Artists Stephanie Marton, Jessie Raymond and Zanaib Hussain occupy Blink with work curated by Anna Paluch.
“Mapping Ottawa” references how artists Stephanie Marton, Jessie Raymond and Zainab Hussain uniquely document their surroundings in the city they live in, Ottawa.
The show is meant to portray various features of Ottawa, whether it is its developing suburbs, small in-city forests, busy streets, or main tourist attractions.
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I decided to approach my hometown, Ottawa the way a tourist might approach it. I took the streets with a map in one hand and a recorder in the other and a friend at my side. The route we took to experience Ottawa is best illustrated with the map we were using to find our way throughout the city. The map aided us to create an adventurous atmosphere throughout the day and helped us reach our goals. The audio and the polaroid pictures serve to provide context into our journey throughout the day. The audio is a conversation between me and a friend during our trip. We are recounting the events that had transpired throughout the day. This is done in order to preserve the clarity of the trip. The polaroid pictures are not at all clear, but it is interesting to consider that each represents a moment that was meant to be photographed. The moment was captured simply by the fact that we would all pause and create the moment of the picture; however the audience is unable to see the exact physical qualities that made up that moment.
In this work (800m) I attempt to challenge our perceptions of the waste we encounter in our lives. I ask what these waste objects infer, and whether they can relate the stories of the people who produce them. I collect the garbage pieces only in the area between my apartment building and Hurdman station so that I can situate myself in the area, and better understand those that occupy the same space as I do. I document these objects by recording the date, time, and place that they were found which creates a map as well as a timeline. By isolating these objects and re-contextualizing them in the form of a collection, I create a museum like experience. In this “current archeology” I examine the importance of frames of reference to readings of objects. Using the scanner, I remove the objects from their original, physical context. In digitizing them I place them into a different contemporary situation, that of data and technology. I question if the process of digitization helps to contextualize these current objects to a greater or lesser extent than if the objects were just displayed in a case.
Re-Zoning Nature – The question of suburban expansion has been a prevalent topic since the 60s, and, as green-space disappears ever more rapidly, it grows increasingly more relevant. Urban sprawl is happening so quickly there is hardly time to protest over the natural and historical treasures destroyed in the process. Areas of land that were originally designated green-space are rapidly re-zoned to allow clear cutting, and this has, over the last year, become a hot issue in Ottawa’s west end. The first photo I took in this series was the one with the two trees that look as if they were a single tree split dramatically in half. This image stuck with me when I saw them as I drove past. It intrigued me as to why these two were left untouched while the area around them was leveled. They were like a symbol or icon of a rupture or tear in nature. From there I continued to photograph construction sites keeping to the fringes of the suburbs. I wanted the pictures to comment on their own about the manner in which we construct – one in which wholesale destruction is the first step.
Little Urban Myths – The idea behind these images is a play on the popular myths about small forest people, fairies or nymphs. Especially in today’s pop culture there is a permeating theme surrounding these fantasies, these small people are thought to be closer and more in tune with nature somehow – if you’ve ever seen movies such as Epic, or Fern Gully – they are friends with animals and their clothes are made from natural materials. I wished to deconstruct the myth of the wise woodland fairy people and create my own tiny society that is a reflection of our own.
Ottawa/Hull Musical – The Ottawa and Hull skylines face each other across a set of mirrors that not only refer to the river between the two cities; it also creates mirror images of the skylines which then becomes part of the musical composition that is based off of the skylines. The sound would be in stereo, split so the music plays on the side of the corresponding skyline and viewers would be able to walk in between them. The aim is to have the separate music pieces each reflect the personality of each city, and in their iteration and mingling show how close the two cities really are.
The show opens Thursday night 6-9 PM July 17
Remember to visit the artists so you can talk to them about their work (even after the opening!)
Blink Gallery is open Friday 6-9PM