Medalta's Exhibition looks impressive

Medalta is excited to announce their first virtual exhibitions of the 2020/2021 Medalta International Artist in Residence Program. The four artists have spent the last 12 months working towards the showcase, undaunted by the uncertainty of the Covid-19 Pandemic. These artists typically come from all over the world to the program, while this year, travel restrictions made that more difficult. 

You can view Virtual Tours for Exhibitions by Amy Duval, Carmen Belanger, Julie-Claude Vezeau-Croteau, and Yvonne Kustec.

“We have been internally preparing for these exhibitions for months, confident that our museum and spaces would be open before May to allow the public entry,” says Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Jessica Day. “As the days went by, we realized that was not going to be happening anytime soon. We began working with the Esplanade in order to get the exhibitions online in a 3D tour format, and they were very helpful in allowing that to happen.”

The following shows are available for 3D viewing on Medalta’s website, along with more information about each artist and their shows until July 3rd.

‘Serpents and Stone, A Woman on the Other Side’ by Yvonne Kustec

The mythology of Medusa has been traditionally centred around the theme of woman as monster. She is an iconic female character, known as a gorgon, a creature with snakes for hair and a stare that can turn man to stone. In a less familiar version of her story, written by the Roman poet Ovid in his ‘Metamorphoses’, Medusa is mortal, one of three daughters, born of the sea gods Phorcys and Ceto. She was coveted for her overwhelming beauty and incredible hair. Her story turns into a tragedy when she is pursued and raped by Poiseden, the God of the sea. Medusa was then punished further by the goddess Athena, who was fuelled by jealousy and transformed her into the trademark snake-haired beast. ‘Serpents and Stone, A Woman on the Other Side’, explores the problematic and reductive nature of connecting woman to beast. Looking at the transformative power of a mythology focused on the monstrous characteristics of a once beautiful woman. Medusa was stripped of both her autonomy and her voice, and famously slain by Perseus who becomes the hero in her story. The various sculptural forms, representing the body and the serpent, attempt to reintroduce the woman back into the narrative.

‘Les Bernaches Ont Froid’ by Julie-Claude Vezeau-Croteau

This body of work by Julie-Claude Vezeau-Croteau explores the narrative potential of the objects of our daily lives. She believes that our quotidian objects reveal to us our individual and collective identity. They divulge the ways that we have lived, as well as the ways that we are living because of the history of their materiality, of their shape, of their usage, of how they were made and in which condition they were made. Therefore, Julie-Claude believes that setting up new ways to encounter these objects also offers us the opportunity to reflect differently on ourselves.

Within these ceramic works, she explores the materiality of glaze and clay bodies. Julie-Claude is interested in how ceramic can disguise itself as other materials and create an uncanny feeling. Using this process gained knowledge, she constructed objects with visual language borrowed from comics with the intention of figuratively projecting ourselves on those objects themselves. She also believes it makes the intention of the art piece accessible. Especially, since cartoons are a part of mass culture.

Julie-Claude’s recent works reflects on objects and animals that she has encountered during her stay in Medicine Hat. Living in a new place during the pandemic and feeling isolated made her pay more attention to inanimate items that filled the environment and the wildlife that surrounded her during her daily walk and time at the studio. The lack of human contact made their presence grow stronger. She felt the necessity to represent these animals in relation to the objects that were collected in a way to create a visual representation of her stay and share this experience.

‘Handle with care (a practice in losing control’ by Carmen Belanger

‘Handle with care (a practice in losing control)’ considers accumulation through simultaneous Sudoku, corroding Jenga, and a sprawling pile of dishes. Carmen Belanger delves into the psychological landscapes of mental illness by exploring the repetitive and cyclical nature of the everyday. Through performance, video, and sculpture, Belanger examines the mixed messaging of the current self-care and hustle cultures.

‘Bloom and Burst’ by Amy Duval

Amy Duval’s work is an attempt at creating metaphors for the simultaneously beautiful and messy nature of the human experience, while instilling a sense of hope that bursts forth from the chaos of destruction. Her wall mounted ceramic sculptures are made using a variety of building techniques, and are created through the consideration of an imagined marriage between two seemingly oppositional ideas: the mechanic and organic. What kind of new forms and structures would emerge from the combination of these differing concepts? Despite the perceived futility and trauma of destruction, the work is meant to contain energy and hope for new forms/systems/structures and ideas that can come into bloom in the aftermath. Working with the idea of the diagram as a mode for understanding the world, objects are placed in specific proximity to one another to create new relationships. These diagrams are a collection of paradoxes, chaotic and organized, systematic and organic. They are filled with references to the history of these objects and the vulnerability involved in allowing ourselves to imagine a future where they have the potential to grow and expand into new territory and meanings.

Besides their gift shop and online children’s classes, Medalta’s museum, tours, adult classes, events and exhibitions have been closed due to the pandemic for over 5 months. Please consider a donation to help them through this difficult time: 

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