Calgary-based artist Nicole Kelly Westman (right) hangs her display Faux Light Falling on Drawn Drapes with the help of curatorial intern Emma Sise at the Nanaimo Art Gallery on Tuesday afternoon. Westman is one of six artist whose work is on display in the exhibition Fulhame’s Map, which runs from Friday, April 6 to June 3. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

New Nanaimo Art Gallery show ‘Fulhame’s Map’ explores the ‘language of images’

An opening reception is being held at the gallery on April 6, show runs until June 3

The Nanaimo Art Gallery’s latest investigative query is “How do we speak differently?” and will first view that riddle through a camera’s lens.

Curator Jesse Birch has assembled the work of six Canadian artists who explore the possibilities of photography and how the practice interprets and modifies reality. The exhibition, Fulhame’s Map, features photography, video and installation pieces. An opening reception is being held at the gallery on Friday, April 6 and the show runs until June 3.

“For me, this show is about speaking through a language of images and experimentation with images and the way that the language … the vernacular photography [has been] changing over the last couple hundred years,” Birch said.

The title is a reference to 18th-century chemist Elizabeth Fulhame, who observed that maps could be drawn using a combination of chemicals and light and was a notable figure associated with the conception of photography.

In Fulhame’s spirit, some pieces in the exhibition experiment with what can be done with light and images. Emily Carr and UBC grad Fabiola Carranza contributes with the mixed-media installation Frankincense and Flora, a sculptural work based on a kind of Victorian projector called a physionotrace, which was used to draw subjects in profile based on silhouettes.

“A lot of my work is about getting really obsessed with finding some way to make a historical thing come to the present and become interesting again,” Carranza said.

Birch pointed out that while Fulhame was developing the chemical side of photography, the physionotrace was a precursor to the mechanical side.

“To me [they were] the first images that you see that are photographic of portraits of women and children, so I became interested in that device for that reason. And then that led me to various attempts at making my own version of this machine because none of these machines survived, only the drawings that were made with them,” Carranza explained, adding that she has still never seen a physionotrace in person.

Calgary-based artist and fellow Emily Carr alumna Nicole Kelly Westman similarly explores an old-fashioned projection device in her piece, Faux Light Falling on Drawn Drapes.

“For a while I’ve been interested in other ways you can memorialize a moment that’s not like taking a photograph of it,” Westman said.

In her work, Westman uses a cuclioris, a light filter device used in film and performance that cast shadows to suggest the presence of objects that aren’t really there, like tree branches or blinds. Westman created her cuclioris patterns based on light streaming through her bedroom window. She then projected light and colour though the device onto fake curtains, photographed the result and printed that onto the real drapes in the show.

“So, it’s like three curtains involved,” Birch said.

“There’s the imaginary memory of the light falling on the curtains, there’s the constricted studio curtains with the cuclioris light and there’s that printed onto these curtains which have become real again in the gallery.”

“It’s a hard soundbite,” Westman said with a laugh.

The show also features experimental photographs by Victorian-era Victoria photographer Hannah Maynard and Montreal’s Jessica Eaton as well as videos by Vancouverite Allison Hrabluik and Sara Cwynar, who resides in New York City.

WHAT’S ON … Opening reception for Fulhame’s Map at the Nanaimo Art Gallery on Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Show runs until June 3.



arts@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A man was arrested at a Nanaimo convenience store last week for challenging customers to fights. (News Bulletin file photo)
‘Shadow boxing’ Nanaimo man arrested after challenging convenience store customers to fights

Man spends night in a cell at Nanaimo RCMP detachment, released without charges

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party’s climate action platform at Nanaimo’s Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. Greens say minority government can best address ‘overlapping crises’

Furstenau talks to the News Bulletin about coalitions, old-growth forests and ferries

Two men were stranded on Snake Island after their small boat was blown away by strong winds Wednesday. (News Bulletin file photo)
Boat blows away, stranding fishermen on Snake Island in the strait near Nanaimo

Marine search and rescue team picked up men on windy afternoon Wednesday

Surveillance image of a suspect in a break-and-enter in Nanoose Bay on Oct. 20. (Submitted photo)
Suspect in Nanoose Bay uses garage door opener to get into home, takes keys, steals truck

Oceanside RCMP ask for public’s help to try to identify suspect

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Candidates in the Nanaimo riding include Kathleen Jones, B.C. Liberal Party, top left; Sheila Malcolmson, NDP; Lia Versaevel, Green Party. (Photos submitted/News Bulletin photo/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Parksville-Qualicum riding include Rob Lyon, B.C. Green Party, top left; Don Purdey, Conservatives; John St. John, independent; Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Liberals; and Adam Walker, B.C. NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Parksville-Qualicum candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Candidates in the Nanaimo-North Cowichan riding include Chris Istace, B.C. Green Party, top left; Duck Paterson, B.C. Liberals; and Doug Routley, NDP. (Photos submitted/Elections B.C. image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Nanaimo-North Cowichan candidates

Provincial election candidates discuss their priorities in their own words

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a woman who allegedly threw hot coffee on a McDonald’s employee. (News Bulletin photo)
UPDATE: Nanaimo RCMP still looking for woman who threw coffee at worker after already receiving refund

Police asking for information in investigation that could lead to assault charges

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for parts of Vancouver Island for Thursday and Friday.(File photo)
Snowfall expected in parts of Vancouver Island this week

Environment Canada has issued a snowfall advisory for north, east and inland Vancouver Island

Environment Minister George Heyman, Premier John Horgan and Energy Minister Michelle Mungall announce that B.C. Hydro is proceeding with construction of the Site C dam, Dec. 11, 2017. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
Site C actions, costs won’t be known until after B.C. election, Horgan says

Peace River diverted for construction of reinforced dam base

One of the squirrels who ended up having their tails amputated after getting them stuck together with tree sap. (Facebook/Wild ARC)
Squirrels recovering from tail amputation after sap situation near Victoria

BC SPCA Wild ARC says squirrels will be released back into wild, fifth sibling was euthanized

Most Read