30th Anniversary Exhibition
30th Anniversary Exhibition
Curated by Tessa Hawkins
August 8 – September 15, 2012
Opening Reception August 18, 2012
…in the main gallery
The Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists (SNAP) has promoted the creation and display of contemporary print art and the experimentation of new, emerging techniques since the opening of its first print shop in Edmonton’s Great West Saddlery Building. SNAP Gallery highlights artists and artworks that encompass a wide range of methods and philosophies including work that reinterprets the definition of “print” art.
The 30th Anniversary Exhibition provides a retrospective space within the gallery for visitors to reflect on the techniques of printmaking and SNAP’s continued effort to display artworks that challenge the traditional boundaries of print art. Ten artists were selected to participate in this exhibition: Lynne Allen, David Armstrong, Mark Bovey, Blair Brennan, Libby Hague, Walter Jule, Patrick Mahon, Jon Swindler, Tracey Templeton, and Sergei Tsvetkov. Each artist has created an outstanding example of both the versatility of print art as well as the exciting new and hybrid techniques yet to be explored. Print art has been a very active medium for experimentation since the second half of the twentieth century; Edmonton’s print artists continue to push this medium to new extremes.
The artworks compiled for the 30th Anniversary Exhibition operate as a means with which the artists display the process of creation, whether etching, carving, or compiling collaged elements. The repetition involved in the act of printmaking is simultaneously recorded in the process of the artist and his/her relationship to the transition of the materials to the final product. Requiring continuous manipulation of various media, the labour involved in each work is displayed through the scratches on the etching plate or the sculpting of a wooden roller. Images of the body act as a record of the life of the artist, mirroring the creative process as a tool of self-reflection for both the viewer and the artist. Details of wood and bark, manipulated in various ways, are seen throughout the show connecting the body to the environment it inhabits.
A cohesive theme emerges within SNAP’s gallery through the artworks’ commentary on the human body’s relationship to the environment, a historically popular trope. The fragile, complex relationship between humans and the environment is reflected in the manipulated material of each artwork, through which both the physical and conceptual levels are formed. Various visual forms are displayed in the artworks and woven together to create layers of meaning within the physical material on display. These materials are intricately manipulated in each work and delicately balanced by deeper connotations and implications in SNAP’s 30th Anniversary Exhibition.