Exhibition Info

Apr 9 - Apr 23, 2022
10572 115 st, Edmonton, AB T5H 3K6

Wed-Fri | 12pm – 6pm
Sat | 12pm – 5pm

See current gallery hours

Free Admission Donate today

SNAP is pleased to present Present Tense featuring new works by students in the 2022 University of Alberta Senior Level Printmaking class.

Present Tense is a group exhibition of print-based works by the senior level students in the Printmaking Area at the University of Alberta, Department of Art and Design. The prints in this exhibition represent the culmination of a year of work, in which students engaged in self-directed creative projects involving both academic and theoretical research, as well as extensive practiced-based experimentation and exploration in the printmaking studio. The creative work in the exhibition explores a wide range of conceptual and creative concerns including examining subjects related to landscape, environmental change, the body, technology, play, abstraction, and perception, among others. At the same time, because the senior students worked closely together for a year, there is a considerable amount of dialogue between works, with students examining related and overlapping themes from a different creative lens. The Department of Art and Design is delighted to be partnering with SNAP on this exhibition, and to have the opportunity to share the dynamic and innovative work of this group of emerging artists as they embark on the next stage of their creative practice.

Opening day: We will be open on April 9th, for a casual opening by appointment, with 1 hour time slots between 12pm-5pm accommodating 15 people at a time.

Please click here to book an appointment.

List of Artists

Jungeun An

Devin Cypher

Hanna Dotzenroth

Sylvie Ellis

Louisa Hammond

Lily Jeon

Thea Lao-an

Hannah Maxwell

Hannah Nobert

Emma Rockwell

Christian Stahl

Boyd Webber

 

Artist Statements

Jungeun An

This series of prints is an expression of my fascination with internet culture. In broad terms, I would define some aspects of contemporary internet culture as an agglomerate of things that are ‘sensational for the sake of being sensational.’ This atmosphere often leads to spaces of ambiguity which can’t be explained, which often leads to fear. From this strand of thinking, I have started my research into internet creepypastas and tell tales that I grew up with. Much like traditional fairy tales, stories on the internet consisted of lessons, particularly warnings. Internet’s cautionary tales often revolve around digital spaces that attract kids such as video games, kids shows, and social media.

In executing my ideas, I have incorporated the style of Victorian fairytale illustrations. To make visual similarities, I have directly followed some of the compositional elements from famous Victorian fairy tales, such as Hansel and Gretel. While my print’s visual language relates to those of traditional children’s books, I have incorporated four specific subject matters which can only be recognized by modern audiences. The four media that I have decided to work with are: Slenderman, Telebubbies, Homestuck, and Furbies. Each of these represent new digital media familiar to my generation, such as video games, TV shows, web comics, and robotic toys. Including such distinct symbols of contemporary culture allows the viewer to recall warnings we were taught about the internet space.

The introduction of new technology and internet space is still a place of fear and ambiguity for many people. As there is always an innate anxiety towards things we cannot fully understand. I started this project in hopes of understanding where our fears towards the digital world come from and to better digest them.

Devin Cypher

Objects of comfort often take on a life of their own. They exist alongside us as material possessions and become a part of our daily lives, carrying with them our past and all that we associate with them. Quilts are tied to comfort and care, but can also hold complex feelings of nostalgia. Objects such as these live in a strange space linking joy and sadness, comfort and grief, and past and present.

Strange Comforts” explores the ways that quilts and textiles embody emotional memories and experiences. The material qualities of quilted fabric are captured in “living” forms that are both structured and fluid, referencing the way comfort items hold emotions and memories while taking on a life of their own. The tactile experience of soft materials is used to create dark bodies of fabric in a physical expression of the duality of comfort items: creating spaces of safety, comfort, and warmth while also being restrictive, suffocating, and overwhelming. While retaining and intertwining many feelings, they offer an uncomfortable type of comfort.

