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New installation at Nelson's Oxygen Art Centre

Rescue - My Landscape opens at Oxygen Art Gallery on Thursday. - submitted photo
Rescue - My Landscape opens at Oxygen Art Gallery on Thursday.
— image credit: submitted photo

Calgary artist Lylian Klimek opens the doors to her new mixed media installation at Oxygen Art Centre Thursday night.

The exhibit Rescue – My Landscape combines natural and manufactured materials to create re-imagined landscapes.

While this is Klumek’s first time showing her work in Nelson, she has been a practicing artist with an active exhibition schedule for 30 years.

She taught sculpture and 3D art at University of Alberta and Alberta College of Art and Design, and is currently on the programming committee for an artist run centre in Calgary and on the City of Calgary public arts program jury.

Vurb reached the Klimek by email to talk about her local exhibit. Here’s what she said...

On what inspired Rescue:

Rescue began on a hike when I ran into devastated place in a vast wilderness area in the foothills west of Calgary. It was inspired by my engagement with this place. It is about two kilometers long and was devastated by nature and by people — violent windstorms, fire and logging 40 years ago. Regeneration of the trees has been very slow because of erosion and the alpine location. Rescue is an imagined or re-animated landscape which resides somewhere between the natural and the artificial, the real and the imagined.

On the materials she used:

My engagement with the place described above included returning a number of times to take photographs, examine the terrain and discover a lot of stuff — some of which I collected to create this installation. I collected five tree roots which had been pulled out of the ground by violent wind and maybe logging equipment and left there. I also took mud and gravel from the site. The mud was used to cast several plate-sized circular forms and as a surface for about 40 disk-like forms that are included in the installation.

A large banner with a digital image of a small perfect pine tree at the edge of the damaged site is also part of the work. I brought together natural forms and materials from the site in combination with man-made forms and materials including lumber for the disks, a large piece of plastic mesh, hardboard panel painted with the greens, oranges and yellows of leaves, and house paint.

On what she hopes viewers will take away:

Since the installation is open ended, I expect that viewers will bring their own experiences, assumptions and interpretations to bear when viewing the work. The work began with environmental issues but is not intended to be a social critique. The aesthetics and formal organization of elements in the work have emotional impact on viewers and are central considerations.

 

Rescue runs until February 9  at Oxygen Art Centre, open Wednesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m. The opening reception is December 20 from 7 to 10 p.m., with an artist talk at 8 p.m.

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