A Vertical City Goes Both Ways

New Work by Sean Alward

October 27th, 2012 – January 12, 2013

Opening Reception: Friday October 26th, 8pm – 12am

Talk: Saturday December 8th, 2pm

Access Gallery proudly presents A Vertical City Goes Both Ways, a two-part solo exhibition by Vancouver artist Sean Alward. Exploring the layers of material culture embedded beneath our feet, Alward creates new assemblage and collage work responding to the fertile ground present-day Vancouver is built on. Alward approaches the material buried beneath Vancouver’s pavement as a kind of tool for visualizing time and re-formulating repressed history. Man-made debris, such as the ancient Marpole Midden and more recent municipal dump-sites along False Creek, serve as models for  a spatial embodiment of time and history. When buried material is disturbed during the course of real estate development, the result is a kind of accidental archeology. This creates opportunities to re-examine civic foundations, both literally and figuratively. Alward’s work is a response to these opportunities. In the large wall work, “False Creek Midden,” rorschach-like paint blots  mirror the symmetry of the clam-shells which local middens are composed of. Paint is presented as ambiguous information, fragmented, and arranged in layers. Smaller framed works offer speculative constructions made around photographs of Vancouver archeological sites.

Sean Alward completed his BFA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and MFA at the University of British Columbia. He has exhibited in Canada and internationally. He lives in Vancouver, B.C.

Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the City of Vancouver, our members and volunteers.