A brand new exhibit on the Gibsons Public Art Gallery is taking the gallery in a brand new path, as Roberts Creek artist Mieke Jay weaves nature with know-how by an immersive, three-dimensional set up.
Jay’s present The Fabric of Our Lives opened on Jan. 13, reworking the gallery’s alabaster partitions into an undulating blaze of colors, shapes and shadows. Five projectors beam natural settings — seashores, woods, water — overlaid by a latticework of computer-generated patterns.
“Until now, most of our shows have been paintings hanging on walls,” stated gallery supervisor Christina Symons.
If most artwork exhibits require patrons to amble solemnly by painting-lined corridors, Jay’s present is a blinding counterpoint to custom.
Symons has seen guests standing stock-still for minutes whereas Jay’s illuminations dance round them. One girl, lulled by the accompanying soundscape created by Baeden Shendebray, prolonged her arms and started to dance. Her swaying shadow fell onto one in all three trapezoidal columns within the room, including a human-shaped void to the kaleidoscopic tapestry.
“I have a lot of motion [in the work] and I really wanted it to feel uplifting,” Jay stated, reflecting on pandemic circumstances, which have required all gallery guests to be vaccinated and masked. “It’s been a tough time for people. I just really wanted them to be able to have an experience that’s outside of our norm. My hope is that it gives people a little push of creativity that they can immerse themselves in and just hopefully feel a little bit more upbeat.”
Jay has been creating unique projections since finishing formal artwork research at Emily Carr University in 2002. She started devising graphics for dwell performances and located a means to translate viewers spontaneity into her work. “I’m live-mixing the media in response to what’s happening onstage,” she stated. “The musicians are following the crowd and I’m following the musicians.”
A current tenure as artist-in-residence at Sechelt’s Sunshine Coast Arts Centre happened amid strict COVID-19 restrictions, requiring her to conceive new materials in isolation.
“At first I was actually working with fabric itself,” she stated, “but fabric from my own history, which is of European descent. When I got the show at the GPAG, I wanted it to be more open and less about me. So I went to imagery that’s more about the metaphorical fabric of our lives here on the Coast, which for a lot of us really revolves around nature. It revolves around everyday things.”
Everyday sounds fill the aural palette of multi-instrumentalist Baeden Shendebray, additionally of Roberts Creek, composer of the 25-minute soundtrack for The Fabric of Our Lives. “All the background sounds are from the Coast,” stated Shendebray, who performs underneath the identify Goats and Lasers. “It’s all birds, squirrels, waves, wind and rain — tiny little textures. I like to add organic elements over electronic music to make it just a little less sterile.”
Jay will broadcast a program of dwell music and dance from the exhibit on Jan. 29 at 6 p.m., which will be considered on-line at https://fb.me/e/1A37k1v1v. The Fabric of Our Lives stays on show till Feb. 6.