The public is invited to the opening reception of the Art on Demand 3.3 GAP exhibition at The Reach Gallery Museum Abbotsford on Thursday, September 21, 2017 at 7pm.
Art on Demand 3.3 is curated by Chantelle Fawcett and features the work of emerging artist Sage Sidley, who hails from Rossland, BC. This artist explores concepts of place, time, and memory in the context of site-specificity and urban ideologies. She frequently works directly onto architectural surfaces; in doing so, she engages with notions of the ephemeral, and challenges perceptions of space and reality.
Sidley’s installation examines how cellphone photography has become a form of interpersonal communication. Cellphone pictures are associated with identity construction, and a proliferating range of social and cultural activities now revolve around this technology.
Though the photograph has been considered a credible way to reproduce visual reality, the rise of digital imaging and social media has made us critically aware that photographic images are frequently constructed and altered. Sidley’s work asks viewers to question what we use photos for, particularly in the gallery environment. The experience of looking at art is increasingly mediated through digital screens and shared through social media sites, changing galleries from sites where we primarily engage in seeing, to sites where we concentrate on being seen.
Technology is dramatically influencing in-person experiences, and many galleries and museums are responding by programming exhibitions that encourage the creation and dissemination of digital imagery. Sidley’s work simultaneously participates in and critiques this trend. The artist’s drawing distorts the architectural space by creating an illusion to extend the floor and her hyper-realist subjects are, somewhat ironically, drawn from photographic source material. While we look at these life-sized figures, they gaze back at us from the gallery walls through their hand-held devices, constituting us as subjects on view.
Says Emerge curator Fawcett: “Sage is a talented emerging artist whose work asks viewers to critically examine technology that limits individual’s interactions within society. Her work examines the technological innovation that enables us to take photographs with our mobile phone and send them instantly, bringing photography into interpersonal relationships as a new form of communication.”
Art on Demand 3.3 GAP shows until November 12, 2017 at The Reach, 32388 Veterans Way, Abbotsford.
Emerge at the Reach is generously sponsored by the RBC Emerging Artists Project Grant. The Emerge program targets emerging artists age 18–35 and focuses on professional development for young artists in the Fraser Valley. Art on Demand is a series of exhibitions in a flexible space that features the work of emerging artists and curators. This initiative gives them the opportunity to display their artwork in a publicly funded gallery, network with fellow artists and arts professionals at The Reach and gain valuable exhibition and hands on experience.