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Latest exhibits at Grand Forks’ Gallery 2 focus on global issues

Brent Bukowski: The Depths of Perception and Sandra Sawatzky’s The Age of Uncertainty running until Nov. 10

New exhibits have arrived at Gallery 2, with one featuring art from reclaimed materials and the other with embroidery as a medium for social issues.

The first is Brent Bukowski: The Depths of Perception from Aug. 26 to Nov. 10, in the Central Gallery.

A news release stated Bukowski works primarily with reclaimed materials, reanimating what is seen as junk into compositions that explore environmental, historical, and cultural themes, with a focus on their relationship with climate change.

The exhibit features a series of sculptures that highlight the urgent need to come to an agreement as a society on issues such as climate change, public health, systemic racism, and democratic decline, to name just a few. Divisions are being driven by politics, fueled by our social media and news feed algorithms, and custom fit to our browsing history.

At the centre of each piece, a large lens set at maximum aperture enlarges a small, printed image of a defining topic under conversation. This is to highlight the physical relationship between lens aperture and depth of field as it acts as a metaphor for the narrowing of our individual spectrum of preconceptions and confirmation bias.

The exhibit aims to show that as misinformation and disinformation are rampant, it is all the more important to make decisions based on a shared set of objective facts, not our individual construction of reality.

Bukowki will host an artists talk Nov. 10 at 7 p.m.

Sandra Sawatzky’s The Age of Uncertainty is running in the Reid Gallery from August 26 to November 10.

Through her work she is transforming the perception of embroidery as an art form by using it as a vehicle for social, political, and environmental issues.

Beneath the elaborate stitching of the 12 medieval illumination-themed embroidered panels that comprise the piece are overarching issues of our time – environmental degradation, debt, income inequality, (un)employment, artificial intelligence, science and technology, war, overpopulation, nuclear threat, resource scarcity, corruption, and surveillance. The work focuses on both the urgency and absurdity of the problems that we face as a society and a species. It also illustrates our exceptional reliance on the networked, digitized, energized, electrified, mechanized, prefabricated, and manufactured world we created for ourselves. But instead of dour lectures, The Age of Uncertainty portrays these issues using humour.

All the panels follow a similar format, providing an illustrative rhythm to the exhibition. A large, decorative quote frames the narrative, human drama unfolds across three central bands, and a decorative border portrays a beleaguered natural world often seeking reprisal.

It is both hopeful for positive change and apocalyptic about the damage humanity has done to the world.

About the Author: Karen McKinley

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