"Past the Smuts Grid" and "The End of the World"
(top) Tyler Brett, "Past the Smuts Grid," still from ongoing video series, 2009-2013. (bottom) Kerri Reid, "The End of the World," still from video series, 2011.
Signs of Life is a two-person exhibition consisting of videos, sculptures, and drawings that involve the artists’ interactions with remote landscapes and objects that more typically exist in the periphery of consciousness. Brett's short video segments create a make-shift architectural movie sets out of obsolete, modified farming implements, panoramic prairie crop land, bleak Icelandic landscapes, and construction site materials. Reid's videos cast shadows over a set of six broken and discarded objects she found while in Dawson City in 2010. Together, their work attempts to breathe new life into abandoned, neglected, and overlooked objects and scenery.
Tyler Brett and Kerri Reid are visual artists originally from British Columbia who both studied at Emily Carr College University of Art and Design in Vancouver. In 2010, Brett invited Reid to the small rural town of Bruno, Saskatchewan, to be the first artist-in-residence in the old bank building he had recently purchased. They ended up getting married and co-directing the Bruno Arts Bank as a thriving arts centre – artist residency/music venue/coffee shop/gallery/mini-museum/record and bookshop/etc – for the next three years. Brett and Reid recently sold the Arts Bank and have relocated back to BC to Sointula, a small fishing village on Malcolm Island that was originally settled by Finnish socialist utopians. (‘Sointula’ means ‘place of harmony’ in Finnish.) They are in the process of starting up a new small arts centre that will include an artist residency, venue, and a shop in a shed: The Sointula Art Shed. Brett and Reid also perform Tyler’s music as The Department, with recent performances in Reykjavik, in San Francisco at SFMOMA, and in Bruno, Saskatchewan at the Seniors’ Friendship Centre for Seniors’ Appreciation Day.