Sculpture, Etching, Camera Obscura (Earth Installation), Generator and Lights for Backlit Landscape
Exhibited: Egress, TRU Gallery, Kamloops B.C.
Portent takes the horizon line of the South Thompson Region, as viewed from a hilltop on Thompson Rivers University’s campus, and brings it into a dark gallery space in the form of a self-illuminated artwork. The viewer is therefor inclined to suspend disbelief in the object and the creation of the illusion to see the horizon as what it is. Nevertheless, Portent is clearly not the original view, nor is it really a proper copy—if anything, the view is of the Other South Thompson: viewed without the city, fixed in a perpetual sunrise, and given an idealized silhouette. Therefor, Portent is a construction of a nearly untouched horizon that no longer exists, nor one that we can ever go back to. Accordingly the central copper wedge disturbs the horizon where one can lose themself in the picturesque, and harks the viewer towards a disturbing sublime signified by a wedge of industrial copper. This sublime is not the closeness to god through an awe-inspiring nature as characterized by the romantics; rather, it is a gaze at a constructed ideal that carries our disruptive mark on the picturesque. By disrupting a transfixed gaze of the beautiful, the copper acts as the sign of our own mark on nature. The construction of an Other, almost idealized horizon consequently calls into question the integrity (virtue) of the original horizon.
Dodging The Sunset is a two-plate etching that documents an actual sunset by exposing a photo-polymer coated copper plate in a camera obscura. Due to the windy conditions outside the tent-like Camera Obscura, the image of the sun constantly moved across the print as a document of its 40 minute descent. This movement of a light spot across a light sensitive area is akin to the technique of ‘dodging’ used in the darkroom to increase the exposure on particular parts of a print. In this sense, Dodging The Sunset reflects technical aspects of photo-image making and documents an actual event.
A recreation of the Portent lightbox was performed on the mountain where the Hilltop Camera was placed. (Shout out to Zac Case for an incredible amount of help in the rain)