Union Gallery

Image of the Gallery

MAin Space

In Power: Out of Control
Jessica Marion Barr, Daniela Hollenbach, Phoebe McQuay, Heather Smith,
Julia Krolik, Jennifer Bryson, Lianne Suggitt, Emily Turner
Curated by Christine Dewancker & Laura Stewart
March 16 - April 5, 2011 (Reception: April 1st, 6-8 pm)

Jennifer Bryson's Sculpture

Jennifer Bryson, Does anyone have a match?, wax castings & string, 2008

In the exhibition In Power: Out of Control student co-curators Christine Dewancker and Laura Stewart bring together a selection of artwork that investigates the concept of power and how it is manifested across personal, environmental and the socio-political realms. The exhibition presents mixed media and photo-based work of Jessica Barr, Daniela Hollenbach, and Julia Krolik, video by Phoebe McQuay, paintings by Heather Smith, and Lianne Suggitt, prints by Emily Turner and sculpture by Jennifer Bryson.

Christine Dewancker is in her fourth year of the BFAH program and is currently focusing on sculpture and installation work. She is currently Past President of the Union Gallery and part of the Artel Collective. Laura Stewart is in the fourth year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Queen’s University, majoring in painting.

In Power: Out of Control
Introduction by Christine Dewancker

The human drive to have control over ones surroundings can lead to manipulation of others in order to maintain this power. As psychologist Jan E. Stet states, “When individuals experience reduced autonomy and control over their environment, they may seeks ways to regain control. One of the ways they do this is by controlling others.” The exhibition, In Power: Out of Control, brings together a selection of artists whose work investigates the concept of power and how it is manifested across personal, environmental and the socio-political realms.

The desire to assert power in order to control and make sense of our lives is a constant occurrence in the everyday actions of individuals. Our autonomy and our ability to observe, respond and influence our environment regularly corresponds with the actions we take and our psychological state of mind. We see this reflected in the actions of the runner in Phoebe McQuay’s video Pace Life. While attempting to move forward, obstacles impede the runner and as these obstacles present new limitations, the runner becomes agitated by the apparent external forces that control his/her progress.

Lianne Suggitt's painting Fox Hunter
Lianne Suggitt, Fox Hunter, oil painting, 2010

The balance of power between the natural world and its inhabitants is complex. While systemized representations and models allow us to understand and therefore imagine our ability to influence the natural world, the complexity and reciprocal aspects of this relationship are unpredictable and ever changing. The grid-like formation of wax trees by Jennifer Bryson evoke ideas of human attempts to rationalize the regulation of nature, while the wicks protruding from the tops of these objects suggest our ability to destroy it. Similarly, humanity’s relationship to the environment and its ecosystems is further explored in the work of Lianne Suggitt, Heather Smith and Julia Krolik by examining the hidden power that exists when the delicate balance between environmental homeostasis is interrupted and when the relationship to the land revolves around the ‘hunt’, for sport or survival.

And, the concept of power and control has wide ranging implications in the cultural and political sphere. Jessica Marion Barr, Daniela Hollenbach and Emily Turner reflect on these ideas through historical and contemporary lenses by looking at issues of colonization and global conflict. For example, Barr’s works, which are part of a larger series titled home/land; reveal fragmentary images representing the construction of the wall Israel-Palestine separation wall and the concomitant fragmentation of the land.