In An Unreliable Vista, artists Stephen Chen and Sylvia Galbraith bring strong aesthetic and historical understanding to the landscapes they visit.
Frequently returning to some of Canada’s remote places, Galbraith finds reassurance and strength in the stability and constancy of the rocks and soil. By manipulating lifted silver gelatin emulsion, known as the mordencage process, the physical characteristics of these landscapes become altered – imagining it as unstable or unreliable, a world we can no longer trust.
Chen presents images created during a trip to Baffin Island that occurred shortly after he received a diagnosis of advancing glaucoma. The trip was beset with problems, including the worst rain and fog the area had seen in decades. The constant clouds obscuring the views and peaks began to resonate with Stephen, he saw them as a metaphor for the loss of his vision and sought to discover a beauty concealed in the gloom of vanishing peaks and descending cloud banks. A new way of seeing, different from the grand vistas, ultrasharp conventions of landscape photography.
Stephen Chen is a multi-disciplinary artist whose oeuvre explores intersections of the personal, peripatetic and political. His eclectic works which span the range of film, music, poetry, photography and performance art have been exhibited internationally.
Stephen’s BOUNDED NATURE photo series was featured in LandEscape Art Review; and his FERO-CITY series, highlighted by Anti-Violence Project and MIX NYC.
Sylvia Galbraith, based in Fergus, ON, is a photographic artist whose traditional methods of image creation are joined with a contemporary practice of using video and installation as well as alternate photographic processes. She has worked with several art forms over the years including oils, charcoal and clay, but found that the restrictions inherent to the camera inspired and challenged her more than any other art form. Her current practice demonstrates a deep connection with the landscapes and people found in some of Canada’s loneliest places. Galbraith has participated in residencies in Newfoundland, Banff and Northern Ontario, and has exhibited her work in solo shows, as well as in numerous group exhibitions across Canada. She has photographs in corporate, public and private collections throughout Canada, and internationally, and has received many awards and bursaries for her work.