What Came to Light at Blast Hole Pond River
May 5 - June 3, 2017
Opening Reception Friday May 5, 7-10pm
"This series is about movement—the movement of wildlife at ground level and of celestial bodies overhead. Heaven and Earth, if you like. The events juxtaposed in each pair are just two of the countless natural phenomena—perceptible and imperceptible—that occurred at the same time.
"The series is also about the ways we do and do not take photographs and the possibilities for artistic agency when I deliberately relinquish being the photographer and leave it to a trail camera. I installed it at the edge of Blast Hole Pond River where it was triggered by the movement of wildlife. I value the unpredictable, serendipitous, unintentional, and off-centeredness of these photographs, while recognizing that wildlife move with intention and the celestial events in our galaxy happen with precise predictability.
"I’m interested in how we regard such photographs, which ask questions about the ways that photographs are composed and about our expectations of the pictured world."
- Marlene Creates, 2016
A Feature Exhibition in conjunction with the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival.
Marlene Creates gratefully acknowledges the assistance of The Canada Council for the Arts and ArtsNL–Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.
Marlene Creates lives and works in Portugal Cove, Newfoundland & Labrador. For almost 40 years her work has been an exploration of the relationship between human experience and the land, and the impact they have on each other. Since 2002 her principal artistic venture has been to closely observe and work with the 6 acres of boreal forest where she lives.
Since the mid-1970s, her work has been presented in over 350 solo and Group exhibitions and screenings across Canada (including several nationally touring solo exhibitions) and in Austria, China, Denmark, England, France, India, Ireland, Korea, Scotland, and USA. Since 2005 she has held over 40 site-specific, multidisciplinary events in the patch of boreal forest where she lives, called The Boreal Poetry Garden. In September 2017, a touring retrospective of over 35 years of her work – Places, Paths, and Pauses – will open at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton NB.
Her work has been commissioned by the Art Gallery of Memorial University, Sun Life Assurance Company, Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery, Gallery 101, Art Gallery of Hamilton, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Health Care Corporation of St. John’s, Edmonton Art Gallery, and the Workers Arts & Heritage Centre in Hamilton.
She has been invited to participate in residencies by the Art Gallery of Algoma, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Boréal Multimédia, Est-Nord-Est (Saint-Jean-Port-Joli), Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (Yukon), W(here) Festival (Pictou County, NS), Full Tilt Creative Centre (McIvers, NL), University of British Columbia Okanagan, rare Charitable Research Reserve (Cambridge, ON), and 4elements Living Arts (Manitoulin Island, ON).
She has been the curator of several exhibitions, worked in artist-run centres (SAW in Ottawa and Eastern Edge in St. John’s), and taught visual arts at Algonquin College (1975-82), the University of Ottawa (1982-85), and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (1998). She was a director of the Photography Program at the Banff Centre for the Arts (1991) and an invited academic visitor for the Art, Space + Nature MFA at the Edinburgh College of Art (2015). She has also led multidisciplinary place-based art projects with over 2,000 school children in Newfoundland.
She has presented over 200 guest lectures at institutions and conferences in Canada, Chile, Italy, UK, and USA, including the Glasgow School of Art, the University of Oxford, the University of Kent at Canterbury, and the Universities of Turin, Venice and Siena. In 2008 she was the keynote presenter at the symposium Art, Rural Life and Environmental Concern at the University of the West of England in Bristol, and in 2012 she was a plenary speaker at the biennial conference Space + Memory = Place of the Association for Literature, Environment, and Culture in Canada.
Her awards include the Artist of the Year Award from the Newfoundland & Labrador Arts Council (1996), the CARFAC National Visual Arts Advocate Award (2009), the VANL-CARFAC Long Haul Award for Excellence in the Visual Arts (2009) "which recognizes a substantial contribution to the visual culture of Newfoundland and Labrador by a senior artist," the BMW Exhibition Prize at the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival for her exhibition at Paul Petro Contemporary Art (2013), and the Grand Jury Award at the Yosemite International Film Festival (2014). She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2001.