Archives for posts with tag: fine art

Contemplating Water is a new gallery added to Sassamatt’s webpage. It features a series of photographs made on Chesterman Beach/Tofino, BC, focussing on water in its dynamic state.

Ever-moving water is ephemeral and transcendental. As it swirls, sputters, rises and falls, it returns to where it began. I look at water the way Alfred Steiglitz looks at clouds, contemplating how “to hold a moment, how to record something so completely, that all who see will relive an equivalent of what has been expressed.”

View Contemplating Water (here). 

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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.

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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

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Frozen

Frozen

I’ve been gifted this review of my current series: Salton Sea Eco-Disaster — I cannot look away.

 

The Salton Sea Eco-Disaster – I cannot look away
One of the most provocative and insightful bodies of artwork in the Telling Stories: a visual art exhibition is a series of photographs by Phyllis Schwartz. Although a great deal of her work is more abstract in nature and rooted in the historical techniques of photographic image making, this series is a departure for her. The images are very monochromatic and stark as well as being rivetingly close to their subject matter.

What has caused this departure, especially when the work has been simmering since the winter of 2011? Having witnessed the ecological destruction on the shores of the Salton Sea, California’s largest body of water, the images were just too graphic and unworldly. How does a visual artist work with a set of images that seem implausible, yet at the same time so captivating? What are the implications of creating a series around these images that wander between a work of art, a statement of witnessing and a political commentary on our economically driven ecological disasters?

Vacant

Vacant

In the end one cannot really look away, as Phyllis Schwartz expresses in her subtitle, without becoming even more complicit than one already is creating these images. To look away is to do what is so often done, to pretend we are not part of the problem. We are collectively the authors of this series; even in Vancouver, the food grown in this area that flows 15,000 tons of phosphorus and nitrogen into this landlocked sea is the food we shop for on our grocery shelves. The cars we drive that are made in Mexico in the maquiladoras just across the border, emit a toxic stew mixed with sewage, and this flows down hill across the border into the Salton Sea. This artificial river is now the most toxic waterway in North America, we should not be looking away.

Schwartz’s images are simple yet draw in the viewer; they are micro-compositions of areas no larger than a dessert plate. Abstract in presentation and mostly black and white with hints of colour, one can not help but think of Edward Weston’s work and the intimacy he expressed with the objects he photographed. Yet the images are not as subtitle, and unlike Weston, the images are much less rooted in the post modern culture that favours irony while making allusions to knowledge. It also seems to lash out at the pseudo-modern world of around us where iPhones and social media often gives the impression that one is immersed when often one is overtaken or swallowed up.

Desiccated

Desiccated

As the viewer moves from one image to another, one begins to feel that something is amiss. What is the magnitude of the dead barnacles beach? Why are the fish mostly unconsumed by the other wild life in the area? Why have they not been cleaned up by local inhabitants? Having chosen to work at such an intimate range, the work hints at the extent of the problem without graphically showing the masses of dead fish that actually litter the shoreline. The artist here is reflecting our tendency to minimize and reduce things down so we do not see the scale of the problem. One cannot look away, but one does not want to see the scale, a scale might prove too challenging. The softness and almost abstract forms allow one to at momentarily escape before the mind lurches back to what is being presented. It moves the viewer to search out the subtext and the footnotes of this ecological metaphor of our current age.

Edward Peck (15 November 2015)

Edward Peck

On the Wall Series, photographed in Germany in 2015, will be part of the Telling Stories:a visual art exhibition opening on the 7th of November 2015. The exhibition will include photography, painting, sculpture, fibre art and other installations. It will feature the following nine artists: Alison Keenan, Phyllis Schwartz, Jim Friesen, Daphne Harwood, Sophi Liang, Colette Lisoway, Edward Peck, Debra Sloan and June Yun.

This is the BestB4 Collective’s latest exhibition, and it is graciously hosted by the Chinese Cultural Centre in their On-Tak Cheung Exhibition Gallery.

