Oakville Galleries in Gairloch Gardens
In his exhibition, Home and Garden, Kitchener-based artist Andrew Wright borrows trade secrets from the old masters and offers an intriguing glimpse of the use of optical tools at the hands of a contemporary artist. Wright uses a camera obscura, a camera lucida, a conventional view camera, as well as video technology to assist him in negotiating a relationship to the home and gardens that comprise the Gairloch estate. As the artist says, “My work is becoming less and less about faithful representations of the world and more about the nature of that representation itself."
Over the summer months, Wright began his research for Home and Garden on the grounds of Gairloch, looking every bit the part of a nineteenth century artist. With a straw hat for cover, a solid drawing table for support, paper, a pencil and a camera lucida as tools, Wright set out to create precise renderings of the picturesque landscape. Exploring these tools as “living projections" the artist carefully considered the agencies of optics and light in an attempt to capture the elusive view. In the evenings he would illuminate the landscape with theatrical lighting to create photographic portraits of singular trees, or transform a simple pond into a backdrop for a mysterious melodrama. “I see these photos of the gardens at night as revealing a landscape / vista that is in part constructed by physical manipulation (gardens) and in part by our way of looking that we have inherited from the very tools that we use to help us see." The centerpiece for this exhibition is a video installation that is also shot at night using lighting and surround sound. It is the next logical step for Wright. In Home and Garden, Wright takes the viewer on a romp of meticulously realized landscapes in which the artist goes “from vision, to thought, to drawing, to photo, to video, to an experience that recreates representation."
A booklet with an essay by Kim Simon is available through Oakville Galleries.
Curated by Marnie Fleming