Interactive show spills out of art gallery space

NANAIMO – A multimedia exhibition opens at the campus Nanaimo Art Gallery Friday (Sept. 20)

A multimedia exhibition, in which installation, sculpture, video, photography, and found-objects contest ideas of land-use, private property, and local history opens at the campus Nanaimo Art Gallery Friday (Sept. 20).

With influences including carpentry, Constructivism, and Conceptualism, and using new and re-purposed wood, Nathan and Cedric Bomford creatively “stake a claim” with a large interactive installation assembled on the exterior deck of the gallery at VIU campus.

With this exhibit, titled The Claim, Nathan and Cedric Bomford continue their collaborative exploration of Vancouver Island’s history and geography, through the creation of large-scale constructions.

Using found and reused materials, the brothers build installations that in the past have featured rooms, enclosed open spaces, and viewing platforms, all connected through various passageways.

The Claim takes the form of mine pit-head. These works appear only partially finished, with designs that look both improvised and open-ended. There is a consistent play on scale in these works, reproducing in miniature whole buildings that fill to capacity gallery spaces.

The results are disorientating. These are interactive works that visitors enter, rather than stand back and observe. It is this physical motion, this passage through the art that is critical to uncovering meanings. The structures determine and pace our movements, direct our eyes, confuse our sense of scale, and highlight the role of space in social interactions and experiences. In presenting spaces in this way, the Bomfords expose the relations of power that lie just beneath the surface of everyday life, and yet which determine so much of its shape.

Nathan Bomford is currently based in Shawnigan Lake.

He works mainly in photography and installation, and has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in Germany and across Canada. Much of his recent work has been completed in collaboration with his brother, Cedric, and his father Jim Bomford.

Cedric Bomford currently lives and works in Vancouver.

His installation and photographic work has been exhibited internationally and he has participated in residencies in Europe, Asia, Australia and North America.

His work often focuses on the power dynamics established by constructed spaces and takes the form of large-scale rambling improvisational architectural installations.

The projects follow a methodology he calls “thinking through building” in which construction takes on an emergent quality rather than an illustrative one.

Concurrent to this installation work is a rigorous photographic practice that oscillates between research for and documentation of the installation works.

An opening reception is set for Friday (Sept. 20), 5-7 p.m., at the campus gallery. An artist’s talk is scheduled for the day after, Saturday (Sept. 21), at 1 p.m. The exhibit runs until Jan. 11.

For more information, please visit or call 250-740-6350. The gallery is located at Vancouver Island University.