27 January - 18 March 2007
at Centennial Square
Kim Adams, Roy Arden, Jeremy Borsos, Edward Burtynsky, Robin Collyer, Stan Denniston, Susan Dobson, Rodney Graham, Susanna Heller, Geoffrey James, Euan MacDonald and Scott McFarland
Curated by Derek Knight
Over the last 15 years or more, Oakville Galleries has built an art collection of some significance. Given its objective to engage the idea of community, place and the preponderance of works which reflect or engage the suburban myth, allows for this opportunity to re-examine these questions and more in light of the artists' response to their habitat. (Montreal's Habitat '67 defined the Canada of the 1960s. Designed by Moshe Safdie, its modular spaces were a model of efficient urbanism in both form and function.) The question of how we design our urban habitats today has been contrasted by the broader suburban or exurban question as defined by the generic or edge city, displaced or new norms of community living. What is lost and gained in the process?
Artists have long commented on their environs. The convention of landscape painting has given way in the post-modern era to a critique of the environments in which we live, work, play, consume or subsist. Other manifestations present unique perspectives on the various ecologies that define our habitat, social behaviour and instinct for survival. Presenting works from the collection by Kim Adams, Roy Arden, Jeremy Borsos, Edward Burtynsky, Robin Collyer, Stan Denniston, Susan Dobson, Rodney Graham, Susanna Heller, Geoffrey James, Euan MacDonald and Scott McFarland, Re-Envisioning Habitat demonstrates the interstices that exist between artistic discourse and the integral relationship between humankind and their spatial environments (the ecologies of space). Art is many things but it is also in its reading an intricate network/ecology integrating social, economic, physical and cultural modalities.