A large black bird is shown flying on a white background. The bird’s wings are tucked, it has a large beak, and the texture of its feathers are printed in black ink.

Exhibition Info

Oct 21 - Nov 18, 2023
10572 115 st, Edmonton, AB T5H 3K6

Wed-Fri | 12pm – 6pm
Sat | 12pm – 5pm

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Free Admission Donate today

SNAP is pleased to present Watchings, featuring new work by Devin Cypher, recent SNAP Emerging Artist in Residence. The exhibition runs from October 21 – November 18, 2023 at SNAP Gallery.

Watchings is a collection of works focusing on the joy in making, experimenting, and growing through art. It explores the relationship between the man-made and natural, the designed and wild, and the time we take to slow down and look at our surroundings, all through the lens of birdwatching.

Opening Reception: Saturday October 21, 7pm-9pm

Artist Talk (Online): Wednesday, 6pm-7:15pm, November 15
Register on Zoom for the meeting link: https://us06web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUvfu-hrzIrGNTK4GitYp3LXrfoZuzrTRuK

Join Devin’s collagraph course: https://snapartists.com/product/courses/collagraph-deep-dive/

Artist Statement:

So you’re probably wondering, Why all the birds?

I started drawing the birds I saw in my backyard in Summer 2021. Initially they were for cards I gave to loved ones, but they evolved into small stress free art projects that I could do as little escapes from the stresses of school and life. My appreciation for birds grew when my partner and I started bird watching this year. This hobby helped me remember to slow down, live in the moment, and appreciate my surroundings.

Going into the Emerging Artist residency at SNAP, I was unsure of what I wanted to create. I had proposed an artist book but hadn’t settled on a subject. I was recovering from burnout, was tired, and anxious. This led me to return to the art that brought me joy. Robins have nested near my parents’ house for many years. I’ve been able to observe them up close and they’ve become part of my world. I associate them with comfort, security, and home. I had the idea to create a series of artist books in order to capture the experience of watching them so intimately. The process of making these artist books was very freeing. I was able to experiment and try new things without fear of failure. Combining printmaking, book making, and pop-ups was a complex puzzle that was at times frustrating, exciting, and very rewarding.

After completing these books I found myself fascinated with the features of birds that are impossible to see from a distance. Some details are unnoticeable at a glance, or even through my binoculars. In attempts to capture these details I turned to collagraphs. Using collage to show feathers, beaks, and talons forced me to consider the minute details when choosing my materials. The materials affected how I looked at each bird and led me to combine drawn and sculptural elements on each collagraph plate. I’m a big believer in the role of art and art making as medicine. Artmaking fulfills me in ways that nothing else does, it is meditative, expressive, and allows for a feeling of escape. Printmaking is a repetitive process, with stages of construction, deconstruction, creation and transformation. It encourages contemplation and requires focus and time. It compels the artist to become deeply in touch with their materials.

This show has been an exercise in challenging how I look at the world – the time I take to observe and contemplate. I’m unlearning the mindset of needing to be “doing” all the time, and relishing in the moments where I am able to watch and wonder. This has sparked my curiosity in how we shape our world. I noticed the ways natural and man-made are in constant cycles of push and pull, though they seem still and steady on the surface. It is my hope that this show can be a reminder to everyone of the importance of slowing down, and simply watching.

Artist Bio:

Devin Cypher (He/They) is a print and textile artist, currently based in Treaty 6, in the Edmonton area. He received a BFA in Art and Design from the UofA in 2022, and was part of the Emerging Artist Residency program at SNAP in 2023. Devin works in a variety of mediums, including printmaking, quilting, and embroidery. Devin uses these to connect with traditional crafts and explore the relationship between artist and material. Much of Devin’s work revolves around sense of self, connection to land and location, and aspects of comfort, care, and security found through the act of making. Devin is a Queer, Trans, mixed/race, and neuro-divergent individual, as well as a lover of books, video games and cats.

Website: devincypherart.com

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

We hope you will consider making a donation to keep programs accessible in the future.