Considerations of Memory in Unquiet Landscapes:
A Photography Exhibition by Sylvia Galbraith.
Exhibition Dates: October 22 – December 20, 2020
Opening Reception: Saturday October 24 from 1-4PM.
For information and to register for the Opening Reception please click here.
Co-presented by the Elora Centre for the Arts and Art North Magazine (Scotland), “Continuum” is a physical manifestation of an upcoming feature on Sylvia Galbraith’s art practice, to be published in the Fall 2020 Special Edition of the magazine. The release date of the magazine will coincide with the exhibition opening. Comprising large-scale framed photographs as well as video, the overall collection is an examination of relationships with “place”, our overlapping experiences, and our tendency to perpetually seek connections with the landscape, in time, and in memory.
Primarily based on photographs created by Galbraith during residencies in Newfoundland, this exhibition follows lines of enquiry that, on the surface, may seem unconnected; initially there appear to be three narratives at play, yet connections quickly become apparent. Galbraith’s work responds to our relationship with the landscape – the physicality of the ground beneath us, the stability and constancy of rocks that are millions of years old, the reassurance of things remaining in place. At the same time, we often yearn to be somewhere else; drawn towards a shifting, far-off horizon, we believe that we can change our current situation simply by changing our location. Yet in other ways, we draw those same distant landscapes back to ourselves – rather than moving towards that horizon, we pull the landscape inside, attempting to own it under our own terms.
Physical connections with wild, distant landscapes have always been important to me – I have a perpetual need to see and feel the ground beneath me. My artistic work responds to this desire to be part of the landscapes I photograph; I take comfort in the sense of stability, constancy and strength of rocks I walk on, and though I often discover evidence of a turbulent, violent past in the present-day strata of the land, there is solace in knowing that within the greater context of geological time, all is as it should be.
In our current situation of global isolation and immobility, my life is in a holding pattern. “Pandemic” time weighs heavily, each day mimicking the one before. Feeling trapped as I’m forced to stay home, my landscapes are too far from me, my sense of urgency builds as I imagine what is happening without me. Then I realize that time has always meant nothing for the scenes I photograph – water flows, rocks erode, the wind sighs across the grass, whether I am there to experience it or not. My disappointment fades, my distress abates. I breathe deeply, finding comfort in the knowledge that my landscapes are waiting for the day I can return, and for now, my photographs are enough.
To view “Out of Time”, an exhibition of photography by Sylvia Galbraith presented by Art North Magazine (Scotland) please click here.
To view an interview with Joanne Polluch, Remarque Art Consulting and Sylvia Galbraith, please click here.
SYLVIA GALBRAITH is an Ontario-based photographer whose work includes landscape, documentary, and commercial photography. As a self-taught artist, she employs a variety of methods; traditional analogue, digital capture and historical processes all come into play as dictated by a situation. Recently Galbraith has been working with video within the context of her landscape photography.
Galbraith’s current practice is an exploration of deep-rooted connections to one’s place of origin. As a child of immigrants, she considers the physical and psychological meaning of “place (guilt, acceptance, ownership) and the stratification of experience. Her images form a conceptual study of the vital sense of belonging and community within the context of displacement, immigration and resettlement in lands that once belonged to others.
Galbraith is drawn to some of Canada’s loneliest places, and has participated in residencies in Newfoundland, Banff and Northern Ontario, with an upcoming residency at Union House Arts in Port Union planned for Summer 2021. She teaches photography at Conestoga College in Kitchener, from her own studio in Fergus Ontario, and is frequently a guest instructor at venues across Canada. Her photographs have been exhibited across Canada and internationally, and are featured in private and corporate collections.
For more information about Sylvia, please visit her website.
The artist wishes to acknowledge the support of the Ontario Arts Council.