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Ground Signals

Listen and look at multisensory art representing the land beyond landscape.

In Canada, vibrant paintings and picturesque photographs of rugged wilderness and untouched nature permeate our national identity.

Yet there have been centuries of cultural production by Indigenous Peoples that represent the land and the connection between nature and human experience in very different ways. During the past fifty years, new generations of artists working in Canada have drawn from a wealth of other non-western practices and used new forms of media to represent the land beyond the romantic and expressionistic styles and forms that have become so familiar. These artists invite us to consider our own presumptions and relationship to the places around us—beyond seeing them as sources of investment and industry, or sites of recreation or aesthetic beauty.

Gathering over a dozen works by artists from across Canada, Ground Signals includes handmade ceramic sculptures that emit song, large-scale mural paintings framed in words and writing, drawings made of clay, composited videos that depict landscapes shaped by centuries-old art from foreign lands, woven copper sculpture with shortwave radio broadcasts, and a solar-powered culture station that collects stories in exchange for energy.

Building on several recent Surrey Art Gallery exhibitions that have addressed landscape, ecology, territory, and mapping, Ground Signals challenges viewers to listen and experience the land in fresh  and compelling ways through a combination of sounds and images.

Artists: Ruth Beer, Roxanne Charles, Marie Côté, Lindsay Dobbin, Richard Fung, Brandon Gabriel and Ostwelve, Farheen HaQ, Peter Morin, Valérie d. Walker and Bobbi L. Kozinuk, Charlene Vickers and Cathy Busby

Join us for the opening party on September 23.

Curators: Roxanne Charles and Jordan Strom
Origin of Exhibition: Surrey Art Gallery

Image credits from top:

Ruth Beer, Antenna 1 (2016), copper, polyurethane, broadband radio, receiver, and sound. Photo courtesy of artist and Bellevue Arts Museum.

Marie Côté, Jeux de bols et de voix (2013), vitrified porcelain, wood, speakers, wires, soundtrack. Installation in collaboration with Olivier Girouard, sound designer. Photo by Paul Litherland, courtesy of the artist and Oboro.

Peter Morin, Experiments in Time Travel (2015), LED, outfitted hand drums. Photo by Karen Asher, courtesy of Núna (NOW) Iceland Canada Art Convergence as part of Since Then (2016).