The Natural & The Manufactured 2006
A thematic residency and exhibition project organized by the ODD Gallery and KIAC’s Artist in Residence program, The Natural & The Manufactured presents site-specific exhibitions by nationally recognized artists: Peter Flemming, Haruko Okano, and Veronica Verkley. In our second year of this on-going project we are pleased to welcome new program partners: The Ted Harrison Artist Retreat (THARS) and the Yukon Arts Centre Public Art Gallery, thereby expanding the scope of The Natural & The Manufactured from Crag Lake through Whitehorse up the Yukon River to Dawson.
Central to the theme of The Natural & The Manufactured is the environment and a strong sense of place. All the artworks play off their locations from the quiet white box of the ODD Gallery interior to the banks of the Yukon River. Inside the Gallery Haruko Okano has transformed the space into Arboretum Arborescence an installation of tall funnel like forms constructed from gathered pine needles. The forms are delicate and almost sheer; they feel like spirits or echoes to the dense forest which surrounds us. Another such echo is found on the shore of the Yukon River, Peter Flemming’s Canoe is in essence an artificial river, through which a robotic arm endlessly paddles. The action is meditative as the water swirls around the wooden paddle yet so plainly manufactured that it questions our relationship to mechanization, nature, and leisure. Veronica Verkley has produced site-specific installations in Dawson City and Whitehorse utilizing locally available natural and found materials – the installation has been planned while in residence at THARS and constructed on-site(s). The project as a whole provides a re-interpretation on how we relate, react and view our region landscapes and in turn how these social, cultural and aesthetic agendas impact the land itself.
The Natural & The Manufactured is conceived as an ongoing, annual project to involve visual, media and interdisciplinary artists, curators, art historians, writers and cultural thinkers through residencies, exhibitions, lectures, essays and workshops.
Peter Flemming uses bits & pieces of discarded industrial objects, obsolesced consumer technology, machine processes, DIY mechanical devices and custom electronics cut-and-pasted into installation works. He received an AOCA from the Ontario College of Art in 1997, and an MFA (Media Arts) from the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in 2001. His work has been featured across N. America and in Europe. Flemming has taught at the Alberta College of Art & Design in Calgary and the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design in Halifax. He currently resides in Montreal, where he teaches electronics Concordia University in the Intermedia Cyberarts Program.
Haruko Okano is an installation artist whose work has been exhibited from the local to the international level. Her current work attempts to integrate her artistic practice and daily spiritual beliefs with her love of the land. Her installations are viewer interactive and combine commercially produced natural products with organic detritus materials. Okano lives in Vancouver, BC.
Veronica Verkley is a Toronto sculptor and filmmaker. Her work combines technology, animals, and scavenging techniques; and ranges from the mechanical to the ethereal. She has shown extensively, including a public art commission in the Don Valley, an animated short film, and a Canada Council new media research and production project. She is in the Symbiosis collective, on the board of Subtle Technologies, and she works in film and theatre doing animatronics, puppeteering, & animation. Verkley is currently in residence at the Ted Harrison Artist Retreat on Crag Lake (Yukon).