Oxygen Art Centre is pleased to present new work by Victorian artist Megan Dickie. SPIN OFF is a sculpture and video installation. The video references the format of video games; flat, multi-leveled obstacle courses that are traversed by a character who continually fails and reattempts the challenges. The video is comprised of three levels, and each level is built from large scale, absurd sculptures. The artist is the character who crisscrosses through the impediments and her own physical failure becomes the entertainment. Megan’s artist talk is Saturday August 9 at 1pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
The Oxygen Art Centre is excited to be bringing interdisciplinary artist Megan Dickie and her new work SPIN OFF back to Nelson for their August exhibition. Many of you may recall seeing some of Dickie’s art work from the Klang and Squeal exhibition an installation at Touchstones Nelson a couple of years ago. In Klang and Squeal Dickie exhibited The Gleamer, a large aluminum sheet made from small triangles looking rather like a space blanket. The sheet was set up to allow viewer to enter it. A video nearby showed the artist rumbling around underneath the sheet contorting it into a myriad of shapes causing the sheet to shape shift in response to the artist’s movement below the surface. This sort of shape shifting is reminiscent of the trickster, that ancient character whose love of breaking down hierarchies and inverting norms is in much of Dickie’s work. However, playful the presentation of her sculptures and costumes appear there is sure to be a deeper context just below the surface. Take for example, her piece Submission where the artist made a seven foot tall soft sculpture replicating the logo of the Canada Council for Arts. She then wrestled with it with much like someone would engage with a punching bag mimicking the emotions involved in the process of constantly applying for funding, recognition and exposure. This struggle is central to Dickie’s work and will no doubt be present in Spin Off, where the artist has created an absurdly large dumbbell and well… the rest you will have to come see for yourself.
Dickie’s habit of bringing two seemingly unrelated art practices, sculpture and performance together in to one format, that of video is a result of her interest in the video games of old. Where the artist says crude plots and jerky graphics were made to entertain us as we witness the continual defeat of the main character. This contemplation on defeat and failure is the basis for Spin Off. A project that for Dickie completes a trilogy of work and is a continuation of the artist’s fascination with moments in human behavior when intelligence and reason are pushed to the wayside in favour of amusement. Inventive, clever and subversive Dickie is on her mark.
Megan Dickie completed a BFA in printmaking from the University of Calgary in 1997 and received an MFA in sculpture from the University of Saskatchewan in 2002. She currently teaches sculpture at the University of Victoria. She has exhibited her work across Canada and has had recent exhibitions at Grunt Gallery, Vancouver BC, the Nanaimo Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria the Ministry of Causal Living, the Kenderdine Art Gallery, Saskatoon, SK, and Deluge Contemporary Art, Victoria, BC. She was also the recipient of a Canada Council grants in 2004 & 2013 and BC Arts Council grants in 2007, 2009 and 2013.
The exhibition is held at the Oxygen Art Centre and runs from August 9 – 30th. The gallery is open Wednesday thru Saturday from 1-5pm. An opening reception will be held on Friday August 8th from 7-9pm, the artist will be in attendance. Megan Dickie will give a talk about her work on Saturday, August 9th at 1pm.. As well, the exhibition will be part of the Columbia Basin Culture Tour which runs on August 9 and 10th.
Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges support for this exhibition from British Columbia Arts Council, Columbia Basin Trust and the Province of British Columbia.