Hanna Dotzenroth

Over the past few years, my artistic practice has explored how we might situate ourselves within a wider ecological community as a means of grappling with climate anxiety. This body of print work does so by looking back into my grandfather’s film archives of mountain landscapes as compared to my own, as a way to investigate the differences and the similarities in how we have interacted with these landscapes over the past 50 years. Rather than proposing a way forward through these works, I am searching through my own family history in order to better understand the systematic and generational ways that we interact with the land. Seeing the similarities in the way that my grandfather’s images interact with and resemble my own, it is the ecological devastation that has occurred over time that begins to stand out when comparing the two.

Taking images from the same location from the 1970s as compared to 2010s, these sets become intergenerational bridges between my grandfather’s lifetime and my own in order to speak to the way that we experience and interact with the land, particularly as tourists or visitors of these places. By using the technology of the laser cutter, as well as added hand drawn elements, barriers and divisions begin to break up these landscapes, alluding to both the separation in time as well as the political and social boundaries that have detached us from our environment.

Sylvie Ellis

My creative practice speaks about personal stories, diverse identities, and traumas, in order to make the overlooked visible. Drawing from my intimate experience with neurodiversity, and illness, I aim to make work that deals with serious topics in a way that’s digestible, and approachable. Utilizing methods such as hand embroidery, stone lithography, and medium & large format film photography, I take comfort in the analog. These slow, tender, process based mediums emphasize the beauty in allowing chance to intervene, and celebrate the mark of the hand that’s making. The serendipity woven into the analog process is a metaphor for the diversity we share and the beauty in difference. Working with film photography has created a unique opportunity for myself to grieve and heal from the recent death of my uncle who was once a great photographer. Through this, I have learnt to view the body through a lens of appreciation and expression, while having the opportunity to showcase other bodies and the stories they embody. Stone lithography has always been a medium that I’ve been drawn to for many reasons. The surface of the limestone is precious, flawed, and porous much like skin, and holds a history. Cropping in pieces of the body reveals their complexity and creates moments of appreciation for the overlooked. As a society, we have failed to create a world where we celebrate and appreciate diversity in all of its forms. My art is a celebration of being “other”.

Louisa Hammond

In my current practice, I use icons from English folklore to build personal narrative and explore questions of transmutation: where does one body begin and end? How do we understand our effect on things that we cannot see? By engaging in transformations of natural materials and working with chimeric forms, I hope to pull at our preconceived notions of these boundaries.
I live out old English superstitions, charms, and values in my daily life – my versions of these old beliefs are affected by my contemporary identity and lived experiences. It’s important for me to stay cognizant of what knowledge is hidden from the viewer, how much is shared, and how much the viewer can project their own experiences. Sharing a personal charm overtly with more than one individual reduces its efficacy, so here I share them with no spilled secrets; the image is an active being. Printmaking is a rhythmic practice that enables these spiritually resonant images to overlap and have dialogue with each other. My intimate and cyclical work with plants to create my own pigments and paper draws the labour of creation closer to me, where I can see the cause and effect that my own body has.

Lily Jeon

In my recent series of prints I investigate the theme of social anxiety by creating psychologically charged portraits that combine elements of traditional portraiture with references to scientific anatomical illustration, as well as to the surrealist creative method of the exquisite corpse. In bringing these various visual languages together I hope to foster a feeling of unease in the image that speaks to a sense of the self that is disjointed and disconnected. In these images I also create tension by contrasting the clinical language of medical illustration with expressive mark-making, as well as to replace body parts with ‘found’ forms such as depicting lungs as trees and an intestine as flower pot. This reference to collage and hybridity has an element of humor to it; however, in the end the work resonates with a more serious tone that is intended to foster in viewers a sense of sympathy for the issue of social anxiety.

Thea Lao-an

My work explores ideas of loss, grief, dissociative psychological states, and the distortion of reality using the combination of print, repeated imagery, and collage. I am particularly interested in creating spaces that feel surreal, unnatural, and separate from the “real world” in order to instill feelings of dissociation and an unfamiliar psychological space. In pursuing these thematic interests, I print multiple copies of my images and then use these multiples as collage elements to create unexpected compositions that are fractured and distorted. I wish to create spaces wherein viewers may see themselves within my work and reflect on their own uncertainties.