Opening: Saturday, November 7, 2015

Location: 555 Columbia Street

Regular Hours: 11:am – 5pm (Tue-Sat), Nov 7th – Dec 19

For Special Hours and Events see BestB4Collective’s Blog

For more information please go to the BestB4 Collective’s events page:
http://bestb4collective.blogspot.ca/p/events.html )

A Brief Word About the Series

My artist practice has always been about teaching myself to see. While walking around Berlin and Hamburg, I noticed that…

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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?”

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More about the Best B4 Collective 
More community events

Two of my vintage analogue Lumen Prints have been selected for auction at ArtBeat Vancouver. Works by fifty up-coming and established local artists have been curated by Lynn Ruscheinsky and will be auctioned at ArtBeat 2015 this Saturday, 25 July at the Belkin Residence (7349 Blenheim Street), 4 – 10 pm.  Event details and ticket purchase details can be found at ArtBeat/Events.

Both Lumen Prints from the Spanish Banks Series were previously exhibited at the in the Emily Carr Awards Exhibition at the Winsor Gallery. These works are early explorations of the Lumen Print process using materials gathered from the seashore.

ArtBeat 2015 is a fund raising event for the expansion of Esther’s Place, a safe house for women fleeing domestic violence, as well as Little Footprints/Big Steps, a charity founded to aid rescuing children from situations of abuse, slavery, homelessness or severe neglect. More details can be found at ArtBeat/The Cause. 

Spanish Banks Impressions 13 (Lumen Print on fibre, unique photogram)

Spanish Banks Impressions 13 (Lumen Print on fibre, unique photogram)

Fan Coral (Lumen Print on Fibre, unique photogram)

Fan Coral (Lumen Print on Fibre, unique photogram)

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.

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Shelter Island             Illuminations 
Edward Peck        Phyllis Schwartz 

Die Bedürfnisanstalt, Bleickenallee 26a, Hamburg 22763

Vernissage: Sa: 13.09.2014 12-17 Uhr
Öffnungszeiten
So., 14.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
Mo., 15.09.2014, 16 – 20 Uhr
Sa., 20.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
So., 21.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
Lumen Print Workshop/Vorführung [auf Englisch]
Di., 23.09.2014, 14 – 18 Uhr
Neue Fotoarbeiten
Mi., 24.09.2014, 18 – 23 Uhr
Do., 25.09.2014, 15 – 19 Uhr
Finissage: Fr., 26.09.2014, 16 – 20 Uhr

Sassamatt presents the European premier of new work by Phyllis Schwartz and Edward Peck. These Canadian experimental visual artists work in photographic medium. Schwartz is one of the few contemporary artists making artwork using the lumen print process. These hybrid prints are made by a contact and printing process photosensitive surfaces that are digitized. Peck with multi-disciplinary background is using a multiple exposure photographic hybrid digital development process to create abstract works from concrete objects.

Sassamatt, a Canadian based artist collective, presents work by Edward Peck and Phyllis Schwartz for exhibition in Bedürfnisanstalt between 13 and 26 September. These two photo-based artists use the details located in their immediate environment as inspiration for innovative image making. Their exhibition, Sassamatt Presents, is the European premier of their latest work. The exhibition will be held in Die Bedürfnisanstalt, a unique gallery exhibition space in Hamburg’s Altona community. They will also be open for visitors to watch their work in progress. There will also be a workshop demonstration of the lumen process and both artist will be available to discuss their work and artist processes.

Edward Peck is an experimental digital photographer with multi-disciplinary background that includes painting, watercolour and printmaking. Much of his current source material is drawn from weathered and sea battered boats, some of which are in the process of returning to their elemental state, bringing the aging process of these boats to life by through an abstract exploration of form, colour and texture. His bold compositions are colour fields confidently sectored by elementary materials that are caught in the act of transformation. These transformations become abstract landscapes.

