April Dean is a visual artist living in Treaty 6 territory, in Amiskwaciwâskahikan ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada). Her father’s grandparents were early settlers of what is now farmland in The Battlefords area in Saskatchewan (also Treaty 6), which is how she came to live, as a third generation settler, on Treaty 6 lands. She maintains an active studio practice of all things print media; combinations of installation, 2D & 3D works, and video. She is an arts & culture administrator, advocate, and teacher. With formal training in photographic technology and printmaking, her work is often constructed of lens based and language fragments. In 2012 she was granted a Master of Fine Arts Degree in Fine & Media Art from NSCAD University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 2016 she was awarded a public art commission from the Edmonton Arts Council and was awarded an Edmonton Artist Trust Fund award in 2018. She is the Executive Director of the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists (SNAP), a non-profit & artist-run centre.
April Dean, Shadow Clipping, 2020. Archival inkjet prints & silkscreen on acrylic, 48”x 36”. Courtesy of the Artist. Installation view of The Scene, Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, 2021. Photo: Art Gallery of Alberta.
April Dean is interested in the perceived separateness between humans and the ‘natural world.’ The prints included here are photographs of shadows thrown from plant clippings propagating in jars. For Dean, who actively propagates and shares plants with others, the clippings are “a symbol of regeneration, an anti-capitalist gesture of generosity and abundance.” The overlaid screen mesh acts as a visual barrier, calling into question our supposed separation from nature while, at the same time, echoing our most common interactions with it and the mediation of most of our experiences through digital screens.