Thursday, September 16, 2010

Faye HeavyShield

      Faye HeavyShield received her education from  Calgary College in 1980. She has exhibited both solo and group exhibitions. The images that Faye showed at the beginning of her lecture illustrated a fourteen month study of landscapes. These landscapes are very familiar to Faye as she spent many of her childhood years growing up, and experiencing these surroundings. As a young child she had fond memories of smells, sounds, and tastes that inform her work. Becoming an artist was not Faye's interest in the beginning of her studies at the Calgary College,  in her third year she began to take an interest in art. She recalls sitting in many art history classes as a student, and finding it difficult to resonate with the material. Faye believes art is a "Language" and one must live, breathe, and interact with art. Her inspirations for her landscapes are triggered by visual experiences, her identity, language, and community experiences. She believes that the land and the sky are not separate visual images but rather one. Faye also attempts to break our reference to objects, such as "blood." For most of us, we think of blood to be associated with violence or a traumatic event. Faye has a child memory of a "sweet smell," and attempts to convey this memory in her work. The work "Body of land" is many portraits that are constructed of close up images of human skin. The images are shaped into small teepee's and pinned on the gallery wall. Faye is quoted as saying, " my environment includes family language and the narrative. The configuration of objects on the gallery wall is my attempt to convey the scope of this personal landscape. Each portrait is a body, knowledge, history and story both real and imagined." In 1998 Faye felt as if Calgary was really starting to commercialize art. Tired of openings and deadlines, as well the death of a friend caused Faye to take a five year hiatus before returning to the art community.  Most recently on 2004, Faye was involved with an off site exhibition celebrating Samuel Duchamp's landing in Fredericton titled, "Camouflage." It was a collection of natural objects, and images glued together placed in a site specific location only to be washed away by the rising tide. Faye believes writing is a very important aspect of her practice, and recording her experiences in a journal is essential. For anybody who is interested in photography and landscapes I would recommend Faye's work.

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