Art Gallery of Alberta

Blaine Campbell: Cyclorama
March 11, 2017-May 28, 2017


image credits [click to view]


Blaine Campbell, Cyclorama, 2016. Production image. Image courtesy of the Artist.

Blaine Campbell, Cyclorama, 2016. Production image. Image courtesy of the Artist.



Blaine Campbell’s large-format photograph Cyclorama is an immersive look at the panoramic transformation of landscape during suburban development. The image documents the process of land modification as a study of both the displaced soil created as new communities are structured in the prairie landscape, but also how the scale of these temporal mounds alter the sight lines of the horizon.

Curator’s statement

Blaine Campbell’s large-format photograph Cyclorama is an immersive look at the panoramic transformation of landscape during suburban development. The image documents the process of land modification as a study of both the displaced soil created as new communities are structured in the prairie landscape, but also how the scale of these temporal mounds alter the sight lines of the horizon. Staged as a diptych, the free-standing mode of presentation hints at the utilitarian archetypes found near large-scale construction sites.

Campbell frequented a site of a developing subdivision north of his community of Spruce Grove, Alberta. The site’s large hill of topsoil situated adjacent to the new tract housing subdivisions is typical during the continuous cycle of land annexation and development located near all four quadrants of the city of Edmonton. As part of a managed landscape, these hills temporarily interrupt our idealization of the Canadian landscape as a largely untouched ‘raw’ environment. As an extension of the artist’s series Transient Architectures for New Tomorrows, Cyclorama is indicative of Campbell’s technical photographic process and also points to the complex and monumental constructs at play in the repurposing of farmland into a new community: stripping away the stratigraphic fertile spoil to make way for new redevelopment.

Artist Bios

Blaine Campbell is an Alberta-based artist working in photography, sculpture, and video. He is currently dividing his time between Edmonton and Vancouver. Campbell’s thematic interests have included the inherent properties of the photograph and its relation to the viewer, landscape use and modification, processes of mediation and artifice in relation to transcendent experience and parallels between Jacques Derrida’s “textuality” and Quantum theory. A 2007 graduate of Emily Carr University with a BFA in photography, he previously completed B.Math and M.Sc. degrees in mathematics at the University of Waterloo and University of Calgary, respectively. In 2007, Blaine received the national award in the BMO 1st Art! Invitational juried competition and the Emerging Artist Award from the Contemporary Arts Society. He has exhibited work at various galleries in Canada and Europe and is represented by Republic Gallery in Vancouver.

Curated by Kristy Trinier.

The RBC New Works Gallery features new artworks by Alberta artists. Initiated in 1998 and named the RBC New Works Gallery in 2008, this gallery space continues the Art Gallery of Alberta’s tradition of supporting Alberta artists. Presented with the support of the RBC Emerging Artists Project.