Capture Photography Festival is set to start on the 1st of April. This year, the festival’s reach has further expanded into the lower mainland: one can explore Capture related exhibitions and installations in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, West Vancouver, Surrey, Abbotsford and New Westminster. Festival Director and Curator, Meredith Preuss said that “Capture is excited to be working with the City of New Westminster to expand our public art program throughout the lower mainland. We’ve been very encouraged with the enthusiasm that cities outside of Vancouver have shown in bringing Capture related exhibitions, events and public art to their communities.” This year’s iteration of the festival is super-charged and densely packed with activities, so mark your calendars and start your engines!
From artist talks and panel discussions, to public art tours and exhibition openings; there are anywhere between two and ten activities that you can partake in, on every single day in April. We recommend starting your Capture exploration close to home. Check out all of these New Westminster based exhibitions and activities:
At the Van Dop Gallery, artist Desirée Patterson invites viewers to envision the interconnectivity of humanity, nature, industry and architecture. Inspiring Preservation: An Alternate Perspective investigates human figure metamorphoses, skin transforms into the ocean and forest. The work of this exhibition reminds us all of nature’s beauty that surrounds us.
When asked what primary sentiment she hoped to impress upon exhibition visitors, Patterson responded with the word – awareness. For the artist, working on this this project brought forth ideas and feelings of transition, concern and consciousness. These concepts are beautifully illustrated in the work. Patterson skillfully manipulates shape, colour and form, turning disparate layers of imagery into a unified series of meditative compositions.
Curated by Trudy Van Dop, this exhibition runs from April 1 to April 18. The opening reception is on April 1st from noon to five in the afternoon. Patterson will also be giving an artist talk on the 22nd of April at 2pm. All are welcome.
Opening on April 6th and running until May 13th Hastings: A Second Look is an exhibition of photographs by Gabor Gasztonyi. The exhibition explores a vast archive of photographs taken by the artist over the past decade. From 2006-2010 Gasztonyi explored an array of hotel rooms and met with many residents of Vancouver’s Downtown East Side. Hastings: A Second Look includes imagery from this period as well as photographs from 2010 up until the present. Gasztonyi sought out some of his original subjects to rephotograph them. He discovered that several of the individuals who were originally photographed, are no longer living, a brutal insight into the harsh reality of life in the DTES. The later series of images reflects upon the toll of time, but also, on the strength of relationships and community.
Gasztonyi said it was quite difficult to narrow the selection of images for this exhibition given the breadth of time that it spans. Some images are also part of A Room in the City a photo-book of the artist’s 2006-2010 work published by Anvil Press. Gasztonyi’s connection with the Downtown East Side runs deep, in addition to his decade spent photographing the area and community, he is also working on a film entitled No Way Out, which documents the lives of three addicted couples. Hastings: A Second Look is hosted at Gabor Gasztonyi’s Studio in New Westminster, it is curated by Judith Copland.
Also part of Capture, the exhibition BRINK is up and running until April 30th at the New Media Gallery. Featuring video, robotic and electronic media works, the art of BRINK, as curator Sarah Joyce states, ‘suggests an adagio of fragile equilibriums’. Based on visitor feedback, it is highly likely that a transformative experience will be your reward for visiting BRINK.
Curators Gordon Duggan and Sarah Joyce have been enjoying the exhibition run thus far, especially the diverse reactions to the works in the show, in particular reactions to, Fly Revolver by artist David Bowen. Without giving away too much, the unpredictable movements of a realistic looking revolver causes many different kinds of emotions in visitors. For example Sarah was moved by the reaction of a young man watching the work, “As I talked about the work, he called his mother and translated my description of the work to her over the phone. Suddenly, the revolver fired loudly, startling him and he clung to my arm. With great emotion he then told me about the country he was from and how it had experienced so much recent conflict. He said how meaningful this exhibition was to him and that it meant so much to realize others were aware of his country, and that they cared.” From a different perspective, Gordon was viewing the work with two young women. Gordon explained “for many visitors, as Canadians, they had never encountered a handgun and were uncomfortable.” One of the young woman replied “We are both American and what I find disturbing is that the piece goes against a lot of my handgun training.”
In addition to David Bowen’s work, the exhibition also features work by Nelmarie du Preez, Miguel Angel Rios, Stefan Tiefengraber and Jacob Tonski. BRINK runs until April 30th be prepared to leave the exhibition feeling a bit, shall we say… on edge.
