ARTIST TALK with Kevin Michael Murphy and Holly Schmidt. From a road trip through Southern Ontario to a boat trip along the coast of British Columbia, the artwork of Kevin Michael
ARTIST TALK with Kevin Michael Murphy and Holly Schmidt.
From a road trip through Southern Ontario to a boat trip along the coast of British Columbia, the artwork of Kevin Michael Murphy and Holly Schmidt both begin with a journey. During the opening weekend of the exhibition, Kevin and Holly will join in a conversation about their art projects included in Mantle. The artists will discuss their travels, from Oil Springs, Ontario to Hardy Island, British Columbia and consider topics of transformation, extraction and artistic research in the context of ecology and art making.
Free to attend and no registration required.
Set against the picturesque backdrop of Lafarge Lake—a reclaimed sand and gravel quarry— the Art Gallery at Evergreen presents work by artists Diyan Achjadi, Sean Alward, Tsēmā Igharas, Kevin Michael Murphy and Holly Schmidt. These artists engage with ideas inspired by geology, resource extraction, Indigenous knowledges and deep time. The exhibition takes its title, Mantle, from both the inner layer of rock that forms the earth’s planetary body and the responsibility passed down from one person to another. As a verb, “mantle” also describes the covering of something—like a quarry, perhaps—that lies beneath the visible surface. Through artistic research, these artists explore the transformation of organic materials and draw learning from knowledge holders (be they people, land or other forces). The resulting artworks, which take the form of sculpture, photography, video, drawing and painting, draw attention to the interconnectedness of humankind and geology.
Kevin Michael Murphy is a multidisciplinary artist who often works in combination with organisms, systems and places. His recent work departs from Southern Ontario’s petrochemical and automotive histories to follow microalgae, petroleum and people on a circling trajectory through biological, geological and cosmic metamorphoses. He holds an MFA from the University of Guelph and a BFA from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. In 2015, he participated in “The Natural & The Manufactured” annual residency and exhibition in Dawson City, Yukon. A former Coquitlamite, Murphy currently lives in Toronto.
Holly Schmidt is an artist, curator and educator who moves across disciplinary boundaries to explore human relations with the natural world. She uses methods such as walking, interviewing and photo and video documentation to immerse herself in different sites and situations where questions and ideas emerge. These explorations lead to the creation of projects that involve a diverse range of collaborators to create social spaces and events that bring people together around shared ecological concerns. Materials and processes of making arise from these collaborative projects that lend themselves to further exploration in the studio through sculpture and installation. She received her MFA from Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver, in 2010, as well as the Governor General’s Academic Medal. Schmidt is grateful to live and work in Vancouver on the unceded Territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̍əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ílwətaʔɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.
Image: Holly Schmidt, Accretion, Unloading Granite on Dock on Fraser River, 2018. Courtesy of the artist.
(Saturday) 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Art Gallery at Evergreen
1205 Pinetree Way
The Art Gallery at Evergreen and Kevin Michael Murphy gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Holly Schmidt gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Art Council and extends her sincere thanks to Emily Choi, Nigel Laing, Lanna Lastiwka, Anna Luth, Lorna Tweten, Bedrock Natural Stone and Claytek Studios.