Phyllis Schwartz is an experimental photographer. Her x-ray like images penetrate the surface of her subject material and produce secondary images discovered only in the development stage of her printmaking. Plant enzymes and atmospheric conditions also interact with the surface to produce unexpected results on the surface of the paper or sheet film, leaving x-ray like marks of both their shapes and interiors. These illuminations of New York foliage and British Columbia  marine plant life hover on the cusp of abstract imagery and poetry.

Addition information on these two artists can be found on the Sassamatt Images website www.sassamatt.com .

The Tree: Literal and Figurative, an exhibition curated by Alison Keenan and Phyllis Schwartz, expresses the theme of nature as experienced in forests, the built environment and as raw material for industry. This group exhibition presents images and impressions of the tree in a variety of media. The artists from BestB4 Collective are graduates from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the University of British Columbia. The purpose of this exhibition is to show the tree as a common link in Canadian culture that provides a canopy, which spans all cultures, communities, collectives, artists, and individuals.

Exhibiting artists include Ellen Bang (mixed media sculpture installation), Chu Yin Tak (mixed media paper installation), Pauline Doyle (mixed media figurative ceramics),  Alison Keenan (acrylic on canvas), Anna Ruth (installation drawings), Edward Peck (large scale photography), Connie Sabo (mixed media sculpture installation) and Phyllis Schwartz (lumen prints on fibre).

Artists’ Talk and Exhibition Catalog Launch

The Tree: Landscape, Culture and Identity
Join exhibiting artists in a conversation about their art making process and current exhibition at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum. Exhibition Catalogue is available  for $15 at the CCCM  though 17 February or BLURB Publications

Saturday January 25, 2014  2-4pm (Free admission)

Chinese Cultural Centre Museum
555 Columbia Street, Vancouver, BC 
604.658.8880, 604.658.8883
cccmuseum@gmail.com
Tree: Literal and Figurative Exhibition Catalogue (Sassamatt Publications; available at the CCCM and BLURB Publications)

Tree: Literal and Figurative Exhibition Catalogue  (available for $15  at the CCCM during the exhibition and BLURB Publications; cover design: Anna Ruth, book design: Edward Peck)


The Tree: Literal and Figurative, an exhibition curated by Alison Keenan and Phyllis Schwartz, expresses the theme of nature as experienced in forests, the built environment and as raw material for industry. The purpose of this exhibition is to show the tree as a common link in Canadian culture that provides a canopy, which spans all cultures, communities, collectives, artists, and individuals.This group exhibition presents images and impressions of the tree in a variety of media  will surely evoke myriad myths and memories about the tree. 

The artists from BestB4 Collective are graduates from Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the University of British Columbia.  The Tree is an inaugural BestB4 Collective exhibition by eight artists working in eight different media include the paintings of Alison Keenan, experimental photography by Phyllis Schwartz, drawings by Anna Ruth and Tony Chu Yin Tak, large-scale photography by Edward Peck, ceramics by Pauline Doyle, felt sculpture by Ellen Bang and installation work by Connie Sabo. The exhibition is on show at the Chinese Cultural Centre Museum in Vancouver between 11 January and 17 February 2014.  Exhibition Details. 

BestB4 Collective is a Vancouver-based collaborative artist collective established by Alison Keenan and Phyllis Schwartz. The focus of their collaboration is an ongoing inquiry into themes of the natural and built environments, the use of public space by the private individual, contemporary dance as an art form and as public performance.

The Tree exhibition includes my recent lumen prints. In the gallery is my series of analogue lumen prints made during a recent visit to New York . New York: What Remains? shows traces and shadows of early summer foliage mostly collected near the Natural History Museum and Central Park. In the showcase windows are my recent digital prints made from handmade negatives. Illuminations is a series of forest abstractions made from kelp forest debris washed ashore at Chesterman Beach and windfall gathered in my back yard after a series of winter and early spring storms.

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