Currently featured at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery are two exhibits that feature not only adventurous landscapes but use various methods of transportation to define them.
In Place and Space (REDUX), Hamilton multi-media artist C.Wells travels the road and history of the automobile.
Wells portrays the oft-overlooked scenic landscapes viewed through the car window in multiple installations.
“Mapology,” “This Side Green, This Green Side” and “Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue” are scenes of mountains painted over with line marker paint, with little of the original painting left to be seen through the streaks of paint. The paint covering the vast expansedepicts and highlights a feeling of the image blurred by the speed at which they are seen during a drive.
Wells uses line market paint in most of his work, linking the images and creating the feeling of travelling by car and the road.
The most striking piece is reminiscent of billboards placed along the highway. Almost reaching the ceiling of the exhibit, “Western Scenic Views” appears to be an advertisement for the open road, as a boy from the fifties holds up a picture of a bright landscape with a wide smile.
Walking through the exhibit, it is difficult to distinguish the road from the automobile.
In UW|AGs second exhibit, we find that few fires begin without a spark, as portrayed by Soft Turns Behind the High Grass.
Soft Turns is the artistic partnership between Sarah Jane Gorlitz and Wojciech Olejnik. Inspired by a travel book written by Czech travellers and filmmakers, the team brought to life the same lands found in the book.
Gorlitz and Olejnik reflect on the unrest and healing of the time period in each piece. “Behind the High Grass” involves three wooden structures floating above the ground. The structures hold photos and mementos , remnants of past travels.
The structure at the far end of the exhibit is attached to a sail, ready to leave port and head off on a new adventure.
Gorlitz and Olejnik also display their take on the stories through a stop-motion animation movie titled “P-19720,” which was the name of the car the filmmakers drove during their research.
The movie shows a view through the window of a car as you were driving along the road with the artists.