BLAINE CAMPBELL, A Repurposed Architecture
Republic Gallery, Vancouver
April 18 to May 31, 2008
By Beverly Cramp
A decision to drop out of the corporate world and enroll in Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design was the right one for Blaine Campbell, judging by the awards he’s won since graduating in 2007 — national award winner of the BMO 1st Art! Competition and Contemporary Arts Society of Vancouver emerging artist award). Campbell’s Republic Gallery exhibition focuses on his photo-based practice, though he also works in the inter-media and sculpture fields. Sometimes Campbell combines genres, as he did with his winning piece for the BMO 1st Art! competition, which fuses photographic and sculptural elements. A Repurposed Architecture consists of photographic work inspired by the contours of a building complex in Istanbul that Campbell visited in 2006.
“The structure had gone through many different uses,” he says. “It started as a monastery, then became a prison, then it was used as a school and now it’s been donated to a local fine arts school.” Campbell says his art practice investigates the inherent properties of the photograph and its relation to the viewer, as well as landscape as a component of societal identity. “I’m taking these images and re-purposing them for the context of an exhibition and my own artistic intent. There’s also the appropriation of (these images of Islamic architecture) in Vancouver. And within the context of Vancouver itself, I’m juxtaposing images of an old space that is currently in a state of disrepair versus Vancouver, where many structures are new, modern and clean.”
Represented by: Republic Gallery, Vancouver