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Unearthing, Folding, and Burning

Ryan Peter, Gerri York, Torrie Groening Unearthing, Folding, and Burning

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This exhibition contains varying approaches to the still life genre through photographic experiments in material, process, and animation. More below

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Torrie Groening, Gerri York, Ryan Peter

This exhibition is part of the 2019 Capture Photography Festival Selected Exhibition Program. Unearthing, Folding, and Burning contains varying approaches to the still life genre through photographic experiments in material, process, and animation.

Gerri York’s work reexamines the material process of origami through deconstruction. Under the glow of a safelight in the darkroom, she folds photosensitive paper into traditional origami forms, such as a crane. The exterior is lit by an incandescent bulb from an enlarger unit—some light also leaks in through creases and cracks. The crane is unfolded back into its flat two-dimensional origin and developed using photographic chemicals. The resulting black, grey, and white shapes mark the dissected remains of the origami creature that was created and subjected to exposure only moments before. Although the work appears abstract, it is a realistic (perhaps corporeal) representation made abject by the process of pulling apart. The photograph is scanned at a high resolution and printed digitally on rag paper with archival pigments. In it’s final form, the artistic work mimics clinical documentation of post-mortem study.

Ryan Peter’s work employs contact photographic darkroom processes whereby acrylic paints, chemicals, and industrial materials are placed atop translucent plastic film to expose large sheets of photosensitive paper. The resulting textures often resemble topographic and woodgrain surfaces. He uses dodging and burning techniques with large cutouts to create overlapping terrestrial scenes featuring surreal and anthropomorphic characters. His enigmatic prints have been described as drawing on the shifting relationship between physical and digital forms, evoking a sense of tension between the natural and urban realms and the way humans intersect with them.

Torrie Groening’s work consists of digitally scanned pottery shards of Chinese, Japanese, and English origin that she has dug up from her yard in Strathcona, Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood. Connected visually by their use of the cobalt glaze, these imported pieces find themselves above ground again sharing space with their neighbours. Unlike most archaeological projects, Groening makes no attempt to reassemble the shards into their original ceramic forms. Rather, the pieces are reconstituted into loose patterns and layered arrangements that reference the fragmentation of our current political mosaic.

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Gerri York is an artist based in Vancouver. She has a bachelor of fine arts degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (Vancouver) and a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Gabriel’s College (London University). Her visual art practice encompasses sculpture, printmaking, photography, and drawing and has been exhibited in a wide variety of exhibitions and juried shows. Her work is included in both public and private collections in Canada and internationally. She completed an artist’s residency at Grafisch Atelier Utrecht (CBKU) in the Netherlands. York has worked at the Vancouver Art Gallery as a staff animateur and workshop leader in public programs. She has also sat on the education committees of both the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Contemporary Art Gallery (Vancouver) and has facilitated workshops for art teachers.

Ryan Peter is an artist based in San Francisco. Peter graduated in 2008 with a master of fine arts degree from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver). He was a semifinalist in the 11th Annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition in 2009 and has since been featured in numerous exhibitions across Canada and the United States. Recent exhibitions include Presentation House Gallery Satellite (Vancouver), Susan Hobbs (Toronto), the Or Gallery (Vancouver), Republic Gallery (Vancouver), Vancouver Art Gallery, Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina), and the Gordon Smith Foundation (North Vancouver). He is an instructor at San Francisco Art Institute and an advisor in the graduate program at California College of the Arts.

Torrie Groening is an artist based in Vancouver. She makes use of new and traditional technologies to create installations and photographs that reflect a personal investment in the peripheral material of her studio. Culling from her own collections, she constructs elaborate still life scenes representative of a multi-linear and often auto-fictive narrative. Groening’s works are held in over 40 museum and public collections in Canada and the US, including the Burnaby Art Gallery, Maltwood Museum (Victoria), and the Palm Springs Art Museum. Recent exhibitions include The Griffin Museum of Photography (Winchester), Foto Relevance Gallery (Houston), and International Print Center (New York).

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