Running from August 15 to September 20, The Natural & The Manufactured explores the relationship between nature and culture, society and the natural world.
Started in 2005, The Natural & The Manufactured is a unique thematic art project jointly organized by the ODD Gallery and the artist-in-residence program at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture (KIAC).
Conceived as a speculative research-and-presentation forum, The Natural & The Manufactured looks at how people influence, and are influenced by, their natural and constructed environments.
Along with poet Robert Bringhurst’s lecture on real and artificial art in nature and Meg Walker’s commissioned critical text about the entire event, this year’s project will feature a site-specific outdoor installation by Banff-based artist Sarah Fuller and an ODD Gallery sculptural installation by Sackville, NB artist Paul Griffin, both current artists in residence in Dawson City.
Fuller works with photography, installation and video. She decided to apply for the KIAC residency last year.
“I’ve wanted to come up here for 10 years now,” she says. “I finally made it.”
Fuller became intrigued about the old town of Bear Creek — a former support camp for the dredges working in the Klondike gold fields — while still in Banff. When Bear Creek closed during the 1960’s, many of the houses were moved into Dawson.
For Fuller this was the perfect context to try a new photo technique.
“I was waiting for just the right project and this was it,” she says.
Her large-scale photos of Bear Creek houses that were moved to Dawson City have been printed onto linen sheets with an ink jet printer. Each sheet is about 10 feet high and will be hung on display to the public between the remaining, abandoned houses in Bear Creek.
“I thought it would be interesting to bring them back,” she says.
She painted the backs of the sheets to allow light through only certain areas, such as the windows.
“That’s the idea behind recreating these houses,” says Fuller. “With the light shining through the windows, it feels like home.”
Paul Griffin’s project explores the aesthetic and social connection between Chinese scholar stones — large boulders that served in formal gardens as meditative tools — and gold nuggets.
It will also focus on the beauty and the value within these objects.
“The stones look like nuggets, but are not precious in value like gold is,” says the former logger, mill worker and log homebuilder. “They are precious because of the feelings they invoke. Both gold and scholar stones have worth.”
He has created a large-scale wooden sculpture that is embroidered with electroplated roofing nails. This “ghost nugget,” as he calls it, is hollow and represents the dreams of striking it rich in a gold rush.
Griffin has always been interested in upping the status of everyday objects.
“Things are getting more practical today, so I’m trying to recharge the aesthetic,” he says.
Sarah Fuller’s photography is on exhibit at the Bear Creek Compound from Aug 15 to Aug. 24. between 9:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. Shuttle service will be provided.
Paul Griffin’s sculpture is on exhibit at the ODD Gallery in Dawson City from Aug. 15 to Sept. 20. The ODD Gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and is located on the corner of Princess Street and 2nd Avenue.
For more information, contact KIAC at 993-5005 or go towww.naturalmanufactured.com.