Student works stretch the mind in Kwantlen's grad exhibit

Alana Williams wants her work to inspire a different way of thinking about the treatment of cattle in Canada and the ‘undeserved negative attention’ it can draw.  - Contributed
Alana Williams wants her work to inspire a different way of thinking about the treatment of cattle in Canada and the ‘undeserved negative attention’ it can draw.
— image credit: Contributed

A lot can happen in Ninety-Seven Days, a name that takes its cue from the length of the university semester.

Cloverdale’s Alana Williams and Cale Guy are two of 13 students whose work is featured in Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s 2014 fine arts grad exhibit, on view April 11 to 13 at the trades and technology campus.

The artists were asked to create, manipulate and explore themselves and the world around them in order to tell stories through their art.

The works included in the exhibit run the gamut, from self portraits and digital films to pieces that incorporate technology.

Williams paints vivid landscapes and animals. Her work is focused on the natural world, mainly the natural landscape of the B.C. interior, she says.

Through her work, she aims to bring attention to the issue of farm animal welfare; her family makes its living in the cattle industry.

“I want to inspire a different way of thinking about topics such as the treatment of cattle in Canada and how the cattle industry receives undeserved negative attention in terms of husbandry and care,” she says.

Her colleagues’ subjects include ambiguity, isolation, meditative journeys, memories and more in Ninety-Seven Days.

For Cale Guy, the message isn’t so clear cut – or is it? – and that’s by design.

He uses semiotics, the study of signs and symbols, in his work.

http://webpapersadmin.bcnewsgroup.com/portals/uploads/cloverdale/.DIR288/wCaleGuy4.jpgA Surrey artist who spent his formative years in Cloverdale, Guy has lived in Kelowna, Houston, and even New Orleans but is now back in his hometown,

He first became interested in semiotics while taking an art history course. That, he says, is when he first understood how semiotics could fit into his own work as an artist.

[Cale Guy, left, with an untitled work.]

“Semiotics in my art practice also often facilitates what elements I will include in the work.”

His works are collages and three-dimensional pieces that blend historical and modern themes.

He was used to working from sketches, but this past semester he found that his usual process wasn’t having the desired effect in collage.

Eventually, he learned to let go. “I found the less I planned, the more successful the end result,” he said.  “I began to learn the value of truly paying attention to existing images and how I could recode them into something new.”

He has two works in the grad exhibit. One is an untitled body of work containing 11 collages in various sizes. It uses repeated maps, exposed wood panel, a drawn lady Justice, and a Welcome to Surrey logo, among other components.

“The most enjoyable aspect of collage is the mining process – as I dig through multiple media formats I never know what I might uncover.”

The second is a single piece made from 16 wood panel drawings, titled Voyage.

“It relates to the gathering and coding process NASA’s Voyager 1 uses to send us information as it travels beyond our solar system.”

Ninety-Seven Days runs April 11 to 13. The opening reception is April 11 at 6 p.m. The exhibition is open to the public. Admission is free.

The gallery is located in room 1843 at Kwantlen’s trades and technology campus, 5500 180 Street, Cloverdale. Use the east entrance.

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