The Estevan Art Gallery and Museum (EAGM) has a pair of new exhibits, and one of the installations is courtesy of a former staff member.
Chantel Schultz’s This Loop is Wearing Thin is in the EAGM’s Gallery No. 2. Schultz is no stranger to the local art community, as she was a curatorial assistant at the EAGM from November 2020 until the end of March, and she had an outdoor exhibit, Inside-Out, at the Woodlawn Regional Park this past winter.
Most of the works for This Loop is Wearing Thin were created when she was working at the EAGM.
“A lot of it came from playing off of the work that I had done previously in Woodlawn, using kitchen scraps and these materials that we throw away or consume. These … waste products that become part of our daily ritual were a big jumping off for me,” said Schultz.
While most of the work had been completed in her time here, the exhibit had been booked at the EAGM previously.
The installation features a video component along with the works. The video has all of the small pieces that aren’t in the installation going through these different transformations, such as ice melting, the produce decomposing and food drying out.
“If there’s one component that I really enjoy, I’ve casted some of the materials in an EcoPoxy resin, so it’s mostly made with bio materials that make it non-toxic, and they mimic the large outdoor sculptures that I had made,” said Schultz.
While she has had her work exhibited before, this marked the first time that she has incorporated a video into the exhibit in this way.
In her artist statement, Schultz said she aims to develop an intimacy with the materials and forms she engages with, to become sensitive to their temperaments, and to share the material’s vibrancy.
The forms in This Loop is Wearing Thin possess various qualities and express different rates of transformation throughout the installation and video component, Schultz said. As the forms defy their bodily containers by leaking, decomposing, spilling, evaporating, and accumulating, she attempts to closely consider the temporalities of the objects and people’s relation to these processes and properties.
“Where does one body end and another begin? In an age of growing concerns for individual health and ecological responsibility, I attempt to blur this bodily barrier to express the complex relationality of these non-human actants and ourselves.”
A raised table in the installation heightens this awareness. Looking into rather than over the objects brings them into direct relation to ourselves.
“The senses engage with a faint acrid scent of fermentation and decomposition. The small weightless bits of dust and debris quiver beneath the breath. By virtue of being in the space, we become a participant, completing the installation with our organic presence modifying the space. In what ways might you be affecting the materials and how might the materials be affecting you?”
Schultz said she thoroughly enjoyed her time working at the EAGM, and she has a hard time believing it’s already over.
“It’s such a great organization, and I really enjoyed working there. I’m sad that my time there is finished.”
Also on display is Grotesque by Winnipeg artist Bev Pike. It features the gigantic, immersive paintings that she is known for.
Bizarre labyrinths in the exhibit, just like a good tango or opera (both Baroque art forms), have unexpected, yet pleasurable, twists and turns.
Pike bases her research on 300-year-old subterranean shell grottos. Her work has been shown across Canada.
The EAGM will host a virtual artist’s talk on May 19.