Announcing the opening of Clouds — a group exhibition
Opening Night Reception, Thursday, 23 March (7 – 9 pm) at Cityscape Art Space in North Vancouver (235 Lonsdale) — featuring fifty-one artists interpreting clouds in a variety of media that range from beadwork to photography.
Among the many cloud musings is my spontaneous iPhone capture of sunburst lighting up clouds on Chesterman Beach/Tofino, one of those rare moments when the drama of light obscured colour to show the contrast between rain and surf.
Clouds will be on show at Cityscapes Community Art Space through 22 April.
Chesterman Beach (iPhone image)
Another sketchbook is on the way to the Brooklyn Art Libary for the 2017 Sketchbook Project. Three streams of consciousness merge: hybrid monsters (real, imagined and augmented), an assortment of owls (scowl owls, wise owls and stylized) hidden and tucked into unlikely compositional elements and sketches of freeform climbers traversing, ascending and building stamina. Exhibition and touring details will be announced shortly. Nightmares — monsters, owls, and bouldering will soon be on view online; until then, nine digitized sketchbooks can be viewed here.
Artists by nature are not hard-wired to boost, promote, or sell their work. Buyers usually want to know more about the works that attract their attention and perhaps purchase. That more can be the backstory, the technique or inspiration, and it is often said that it is not the work that is sold but the story that is bought. For some artists, that conversation is difficult. In my own artist practice, all of this is the case. If I could bring that story to life in conversation, there would be no need for me to make a drawing, photograph, artist book or ceramic sculpture. I came to value (and now miss dearly) art school critiques because I learned how to speak more confidently about the backstory, techniques and inspiration in my artist practice. Having said that, this blog feels somewhat like shameless self-promotion, but it could also be a year end summary about where my work can be found, where this work can be purchased.
South Main Gallery (279 East 6th Avenue, Vancouver) now represents my work, particularly More Illuminations, featured in Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival (2016).
Cityscapes Art Rentals (335 Lonsdale Avenue, North Vancouver) holds a small collection of my work for rent, rent-to-own, and purchase. A selection of my work will be in the 2017 Art Rental Show (opening 12 January through 04 February 2017).
The Brooklyn Art Library (28 Frost Street, Brooklyn, NY)/ Sketchbook Project now sells high quality prints of pages from nine of my sketchbooks in their collection. Sketchbook Collection
Gifting is an art form in its own right, and in this season of gift giving, a gift of art is a double gift because it gifts the artist as well. More about my photography continues at http://www.sassamatt.com
Presented by South Main Gallery and Capture Photography Festival
Curated by Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz (Sassamatt Collective)
We are pleased to present exciting new and recent work by 7 international photographic artists, including 3 world premieres at South Main Gallery. The exhibition features Goga Bayat, David Ellingsen, Jim Friesen, Diana Nicholette Jeon, Edward Peck, Phyllis Schwartz and Andrew Ward.
March 31st to April 9th
Opening Reception: Thursday, March 31st /7 – 9 pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, April 2nd / 2 – 4 pm
Don’t miss a chance to talk to the artists about their work on Thursday at the Opening Reception or Saturday at the Artist Talk featuring Diana Nicolette Jeon and Andrew Ward.
Seven global photographers converge in an exhibition about the rhythms and tensions in the contemporary geographical, social and psychological landscapes.
Intervals: Photography in Flux is a collection of unique and unusual digital and photographic processes that are rarely seen in one setting. The methods and techniques range from those used long before the invention of the camera to the advanced technology available to artists today. The works are presented through diverse photographic methods using encaustic, cameraless exposures, and iPhonography. Their themes thread around the deconstruction of identity, environmental issues, disposable society, speaking under oppression and the mysteries in the mundane.
An Exhibition Catalogue will be available in the gallery and from Blurb
South Main Gallery
279 East 6th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V5T 1J7
The exhibition continues through Saturday, 09 April. South Main Gallery is open Tuesday – Thursday (10AM – 5:30 PM), Friday-Saturday (11AM-5:30PM) and Sunday by appointment; private viewing available (604.565.5622). An Artist Talk will be held on Saturday, 08 April (2-4 pm).
