found/held presents work by Alana Bartol (Calgary), Lindsay Dobbin (Bay of Fundy), and Ursula Handleigh (Halifax), and Pavitra Wickramasinghe (Montreal).
Considering these works through a drawing lens, this exhibition investigates the artists’ use of concrete materials—water, air, metal, paper—to capture phenomena—RESONANCE, BREATH, ENERGY, THE FOLD.
by reading about the disappearing skill of wave pilots in the Marshall Islands—specially trained in the ancient art of reading the waves by feel and sight—Wickramasinghe’s Coral bones/La mer are a return to these innate navigation skills and of the body to the environment. Dobbin’s practice of drumming the surface of the Bay of Fundy is reflected Arrival, in which they build a spacious soundscape with two tones acting as wave cycles. With her video reading wild lands, Bartol re-imagines dowsing as a technology for remediation of contaminated land. Lastly, Handleigh uses experiential photography and alternative processes of image making to record personal histories, such as I can feel you forgetting, which captures both the impressions of her hands and the humidity of her breath.
ALANA BARTOL comes from a long line of water witches. Her site-responsive works explore walking and divination as ways of understanding across places, species, and bodies. Bartol’s work has been screened and presented across Canada at Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff); InterAccess (Toronto); PlugIn ICA (Winnipeg); Access Gallery (Vancouver); M:ST Performative Arts Festival (Calgary); Art Gallery of Windsor; and Group Intervention Vidéo (Montréal), as well as in Romania, Germany, Mexico and the United States. She currently lives in Calgary, Alberta in Treaty 7 territory where she teaches at Alberta College of Art+Design.
LINDSAY DOBBIN is a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) – Acadian – Irish water protector, artist, musician, curator and educator who lives and works on the Bay of Fundy in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of Lnu’k. Born in and belonging to the Kennebecasis River Valley, the traditional territory of the Wəlastəkwiyik, Mi’kmaq and Passamaquoddy, Dobbin has lived throughout Wabanaki as well as the Yukon in Kwanlin Dün territory. Dobbin’s relational and place-responsive practice includes music, sound art, performance, sculpture, installation, social practices and writing, and is invested in Indigenous epistemologies and cultural practices, such as drumming. Through placing listening, collaboration and improvisation at the centre of the creative process, Dobbin’s practice explores the connection between the environment and the body, and engages in a sensorial intimacy with the living land and water. As a passionate educator, Dobbin employs traditional and contemporary land-based practices, creativity, play and improvisation as tools for self-awareness, collaboration, experiential learning and community building—revealing that people and the environment are related in dynamic ways. Dobbin is also an active artistic collaborator, and have worked on projects with musicians, sound artists, dancers, visual artists and filmmakers.
URSULA HANDLEIGH is a Toronto-born artist, currently living and working in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Working with experimental photography, film and alternative processes of image making, her practice explores questions of identity, perception, memory and kinship. Using experiential photography and the personal archive as a foundation for exploration, her work addresses the ways in which we create personal histories, while challenging traditional methods of documentation. Handleigh received a Masters of Fine Arts from NSCAD University in 2017 and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from OCAD University in 2012. Her work has been exhibited across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.
PAVITRA WICKRAMASINGHE is a multidisciplinary artist mainly concerned with new ways of conceptualizing the moving image and conventions of seeing. Her current work is an exploration of notions of traveling, fluidity of place and memory. She uses light and shadows as extensions of the projected image to create installations where the viewer occupies filmic space instead of being physically removed from the work. Pavitra was born in Colombo and lives and works in Tiohtiá:ke/Montréal.