The Oxygen Art Centre is pleased to be presenting an exhibition of new work by visual artist Stephanie Kellett. The exhibition will include a series of new paintings, a found object installation and an audio visual component. As research and inspiration for the creation of Re-Wilding: Fire Starter Kellett travelled with her partner, bear biologist and sound artist Robert E. Livingood to Chilko Lake and Fish Lake in the Chilcotin region of British Columbia. Together they spent six weeks living in this biologically rich environment amongst coastal bears, wolves, wild horses and salmon runs. Kellett went to the plateau with the intention of re-wilding herself, which centred around a quest to “still her mind” in the sublime beauty and deep quiet of the plateau. However, what touched her deeply and has inspired her creative process was found in the mundane, in the daily act of gathering twigs for starting fires. This repetitive and simple act is the root of her new work and exhibition, Re-Wilding: Fire Starter.
Nature is at the centre of Kellett’s artistic practice, in previous work, she has sought to expose the industrial scaring on the landscape and through poetic delivery of toxic tailings ponds and polluted water ways provided the viewer seductive access in to the ways in which we continue to harm nature. She has painted a series of wild animals, bears, wolves and deer in which she placed terrorists masks. She hoped that the viewer might reflect on was how our projected fears create a divide between humans and nature. These concerns place her work clearly in a feminist camp as they provide us with a un-romanticized perspective on the human – nature relationship. In Re-Wilding: Fire Starter she once again humanizes the relationship between humans and nature and in doing so exposes the root of all material and thus artistic culture, that of being in close connection to nature. It is through this vital link that a rich and diverse material culture has been fostered throughout human history. And it is most certainly the source of any progressive view of the future.
How does one translate the numinous in a creative practice? How does one go about distilling a phenomenological experience of place? Can an interior relationship with nature be shared? These are the questions Kellett is poetically exploring in this exciting new body of work. Join us at the Oxygen Art Centre and share in the creative work Re-Wilding: Fire Starter by Stephanie Kellett.
Stephanie Kellett is originally from the Okanagan and now resides in Nelson, BC.
She has studied fine arts at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan and also the University of Victoria where she received a BA in Art History. During her time at the University of Victoria she was awarded the Faculty Scholarship and the Marlet Chapter IODE scholarship for her work. In 2014 she was a participant in the Toni Onley Art Project. She has received funding from the Columbia Basin Trust and the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance for several of her projects including Re-Wilding: Fire Starter of which this exhibition sees the completion of a major project grant.
The Oxygen Art Centre will host an opening reception for the artist on Friday, January 5th from 7-9pm. The exhibition Re-Wilding: Fire Starter will run from January 6th through to February 3rd, 2018. The gallery will be open Wednesdays to Saturdays from 1-5pm . The artist will give a talk on her work on Saturday, January 20th from 4-5pm.
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