A feast of lumen prints are showcased in the newly opened Salon at A Smith Gallery in Johnson City, Texas. Lumen, an exhibition showcasing this feast of alternative photography, includes Cathy’s Orchid, a digital print made from a handmade negative created by using a Lumen Print process. The exhibition dates are 11 March to 16 May. Two receptions will be held: 25 March and 30 April (4 – 7 pm). An exhibition catalogue available from Blurb is forthcoming.
Lumen prints are photograms made by a contact print process using organic materials that leave traces and shadows on photosensitive surfaces. These unique prints are made without a camera or darkroom enlarger. These materials transmit enzymes that interact with the surface of the paper, leaving X-ray like marks of both their shapes and interiors. Lumen prints on sheet film can be scanned and processed as digital prints. Artists experimenting with this process include Jerry Burchfield, Adam Fuss and the artists showing work in Lumen.
Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition, a new exhibition presented by the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver in collaboration with the BestB4 Collective, opens at the On-Tak Cheung Gallery at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum on Saturday, 07 November, 2015 from 2 – 4pm.
This new BestB4 Collective project is a collaboration with nine visual artists and community members; the gallery is transformed into a meeting place where photography, painting, ceramics, fibre and installations tell and evoke stories. Salton Sea Eco-Disaster — I Cannot Look Away, my Salton Sea photo-graphic story, will be on show in this exhibition.
In the Winter of 2011, I made my second photo-exploration of the Salton Sea in Southern California to continue my study of the environmental impact of the local economy on the region and am now working toward a return to the area for a future photographic project. This eco-disaster is complex: as this salt lake dehydrates, the toxins from the Mexicali-Calexico food industry and computer industry contaminants concentrate, which in turn kills the fish, birds and plant life. As a result, the shore of the Salton Sea is ringed with layers of dead fish and birds; the stench of dead marine life hovers over a series of ghost towns built with the intention of a recreational paradise in the desert.
My work in this area has only begun. It is simultaneously seductively surreal and an outrage. I use the photographic process as an investigative tool. The process of photography reveals detail and texture. I seek universals, digging beneath the surface for invisible truth, open to the optical unconscious revealed by my camera. In my quest for the poetic, my photography addresses the nature of permanence and impermanence by asking, “What remains?”
More about the Best B4 Collective
More community events
Telling Stories — a visual art exhibition, my most recent Best B4 Collective project co-curated with Alison Keenan, presents the work of nine Vancouver artists telling stories in a variety of media. We have selected artists who both tell stories about contemporary issues and push the boundaries of their artistic medium. The exhibition opens 07 November at the On-Tak Gallery in the Chinese Cultural Centre and runs through 19 December.
Urban and environmental issues are the predominant themes running through the stories in this exhibition. Alison Keenan uses scale to tell visual stories about the territorial clash between avian and human creatures. Edward Peck’s photographs zoom into Berlin graffiti to re-tell the on-going stories found in the urban streetscape. My Salton Sea series pictures surreal environmental devastation caused by the food and computer industries situated on the US-Mexican border.
Phyllis Schwartz: Evidence
Edward Peck: Looking Outward
Alison Keenan: Avian Fables 3
New to the Best B4 Collective are six artists who tell stories using fibre and installation art. Daphne Harwood uses the quilting medium to document urban transformation where once stood Imagination Market on the north shore of False Creek. Sophi Liang installs a ladder which holds traditional books to deconstruct traditional Chinese cultural values transplanted in a new cultural landscape. Colette Lisoway’s multi-screen prints build up a new image of a multicultural society in a rapidly changing community.
Daphne Harwood: My Map of the Imagination Market
Sophi Leung: Where Does the Ladder Lead Us?
Colette Lisoway: Happy to Meet You
Uncanny stories are told in sculpture, painting and photography, stories that reframe the issues of environmental, urban and cultural conflict. Debra Sloan’s sculptures freeze tense, mischievous moments. June Yun’s paintings might look like misty Chinese countryside landscapes, but they are in fact stories of pollution that causes a nuclear winter. The tension in Jim Friesen’s stormy skies tell stories about the cycle of tension and release, a metaphor for many of the issues presented in the stories in this exhibition.
June Yun: Cloud Dream B
Debra Sloan: Travellers to the Coast
Jim Friesen: Iona Island Confession
Each weekend, free community events will be offered to the public, and during the week, participating artists will be working with students in the community who visit the exhibition. Further details are found on the Events Page of the Best B4 Collective Blog.
