SCOTT EVANS, EMI HONDA & JORDAN MACKENZIE
BOREAL GROWTHS AND OTHER DISTURBANCES
ODD Gallery Installation
Artist talk and reception: Thursday, August 12, 7pm
Working through the KIAC Artist in Residence Program, Evans, Honda and McKenzie spent six-weeks as KIAC Artists in Residence conceiving, planning, constructing and installing their installation at the ODD Gallery. Boreal Growths is a growing, immersive environment that incorporates natural, organic material, found objects, altered post-consumer detritus, low-fi electronics and sound to locate sites of symbiosis and tension between nature and human society. Part dream world, part environmental critique, this installation is at once lush, wondrous, confounding and cautionary; the Edenic promise of the overgrown paradise takes on uncanny, sometimes apocalyptic overtones in this work as the typically “natural” reveals its own artifice and the patently artificial acts naturally. More of a phenomenological experience than an exhibition to be viewed, Boreal Growths highlights the role of human consciousness and perception within our evolving understanding of the limited culture/nature dichotomy.
Our work as a collaborative team is a process-oriented, material based art, unified by shared ideals, ways of life, and perception of the world. Each of us is influenced considerably by natural landscapes, flora and fauna, and the way in which these entwine with human society. We are all obsessive collectors and scavengers, each of us having different ways of discovering objects in day to day life; tokens that suggest a vague, transitory significance. We glean these items in the hopes that, when reconfigured, they might take on a new life or purpose.
In the gallery we compile our respective gleanings and a more focused creative process begins. Like a game of chess, our first moves are reserved, structural, thoughtful. But as the work progresses the game becomes bolder, less linear, as we become caught up in the moment. The work’s complexity escalates as we drift from one place to another, editing and adding to one another’s workings. Individuality is blurred as the collaboration becomes absolute.
Through this shared investigation and construction process, we create a multifaceted, multi-sensory environment in the gallery—a composite psuedo-landscape that is left for the viewer to explore and experience on his or her own terms. By creating a shared environment for these contrasting elements to converse and coexist, we hope to generate an extensive dialogue between materials as well as viewers/participants. A questioning of our current reality becomes central, the way that we perceive and interact with the greater environment that surrounds and connects us.
The Evans Honda McKenzie collective was originally founded through a series of Wednesday night meetings at a rental house—known affectionately as the Brown House—in Victoria, British Columbia. This site soon became a creative incubator for the trio, as well as an exhibition space, and evolved into a ongoing creative endeavour in the form of installations, recording and publications. Now split between Montreal and Victoria, continue to work on individual and collaborative projects.
Now living in Victoria, SCOTT EVANS was raised in Belcarra, British Columbia. He graduated from the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design in 1996. The recipient of grants from the BC Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, Evans has shown his work in numerous group and solo exhibitions in Victoria and Vancouver, as well as in exhibitions in New York City and Melbourne, Australia.
EMI HONDA was born in a small town in southern Japan where her family has run a Buhddist temple for many generations. After finishing a diploma program in oil painting, she moved to Victoria, British Columbia where she began to create intricate sculptures from found electical components and a variety of natural materials. Honda has exhibited in many west coast art spaces such as The Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Open Space, the Helen Pitt Gallery, the Crying Room and the Ministry of Casual Living. Most recently, Honda presented a solo exhibition at SKOL Gallery in Montreal, where she now lives. Honda is also a member of the musical group, Elfin Saddle.
JORDAN MCKENZIE grew up near the town of Chemainus, British Columbia on the west coast of Canada. The mysterious atmosphere of the surrounding landscape and his isolated childhood show their influence through reccurring themes of the wild and an outsider’s approach to construction and assemblage. McKenzie recieved a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Victoria in 2003, and has since exhibited and performed extensively on the west coast of Canada and in Montreal, where he currently lives and performs with his musical group, Elfin Saddle.