Landscape and Leisure
Landscape and Leisure
Guest Curator: Meredith Carruthers & Susannah Wesley
Each year the Foreman Art Gallery presents the Carte Blanche exhibition series and invites a curator to reflect on the Eastern townships region and to organize an exhibition on themes and issues of regional importance. In this year’s Carte Blanche Exhibition, Meredith Carruthers and Susannah Wesley of the Leisure Projects duo explore themes within the leisure activity of bird watching.
Bird watching is a unique way to approach and understand a landscape. Part looking, part collecting, part imagining, bird watching as a cultural activity has a rich legacy in visual art, books and regional museums. The exhibition Birdwatching: Landscape and Leisure at the Foreman Art Gallery takes a hands-on approach to understanding the particular history of bird watching and leisure in the Eastern Townships, presenting museum artifacts and local lore alongside contemporary artwork and personal testaments.
Leisure Projects has drawn inspiration from an early childhood fascination on birds. A photograph from the ‘Leisure Collection Archives’ entitled, Birdwatching Birthday, is a record of Susannah Wesley’s fourth birthday party. At this formative event Susannah and friends traipsed eagerly through a local forest, carrying small plastic binoculars, in search of a yellow bird. To the amazement of the young birders a gigantic mystery bird was spotted. Created from a casual anthropomorphism, a family friend in the guise of a bird perched on a dappled forest fence was ready to answer any questions the small party might have on what it is like to be a bird. This photograph set Leisure Projects into thinking about how the unexpected ethological spectacle in landscape could metamorphose into contemporary art.
Born in Ramat Gan, Israel, in 1969, Guy Ben-Ner lives and works in New York and Berlin. He has shot to international renown in less than a decade, particularly since Treehouse Kit was shown in the Israeli Pavilion at the 2005 Venice Biennale. In 2006, he was the subject of solo exhibitions at the Konrad Fisher Galerie (Düsseldorf), Galerie Nathalie Obadia (Paris) Postmasters Gallery (New York), CCP – Centre for Contemporary Photography (Fitzroy), and the Center for Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv). This summer, Ben-Ner will take part in the prestigious Skulptur Projekte Münster.
Amos Latteier has performed lectures across North America and in Europe. Among his recent public art projects have been a cell phone-operated nature tour, an interactive photo installation, a 500-pound potato battery, a chainsaw-powered walking machine and several hovercrafts. Recent shows include Teaching Tech, Digifest (Toronto), Education Art, Ontario College of Art and Design (Toronto), Distance Learning, Art Metropole (Toronto), Time Based Arts Festival, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, and Northwest New Works, On the Boards (Seattle). Latteier has lectured at Columbia University (New York), the School of the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston), New Langton Arts and California College of Arts (San Francisco), and the Seattle Research Institute.
Alison Norlen received her BFA from the University of Manitoba in 1987 and completed her MFA at Yale in 1989. Her interest and research into cultural spectacles has led her to attend Day of the Dead festivities in Mexico and to dance in Rio de Janiero’s carnival. She recently received an International Artist Residency in Trinidad, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts. Norlen’s drawings and sculptures depict architectural spectacles constructed from personal experiences, memories and fantastic spaces, both real and imagined. Recent exhibitions include ala, Oboro, (Montreal), MosaiCanada: Sign and Sound (Seoul), Float, Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon). She teaches at the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, where she lives and works.
Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop's University
Rue College Street - Lennoxville
Tuesday to Saturday, from 12 noon to 5 pm