Inverted Pyramids and Roads to Nowhere
Kamloops Art Gallery
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Eleanor King is a Nova Scotia artist based in Brooklyn, New York. Her practice combines sound art explorations, social practices, improvisations, drawing and sculptural installations that engage with memory, community, technology and the everyday. Also a musician, sound is often integrated into the spatial experience of her found and self-generated sculptural installations and relational aesthetics. Frequently site-specific, King’s installations emerge from research that addresses the place and context where she is exhibiting.
In her notable exhibition Stacks, presented at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in 2012, King looked at the development of Lethbridge through its colonial settlement history where claims to land were made by way of coal mining and farming. Irrigation was an essential aspect of inhabiting the arid landscape with agricultural industry. In response, King made a large-scale painting on the walls of the gallery inspired by the quilt-like topography of circles and rectangles that make up the landscape when viewed from above via satellite imagery – a visual story of the way water is extracted and distributed to the land through irrigation. Incorporating out-moded technologies (tube TVs, records and radios) the installation included a massive black sculpture referencing the natural resource of coal itself, approximately 108 cubic feet, equivalent to a “stack,” which is an English measurement of coal.
Our collective impact on the environment is at the forefront of King’s concerns, both on a global and personal level. Her stacked sculptures frequently incorporate used, obsolete and discarded materials, often those meant for single use like coffee cups or referencing dated musical formats like CDs or vinyl records. Aware of her personal environmental footprint through increasing opportunities to travel as her art career excels, King has explored ways to address her complicity in this “jet set” life through studies of geography and land use and by exploiting her own labour in the process. Through massive abstracted landscapes and text-based wall paintings, painted directly on the walls of the gallery by the artist over successive days and nights, King points to our collusion with corporations like Google and their pervasive “user-friendly” version of military mapping tools. Rather than representing the landscape through the traditional display mechanisms of painting, King’s wall paintings and videos use Google maps to follow waterways specific to the location where she is installing, and offer an immersive environment that encourages the viewer to traverse the landscape and the horizon line with their own body.
In the new work made for this exhibition, King intervenes in the architecture of the Kamloops Art Gallery, shifting walls into new configurations that fold inside and outside spaces into one another, filling awkward architectural nooks with salvaged materials and creating a sensory experience of sound and sight. This new body of work builds on King’s ongoing conceptual inquiry into the internal and external, the real and the imaginary.
Location Information: Kamloops Art Gallery
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101 - 465 Victoria Street,
The Kamloops Art Gallery is a registered charity and not-for-profit society.
Incorporated in 1978, the Kamloops Art Gallery serves residents of and visitors to Kamloops (pop. 82,000) and the surrounding Thompson-Nicola Regional District (pop. 124,000) as well as national and international audiences.
In 1998, the KAG moved to a purpose-built civic building, designed by award-winning architects Peter Cardew and Nigel Baldwin, which also houses the Thompson-Nicola Regional District offices and the Kamloops branch of the TNRD Library System. The 20,853 square foot Gallery includes 4,500 square feet of exhibition space, an admissions/store area, two multipurpose studio/workshop/lecture rooms, a packing and acclimatization area, the collection storage vault with an adjoining workroom and, on a mezzanine above, administration and curatorial offices along with a research library. In 2006, the KAG was designated a Category “A” institution under the Cultural Property Export and Import Act.
The Gallery’s annual attendance has ranged between 24,000 and 37,000 over the last five years. It enjoys a national reputation for its touring exhibitions and publications and has developed relationships with national and international artists, curators, critics and scholars. The KAG is also well respected for its exhibitions, events and educational and public programs through activities organized and presented in the community and region involving both contemporary and historical art. Its collection as of December 2012 consists of 2,700 works that primarily reflect the Gallery’s exhibition history. In 2005, the KAG co-commissioned with the University of British Columbia’s Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery Canada’s participation in the 51st Venice Biennale with the work of Rebecca Belmore.
Governed by a Board of Trustees, the KAG maintains an effective organizational structure that includes a Management Team led by the executive director, a Program Team led by the curator and a Development Team led by the manager of operations. Teams meet monthly to report, evaluate, problem solve and plan.
The Kamloops Art Gallery brings art, artists and communities together.
The Kamloops Art Gallery is the principal gallery in the Southern Interior of British Columbia supporting contemporary and historical visual arts and practices on a local, national and international level. The KAG acknowledges art to be an essential part of the human experience in nurturing a healthy society. As a leading cultural institution, the KAG is an integral part of the fabric that draws intellectual, social and economic opportunities to our province and to our region.
The Kamloops Art Gallery fosters enjoyment of and interest in the visual arts by researching, developing and producing exhibitions, publications and programs that engage, challenge and inform its various audiences. The Gallery also oversees the development and preservation of a permanent collection that includes regional, national and international art in all media. It also strives to create rewarding opportunities for visual arts professionals and the public.
- Committed to art, artists and audiences
- Collaborative, respectful and ethical
- Tolerant, inclusive and diverse
- Relevant to local and regional communities
- Striving for excellence
- Fiscally responsible