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Michaela Mitchell


If this is paradise I wish I had a lawnmower – Talking Heads, 1988

The title for this exhibition is taken from the Greek term, Ou-topos; Ou (not) and Topos (a place). The term Utopos holds two other meanings: the first being “the good place” and the second “the place that cannot be.” In the Talking Heads song “Nothing but Flowers,” David Byrne’s lyrics follow a similar path by embodying this shared meaning of Utopos, where yes, the grass really is greener on the other side of the fence, but, upon reflection, neither greens—nor grass for that matter—are all they were cracked up to be. Be careful what you wish for. You might get it and regret it.


Charles Baudelaire, the 19th Century poet and art critic, saw the ‘ragpicker’ as an allegorical figure able to convey the essence of consumer capitalism:

Here we have a man whose job it is to gather the day’s refuse in the capital. Everything that the big city has thrown away, everything it has lost, everything it has scorned, everything it has crushed underfoot he catalogues and collects. He collates the annals of intemperance, the capharnaum of waste. He sorts things out and selects judiciously; he collects, like a miser guarding a treasure, refuse which will assume the shape of useful or gratifying objects between the jaws of the goddess of Industry.

BAF: Everything Flows

Adorned with the steadily accumulating debris of contemporary life—plastics, Styrofoam, bottle caps, and pennies—the sculptures in Alex Tedlie-Stursberg’s Everything Flows exude, despite their manufactured origins, an aura of the organic. Often they evoke ancient things: fossilised forests, archaeological artefacts, coral reefs, alien planets. Poised between the artificial and the artisanal, the ready-made and the hand-made, they display a trippy, absurd quality that belie Tedlie-Stursberg’s thoughtful engagement with humanity’s discarded materials and the value systems that help create them.

BAF In Conversation: Alex Tedlie Stursberg

Alex Tedlie-Stursberg explores the constantly flowing streams of interactions and transactions that make up our society in a practice that combines sculpture, assemblage and collage. Interested in the “bottom end of the market”, Tedlie-Stursberg’s works tend to incorporate what might be bluntly referred to as garbage – not just waste and discarded objects, but actual earth and soil. The finished works exude an eccentric, fantastical energy, seeming to come neither from the future nor the past, but perhaps an alternate timeline or dimension. This humour and irreverence characterizes Tedlie-Stursberg’s practice; in the past, he has created video art from a Ron Perlman movie and a mock campfire from found objects.

Scout: New “Three-Dimensional Photography” Exhibition Opens in Abbotsford This Friday

A photograph is a photograph is a… sculpture? Experience photography in new ways at The Reach Gallery Museum’s latest exhibition, image/object: new approaches to three-dimensional photography, opening in Abbotsford on Friday, January 27th.

Through the work of three contemporary Canadian artists – Karin Bubaš, Natalie Hunter, and Karen Zalamea – image/object explores the potential for photographic images to be spatial, experiential and material. Each artist, however, approaches photography uniquely.

Holger Kalberg | New Artist

Holger Kalberg was born in Germany and currently lives and works in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He graduated from Emily Carr University (BFA, 2001) and the Chelsea School of Art in London (MFA, 2007). Kalberg has been shortlisted for the RBC Painting Competition on three separate occasions, and served on the jury for the 2013 award. Kalberg has recently exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery, the University of Manitoba, the Belkin Satellite Gallery, and the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. His work is collected by the Royal Bank of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, TD Bank, the Belkin Gallery, and numerous other public and private collections.

Through the Lattice

Through the Lattice reflects upon the ongoing relevance of the lived environment, whether as owned, alienated, or desired. Each artist foregrounds the role of place—and its aesthetics of style, ornament, design, pattern, and architecture—in their recent works. Though diverse in their methods, the artists share a concern with the deeper meanings of space as well as its material construction.

“Where and how we inhabit space has been the subject of intense discussion as of late,” says exhibition curator Rhys Edwards. “Lockdown protocols, safe living spaces, and affordable housing are very current topics. I wanted to organize an exhibition of artworks that demonstrates how many artists have been responding to the idea of dwelling in recent times.”

A Word for Underfoot; The Sun at Hunt Gallery

Gold’s status as a precious metal is tied to a variety of factors, its relative scarcity, its exceedingly difficult extraction, its applications as a key resource across an expansive list of industries. Most of all, however, it is gold’s lustrous, radiant finish that defines and preserves its status at the forefront of our covetousness. It is this same glimmering luminosity that seems universal amongst the objects to which we ascribe most value. Silver, platinum, diamonds, and rubies share it, and it is a fundamental quality of the single most important and enduring object planet earth has ever known: The Sun. And just as gold bears a Midasian list of cautions that accompany our greed for it, so too does The Sun. For every crop grown and flower bloomed, so too does our skin burn and pictures fade by its same light. And it is here, with The Sun and our paradoxical relationship to it, that the most recent show at Hunt Gallery finds its source.