Yesterday, I had the pleasure of attending my first art exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc. It was the final day of an exhibition called Traces, featuring three McMaster University Alumni, including KJ (Jennifer) Bedford, one of my college professors and my friend.
Artists exhibiting other forms of art were also present to describe and discuss their work. They were professors, alumni and students from McMaster. They included sculptors, a henna artist, and several artists who blended every day objects into unique forms, functions and shapes. I was most attracted to those working with abstract rather than repurposed objects. I really enjoyed seeing how continuous line drawings could merge with musical notation, and how long exposure photography and light could be used to document the struggle to climb a mountain.
Jennifer’s framed exhibit featured local homes visually linked by the obsolete technology of analogue television antennae protruding from their roofs or sides. The images were cleanly displayed in white frames on white matting, enabling the homes to immediately be the focus of attention. Minimally edited, with consistent lighting across the series, the relationship between the homes was obvious.
Jennifer also presented some of her other work, including a series of photograms that were actually photographs of the patterns in her own skin. Using something similar to cosmetic skin masks, she was able to remove the mask once it had set and to develop an image of it in the darkroom. The result was amazing.
The gallery is located in an area of Hamilton devoted to artists and their crafts. It was exciting to step into this world of creative professionals who find inspiration in many of the things that we often take for granted. I look forward to further developing my own sense of the atypical.