studio practice since 1989, beginning in Vancouver where her critique of the city’s rampant development was influenced by text-based art of the time. She then lived in Montréal where she completed an MFA and returned to her hometown Toronto in the mid-90s. In 2000 she founded FELT, a company inspired by her family’s history in the felt industry, and has since worked with manufactured felts, focusing on interior installations, collaborating with architects and interior designers across North America. In 2019, she received the Allied Arts Medal awarded by the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC).

Jin-me Yoon lives in Vancouver and has been a visual arts faculty member at SFU since 1992. She is a locally, nationally, and internationally recognized artist who has been a critical voice in the development of a discourse around identity in visual art practices. She received her BA from the University of British Columbia in 1985, her BFA from Emily Carr College of Art in 1990, and her MFA from Concordia University in 1992. In 2009, she was nominated for the Grange Prize; her art has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Art Gallery, as well as internationally.

Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Lets’lo:tseltun is a Vancouver based artist that has been practicing for over three decades and is a member of the Cowichan and Syilx First Nations. He graduated from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design. His work has been included in local, national and international group and solo exhibitions, including at UBC’s Museum of Anthropology (2016) and at the National Gallery of Canada (2013). Yuxweluptun Lets’lo:tseltun has been awarded the Jack and Doris Shadbolt VIVA Award (1998), and a Fellowship at the Eitelijorg Musem of American Indians and Western Art in Indianapolis (2013), where his work was featured in an exhibition and book and acquired for the museum’s permanent collection. His works are held in national public collections.

All books on display are kindly supplied by SFU Library

Curated by Karina Irvine

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