Arts Commons Presents
When I Think of Home. Other Last Suppers, and Royal Cafe
Rocio Graham, Lindsay Sorell, and Elyse Bouvier
Location: Window Galleries (across from Max Bell Theatre in Arts Commons)
Dates: September 3rd - November 30th 2018
Artist Reception: Friday, November 30th 2018
Rocio Graham's work When I Think of Home consists of two pieces. A photography 36 x 54 Archival Inkjet on metallic paper mounted and ready to hang. One 36 x 54 installation made of harvested organic materials from my garden woven in to an organic composition or tapestry.
"My process starts the moment I select the seeds that I want to plant and nurture in the family gardens. It's a labour intense process that not only allows me to embody the experience, pay attention to nature’s cycles and the ever changing landscape of home but, allows me to explore the parallel of gardening to the inner landscape we all have. While working in the garden I constantly have to do an inventory of my inner garden. What needs to go? What is the muddy part of my heart? What is happening around me and inside me? How my environment affects me and how I can have an effect on it as well? It’s a conversation with nature that is constantly evolving. The landscapes we inhabit and call home shape our identity on regular basis."
Other Last Suppers would consist of two large watercolour paintings custom-painted to fit Window Galleries #19 and 20, roughly 4 feet wide and 5 feet tall. In the tradition of Dutch still life paintings, the works will be juicy aerial views of dinner tables stocked with roasted hams, salmon, ribs slathered in sauce, bowls overflowing with fresh grapes, oozing triple cream bries, and freshly baked loaves of bread still steaming.
Royal Cafe is a photo-based documentary project that explores the prevalence of Chinese-Western cafes across small towns in rural Alberta. These cafes — diner-style restaurants caught in an ambiguous time period — reflect the identity of the communities they are in and are also indicative of a very Canadian culinary identity. Although difficult to define, the hybrid nature of Canadian identity, and the rural identity in particular, can be highlighted through the merging of two distinct cultures: Chinese and Western.
Rocio Graham is a photographer currently based in Calgary. Born in Mexico, she immigrated to Canada in 2002, studying art at Emily Carr University and the Alberta College of Art + Design, where she recently obtained a Bachelor of Design in Photography. Her poignant still lives are influenced by her cultural heritage, experiences as a woman and mother, and reflections on daily life. Fittingly, Graham’s home and garden serve as her studio—a centre for research and development—where her elaborate compositions begin the moment she selects a seed to nurture.
Lindsay Sorell is an artist and writer in Calgary, Alberta, with a special interest in relationships, art ethics, and the implications of cross-media collaboration. She recently co-hosted the ekphrastic poetry reading, AtTension: art writing readings, with poet Neil Surkan. She has worked with the Advanced Toastmasters of Calgary to perform Inspirational Speeches; completed her solo exhibition, Exercises in Healing, with members of the Calgary Philharmonic; and worked with a jazz drummer to complete her solo exhibit, Buddha, Why Am I Alone? She is the Calgary correspondent for Akimbo, and the Editor of media art and film publication, Luma Quarterly.
Elyse Bouvier (1987) is a Western-Canadian photographer and artist based in Calgary with a Master's of Fine Art in Documentary Media from Ryerson University (2016) with distinction. She also holds a B.Comm from Mount Royal University (2010). Her work explores identities of communities, rural Alberta, in particular, the relationships between memory and place, and a fascination with how food intersects with cultural identities.
She is also the founder of Independent Study, a popup art book store in Calgary, and has presented her research and photographs in Toronto, Calgary, Vancouver, and Oxford, UK.