(This story is in partnership with Capture Photography Festival)
Capture Photography Festival is Western Canada’s largest celebration of lens-based art. Now in its sixth year, artists’ works will be exhibited at dozens of galleries and other venues throughout Metro Vancouver from April 3 to 30, 2019. In addition to a number of community events, tours, films, and artist’s talks, the public also has the opportunity to vote in the Georgia Straight and Capture Photography Festival Canada Line Competition.
The winning photograph will be installed on the façade of the King Edward Canada Line Station for six months, from April to September, 2019. The winner of the coveted prize will also see their work featured on the Capture website and in 8,000 copies of the 2019 Capture Magazine, which is distributed throughout the Lower Mainland.
The competition, which is part of a partnership with the Canada Line Art Program and InTransit BC, accepted hundreds of submissions. A jury, including the Capture Photography Festival and the Georgia Straight reviewed all the entries and determined a shortlist of four artists outlined below.
The theme for this year’s competition is “the Anthropocene” derived from the Greek anthropo, meaning “pertaining to human beings”, and cene, meaning new. It refers to the Earth’s most recent geologic epoch, beginning at the end of the Holocene, when the glaciers of the last ice age diminished. The Anthropocene is marked by the significant alteration of the Earth by humans, based on evidence of massive changes to the atmosphere, ecosystems, and landscape through mining, industrialization, agriculture, and the use of fossil fuels and plastics.
For the competition, the jury considered work that addresses current issues around capitalism, power, technology, the environment, and other issues related to the Anthropocene. This is a wide-ranging topic that invited multiple creative approaches and viewpoints.
Cast your ballot NOW for your favourite artist below and you could win a pair of tickets to a special event at Capture Photography Festival in April 2019, plus a $100 gift certificate for printing services at London Drugs Photolab. Vote for as many entries as you like, but multiple votes for the same entry will not be counted. Contest closes on Saturday (January 19) The winning artist will be announced in February 2019.
Artist statement: As an artist who relocated to the Okanagan Valley in 2016, Andreas Rutkauskas is intrigued by the general lack of representation of wildfire as subject matter in the history of Canadian art. Therefore, he has spent the past year and a half investigating the ecological effects of forest fires with a 4x5”-view camera, including the mechanisms and procedures involved in various fire regimes. His work addresses fire’s complexity—it is in our nature to fear fire as a violent and potentially lethal element, yet it is also necessary and valuable for healthy maintenance of forests and associated ecosystems. The photographs in this series, entitled After the Fire, contrast popular representations of fire as a destructive force as demonstrated in the media, with alternative views that embrace the reintegration of fire in our daily environment.
As the climate continues to change in radical ways and at an unprecedented pace, discussions of wildfire have quickly become a global issue. Rutkauskas’ images aim to function as a prompt to the community and visitors of the King Edward Station to consider how we can minimize our environmental impact on wild spaces by taking advantage of public transportation and living simply. As the threat of wildfires continues to increase, it is important that we begin to understand how to live cooperatively with fire, regardless of where we reside.
Artist statement: Desirée Patterson’s artwork promotes awareness for the importance of environmental preservation through sustainable lifestyle transitions. Patterson’s goal with her installation at King Edward Station would be to provoke public curiosity and share the innovative resources she has access to as an ambassador of Al Gore's Climate Reality Project. With her work, she hopes to advocate solutions to reduce individual carbon footprints, empower citizens, and motivate change. For this project, vinyl-text typography (inclusive of links) would be installed as a part of the final piece.
Patterson created the series entitled Anthropocene; The Present I by photographing industrialized landscapes both locally and globally, followed by meticulous post-manipulation of form, shape, and orientation. Each composition was created to reveal the destructive human presence, suggesting the disappearance and decay of the natural world. The focal points within each artwork portray the potentially cataclysmic modern world, including the urbanization of our species, the rise of fossil fuels, industrialization, consumerism, deforestation, and energy consumption.
These circular worlds feed into themselves like an ouroboros, symbolizing introspection, and the infinite cycle of creation and destruction. And it is up to every individual to change how we are shaping the future and this series aspires to incite action by way of influencing awareness and sharing solutions.
Artist statement: Monique Motut-Firth explores how we navigate identity and social space in a capitalist society. For her, capitalism represents the use of seductive images of wealth and beauty to fuel and perpetuate a culture of lack and desire. The rise of surveillance capitalism returns the gaze of the digital consumer, watching our every online move, mining our personal information, and selling it to advertisers and image makers, which perpetuates the cycle and concentrates power in a few corporate pockets. Motut-Firth’s work uses collage and montage techniques to reflect the chaos of the digital visual landscape and as a metaphor for capitalist excess.
The DRONE LIFE series is an ongoing collection of machinelike structures built from magazine images with a mechanical look. Satellites, cars, steel girders, jewellery, and electronics are sliced and joined together without regard for context or original function, to construct new imaginings while considering the potential for action and movement. The resulting dronelike structures recall a Cold War aesthetic echoing the current political unease of international relations.
The installation of these three drones at the King Edward Station would create a sense of public playfulness and unease as the drones surveil pedestrians on the street and as they enter the station.
Artist statement: In her ongoing project Poseidon’s Bequest, Sally Buck photographs cargo ships from the water in Burrard Inlet. These ships command attention, towering above like skyscrapers, their forms biomorphic and awe-inspiring.
In Greek mythology, Poseidon was god of the sea and protector of seafarers. He was also destructive, striking the earth with his trident, causing earthquakes and erratic springs that eroded the land, making him both dangerous and compelling. Cargo ships bring us 90 percent of everything we consume. These goods are mundane yet essential and have become increasingly affordable, given mass production and resource extraction, liberalized trade, and overseas wages. Low-grade fuel powers these ships, warming the atmosphere and changing the climate. The Port of Vancouver is the third-busiest of the Americas, and on any given day there are nine ships, or two million tonnes of ships.
Her work highlights the human ability to appreciate the art of visually arresting marine design, as well as consider mass systems that alter our planet irrevocably. Showing these unique vessels from an unusual vantage point, Buck hopes they facilitate conversation about the Anthropocene. To that end, she’ll be on-site one day each month to ask transit users what they see and to consider modes of transit linked to SkyTrain, to think of evidence of the Anthropocene, and to suggest solutions to climate changes concerning them. By visualizing the Anthropocene, we identify the significance of our role in what has changed and what can change.
- A pair of tickets to a special event at Capture Photography Festival
- A $100 gift certificate for printing services at London Drugs Photolab
This contest has ended.
Contest Deadline: Saturday, January 19, 5:30 pm
Winner(s) will be contacted either by phone or email.