Mobile phones have become a notebook of sorts; they store images and fragmented memories, keep a phone call and text log, store data, track appointments and whole lot more. For a photographer, the fully loaded mobile phone is the notebook I’ve been waiting for. I can use it standing up, lying back or hunkering down without awkwardly searching for something to write with when the visual thought is in front or behind me, just about to disappear as the train is leaving the station. With a little planning, I have access to tools to work on stored images and maybe even prepare them for publication. I’m not much of a speech to text person, but I can dictate thoughts that take the shape of words or keep those words as a soundtrack. This is not to say that it replaces the coil bound artist notebook that is central to my artist practice; I have three crates of artist notebooks, and there’s no sign that that habit of visual journaling will be replaced by my mobile phone. But finally, there’s a notebook for photographers.
From time to time, I sing the praises of Aline Smithson, creator, editor and publisher of Lenscratch, photographer, writer and teacher. I read her blog daily, and it fuels my artist practice on many levels. I appreciate her seasonal calls for submissions to her theme-based blog exhibitions and look forward to visual content and editing/curating, offering a reading of these juxtaposed images that adds up to way more than the sum of the parts. A recent LENSCRATCH blog featured five pages of cellphone photography and included one of my cellphone photographs. Set among other cellphone photographs, I read my work in a new way.
Scrolling through LENSCRATCH 2015 Cellphone Exhibition, this blog emerged, and writing about my own work is always more laboured than this one. It was an inspirational series of images that illustrates how versatile the cellphone and cellphone camera can be. I am one of many who believe that technology and the economics of the cellphone camera have democratized photography, making cellphone photography a genre in its own right. While I began celebrating the notebooking opportunities of the cellphone, I end with a statement about the potential of the cellphone to make photography both immediate and contemplative, complex and spontaneous. View my Screenshot in isolation in this blog, but also view it in the context of the Lenscratch 2015 Cellphone Exhibition.
Three of my sketchbooks are on the Sketchbook Project Summer Tour. This year’s tour kicks off at the Brooklyn Art Library on Friday, 05 May and then travels to nine tour stops in North America. Sketchbook Project tours are fun: in addition to checking out and reading artist made books, there are also drawing and postcard writing activities.
On board this year are two new sketchbooks and one classic. Find your closest city, check out some sketchbooks and let me know what you think. Summer Tour Schedule
Big Wheels is a girl’s look at big wheels on roads, streets and sidewalks. It amazes me to think about how the wheel is one of six simple machines and how much complex technology is dependent on basic elements like a wheel. This book has been to Chicago, NYC, Bloomington, Ocean Shores, Iceland, Denmark and Germany. It traveled many miles to get to you.
Songs for the Accordion was inspired by the accordion book form and wanting to make a unique book that could visualize song and dance. Music threads through a landscape of colour and leaves notes to play and replay. Marks on paper were made using Procion dye, acrylic ink, charcoal, thread, acrylic medium and white glue. Of all the books made for the Sketchbook Project, this was the most difficult to send away.
My Brooklyn Childhood — a memoir has been on many Sketchbook Project Tours, including Art Basel. It is a compilation of my father’s memoirs and memory drawings. It brings together work that my father talked about but never achieved: illustrating the many stories he told. His memory drawings open a new understanding of his Brooklyn boyhood, and the Brooklyn Art Library is a fitting location for this first edition. This book is also available from Blurb
View these and my other Brooklyn Art Library Sketchbooks on line.
Art Rental Show — two of my recent Lumen Prints have been added to the Cityscapes Art Rental collection and will be on show in their salon syle exhibition. Thursday, 08 January, 7 – 9 PM (Cityscapes, 355 Lonsdale, North Vancouver).
Truth and Beauty DoorCrasher Special— offers Limited Edition Prints (Desert Salt, for example), OpenStock Prints and Loose Prints at discounted prices. One week only: 10 – 17 January (Noon – 5pm), 698 West 16th Avenue. Check out the Collective collection.
Winter Salon at Photohaus Gallery — WinterSalon continues thru January. Three of my Lumen Prints are on show in this exhibition. Two of these prints are analogue lumen prints; it is an exciting opportunity because (as far as I know) I am the only artist in Greater Vancouver working in this hybrid photo-printmaking medium. Check website for hours of opening and location.