Hannah Maxwell

My current practice explores the physical exploration of communication and connection, through the sensations of the mind and body. Everyday language is rather limited in its ability to express the breadth of possibility and the fullness of being. Creating work through printmaking, however, has allowed me a glimpse of this fullness. The physicality and the labour become meditative, instilling a quiet sense of joy throughout the body, and emptying the mind. As a result, my work has become an embodied exploration to search for a new visual language that captures the soul and the energy of the process itself, within its imagery.

This process begins with copper. Finding old and discarded plates, I dissolve any previous images, sand them down and buff them clean. Any oxidization is removed but the age and the history of the surface is preserved. I will use this plate multiple times, forming a visual field by responding to any previous marks using an automatic mark-making process that utilizes my motor-responses to auditory stimulation. After the initial layer of marks has been established, I study the imagery produced for anything resembling landscapes within the natural world. I then push the plate to further resemble the observed landscape, forming a collaboration with the material.

This method allows for an element of spontaneity that embraces both chance and intention. The use of sound to describe marks brings the art back into the body and allows me to share my love of printing. My hope is to inspire others in their pursuit of truth and meaning and to foster a practice of inner peace in a time the world seems to need it most.

Hannah Nobert

In my work I utilize old childhood photographs of myself and my sister that reveal moments of play and dressing up, as well as evoke memories of innocence and feeling free. There is a sense of performance within these images as the figures respond to the camera, adding an entertainment quality. However, through expressionism, and at times a more child-like drawing style, the original photographs become distorted with a darker tone added to them. This somber mood reflects my feelings as an adult looking back and reflecting on the innocence, but also complexity of childhood. In doing so, I hope these prints resonate with feelings of nostalgia and anxiety. This anxiety is a projection of my own struggles with growing up and confronting the world as an adult. Ultimately, I hope the work fosters in the viewer a space of contemplation for them to dwell on their own childhood, or times where they felt free from the pressures of the world.

Christian Stahl

Through the spontaneity of the collage medium, Christian Stahl has created a series of surreal compositions from which themes of alienation and anxiety in contemporary society emerge. Using images from decades past as source material, the artist elicits a dialogue between past and present: an attempt at reconciling earlier visions of the future with our present reality. The tension evoked by these works is at once a reflection of the hopelessness and of the Anthropocene era and a humorous examination of the absurdity of man’s industrial hubris.

Boyd Webber

My creative process draws upon intangible life experiences, often sparked by a story or unexpected event, in which one feels a sense of euphoria, emotion and wonder. In responding to these kinds of unique emotions, I create images that fluctuate between moments of representation and abstraction making references to landscape, as well as to the shifting energies and phenomena found in nature. In many ways I view my studio practice as akin to trying to capture lightning in the bottle – finding a pictorial balance in which there’s enough chaos left to be ambiguous and abstract, but not so much that the entire work is lost in a jumble. In this way, I hope to create images that provide viewers with an opportunity to reflect on the ways their own perspective frames and shapes the world around them.

There’s a moment I have after experiencing a story or something that sparks my imagination where my mind runs and keeps running with untold ideas and inspiration. I love this feeling of euphoria of standing amidst a storm of emotion and ideas and wonder and this is where I draw my inspiration from for my works. Trying to capture the lightning in the bottle just right so that there’s enough chaos left to be ambiguous and abstract but not so much that the entire work is lost in a jumble. For me the experience of the story and then creating this response and dialogue to in my works is where I feel the most at peace and when there is the possibility for so much turmoil and chaos it can be nice to have a moment of reflection.

SNAP is happy to provide this programming at no cost to participants.

SNAP maintains a physical print archive dating back to 1982 as a unique and important record of print editions produced by our members, for member’s exchanges, SNAPline commissions, and milestone celebrations. We actively accept donations of prints to our archive from SNAP members producing editions in our printshop. With over 1000 prints in our archive there is a lot to explore.

Donate