Exhibition Dates: March 3 – April 2, 2011
Reception for the Artist: Thursday, March 3, 5-9pm
Artist Talk: Saturday, March 5, 2-3pm. Please RSVP as seating is limited
The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present our second solo show of colour photographs by Scott Conarroe. “By Sea” looks at the coastline perimeter of North America and the precarious undulating edge of our civilization.
Canada has the most expansive coastline on Earth; its boundary with the United States is the world's longest non-militarized boarder. Together these two nations form a vast geo-cultural bloc that extends from polar extremes to the tropics, from sparse hinterlands to modern metropolises. “By Sea” presents a study of North America on the cusp of a new climatic era. Cataclysmic weather and global social upheaval are anticipated, but for the time being they are seen as problems for others elsewhere. Conarroe’s photographs present the fading innocence of this idyll and a visual reference of the current state of the continent’s shorelines.
This body of work is reminiscent of “By Rail”, Conarroe's earlier study of North America's railways. Where “By Rail” follows a line of infrastructure through post-industrial land and cityscapes, “By Sea” traces a contour around them. In August 2009, Conarroe began photographing Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula as well as Newfoundland and the Maritimes. He worked his way south to the Florida Keys for December and then back up the Pacific to Alaska in the spring. When looking for a landscape to photograph, Conarroe states, “I like pictures that have a timeless, archetypal ambience, but that also describe and inform contemporary narratives.” This year, in the Canadian Forces Civilian Artist Program, Conarroe will photograph on the Arctic coast.
Conarroe received a BFA from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2001 and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2005. He is increasingly well known for his social landscapes which evoke romantic pictorial traditions. Using a large format camera and long exposures made at dawn, his richly coloured photographs of empty hockey rinks, town squares, and looming bridges have been exhibited internationally. In 2010, Conarroe's work was included in the Canadian pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo, he was an artist-in-residence at Villa Strauli in Winterthur, Switzerland and he was named among the year's top 30 emerging photographers by Photo District News.
“By Sea” was made possible with the support of the Ontario Arts Council, the Canadian Forces, and Light Work.