Glass Slides series

19 paintings, gel transfers with hand coloring and collaged paper on plexiglass with wood frame, 36” x 24”, 2001

The source for these hand-painted gel transfers were a series of glass slides dating back to the early 1900s, found in my great-aunt’s dirt basement. Although the bulk of the slide are surveying images, mostly from the area around Fort McMurray, they are less about pure landscape and more about how people interact with the land that surrounds them. In these images, the Alberta landscape is seen through the lens of economics -- notions of the “grandeur of nature” are supplanted by a view of nature as exploitable resource. These also explore popular myths of the West as a frontier space, a place of infinite opportunities and possibilities. 

These pieces were part of a group exhibition in 2002 curated by Isabela Varela and displayed in Saskatoon at the AKA Gallery, as well as in Edmonton at Latitude 53 Gallery. This exhibition was called “New Geographers”, and it essentially explored the idea of place as a concept versus the place as a lived experience. Six Edmonton-based artists participated, including Jonathan Eschak, Savi Pannu, Tandie McLeod, Jackie Barrett, Kristina Kudryk, and myself.  

Tanya CampComment