There are also two captivating public artworks that are part of Capture Photography Festival, a work by Matthew Brooks will be installed on Columbia Street and a work by James Nizam installed on Sixth Street. Launching on April 1st these works will remain up for the public to enjoy until March, 2018.
“We received an amazing number of submissions, they came from across the country.” said Biliana Velkova, the City of New Westminster’s Arts Coordinator. She explained that the jury considered Matthew and James’ works to be dynamic interpretations of the original public call for works theme, which was ‘traffic’. “Both works speak to both digital and analog modes of information exchange and to the traffic of communication. They both also connect with their chosen site locations in a considered manner.” said Velkova. The selection committee included a professional artist, a curator from Capture Photography Festival, a representative of the City’s Public Advisory Committee and representatives from the Uptown and Downtown Business Associations.
James Nizam’s work Heliographic Scale, explores Optical Communication, a centuries old form of technology. This type of communication involved flashing of sequences of light from a fixed point that could be interpreted from a great distance; think naval light signals, flag signals, smoke signals, or a heliograph transmitting morse code.
To compose this image, Nizam’s camera rested in a fixed position whilst he and an assistant manoeuvred and communicated across a vast distance to send light reflection back to the camera. The result is a descending scale of flashes coalesced into a singular still image. Heliographic Scale is part of a much larger body of work in which Nizam has been exploring the circularity of signal making. In this series light signals are turned into sound, and then sound signals are also transformed back into light through a series of interrelated artworks and interventions.
In Heliographic Scale, the visual becomes the sonic in many ways. For the artist, the deep rings of earth that have been cut away in the photograph are much akin to the grooves found in a record. The trajectory of the light signals suggest up or down hill movement, visually they evoke a sequence of notes on ascending or descending. One can read this visual score in their minds’ eye, or perhaps hear the notes in their head. Thus the aural and visual fold into each other, the artist has also become a composer.
Want to know more about Heliographic Scale and the larger scope of what local artist James Nizam is creating? As part of Capture, he’ll be giving a talk at the Anvil Centre on the 13th of April at 5pm. Heliographic Scale is installed at TELUS Plaza, 611, 6th Street New Westminster.
The second public artwork launched by Capture Photography Festival and the City of New Westminster is Matthew Brooks’ photograph, The Telephone Salesman. This is the first public art commission for Brooks who hails from Winnipeg. According to Brooks, who currently lives in Montreal, this part of Canada has had an influence on him, in particular the ‘Vancouver School’ of photoconceptualists. Brooks stated that it is particularly meaningful to him presenting his work out west, especially to have it be in dialogue with this rich history. This is also the first time that he’s ever created a work on such a large scale. Brooks said that he found the process of producing the work very rewarding, even more so once he learned that the site where it was going to be installed, was a neighbourhood composed of an array of vintage and antique shops. For the artist it made the intentionally dated setting of the work even more meaningful.
Brooks set the The Telephone Salesman image in the early 1970’s, it is a very cinematic photograph. The artist revealed that his phone salesman character scenario “was developed in relation to visual and narrative language of American cinema directors such as Joel/Ethan Coen Todd Haynes, Todd Solondz, David Lynch, Wes Anderson, Jim Jarmusch and Paul Thomas Anderson.” With shiny and lush textures, as well as vivid colours, this image will be a vibrant addition to the unique area of Columbia Street. Brooks’ work will be installed on the UFCW Local 1518 Building, 350 Columbia Street.
In addition to all of these exciting exhibitions and installations, there are a multitude of other events across Vancouver and the lower mainland to check out in connection to the Capture Photography Festival, visit their website for more information. Dates and details for the New Westminster related events are summarized below:
Exhibition: April 1 – 18
Opening Reception: 12-5pm, April 1
Artist Talk: 2pm, April 22
Van Dop Gallery
421 Richmond Street
April 6 – May 13
Opening Reception: 6-10pm, April 6
Gabor Gasztonyi Studio
730 12th Street
BRINK Performance: 2-3pm, April 1 – i love you. i’m uncomfortable. by Kevin Spenst & Shauna Kaendo
*Miguel Angel Rios, A Morir (2003) courtesy of Gallery Wendi Norris, San Francisco
April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018
UFCW Local 1518 Building
350 Columbia Street
April 1, 2017 – March 31, 2018
611 Sixth Street
Artist Talk: April 13th at 5-7pm (Anvil Centre 777 Columbia Street, New Westminster V3M 1B6)
The Telephone Salesman and Heliographic Scale are presented in partnership by Capture Photography Festival and the City of New Westminster Public Art Program:
Capture Photography Festival