Domination / Demarcation


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Any sensitivity to the history of landscape and its representations in the Western tradition forces the recognition that human history is one of constant environmental modification, manipulation, destruction and creation, both material and imaginative. And guiding, if rarely driving this process is the belief—deposited deep in myth and memory—that the good, the true and the beautiful, as well as the threatening, the awesome and the disgusting, are inscribed in the contours of the land.
— Denis E. Cosgrove, Social Formation and Symbolic Language

Domination / Demarcation represents ongoing series of landscape studies which seek to investigate the mythos of nature in the collective Canadian psyche. This idealization of landscape has been predicated on a belief that the wilds of nature are unbounded, expansive, and largely untouched. In many ways this is a constructed ideal: like many other parts of the world, the Canadian landscape is equally subject to processes of manipulation, as our collective intervention and impact becomes increasingly prevalent. Presented as large-scale photographic prints and the beginning of a related sculptural investigation, these works examine the marks and detritus of change, use and exploitation; many exhibit the aftermath of an inherent violence within and upon the landscape. The allure of landscape as a trope and its many long-standing aesthetic conventions are at play, while an underlying anxiety is also piqued in order to question society's long-term relationship to our surroundings. Investigating the traces of human habit and force on physical surroundings is a continuing theme throughout this work.

Portions of this series were presented in the solo exhibitions Demarcation at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, 2011, and Was there ever any domination which did not appear natural to those who possessed it? at Republic Gallery, 2010-2011.