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From February 6 to August 14, Edmonton artist Sean Caulfield’s site specific installation The Flood will be on display in Manning Hall (the large space that greets visitors when they enter the gallery). Initiated in the fall of 2011, the Manning Hall commission series provides a unique opportunity for the AGA to support the creation and exhibition of new, site-specific works by Alberta artists.
Sean Caulfield is currently a professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in printmaking. He has exhibited his prints, drawings and book works extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Sean’s creative research involves the production of artist’s books, prints, drawings and installations that explore the impact of technology on the environment and our bodies. Specifically, he is interested in creating visual images that blur boundaries between the biological and the technological, the organic and the mechanical, and challenge viewers to consider the implications of this merging.
Taking the form of a large-scale mural, The Flood is made of woodblock panels that were hand carved by the artist. Typically utilized in the printmaking process, the relief work of the woodblock panels is presented as an artwork in itself, demonstrating the tactile qualities of this traditional technique.
Caulfield states that the imagery looks to both the past and future, depicting familiar forms in a cautionary future setting, reminding viewers that the present is destined for historicization. Questioning and envisioning our own role in creating a sustainable future, Caulfield’s composition ultimately presents a world that adapts to the challenges posed by industrialization. Merging anxiety with hope, the immense woodblock mural calls in to question our own role in shaping a future narrative for our ecosystem.
Sean Caulfield: The Flood is curated by Kristy Trinier.