Virtual tour (online): Thurs. oct. 29 at 5 pm
Exhibition: Oct. 30 to Nov. 21
Laura Millard’s exhibition trace, on view at the Visual Arts Centre’s McClure Gallery, engages with the language of drawing and gesture in relation to the landscape while questioning the traces our actions leave behind.
Millard’s process begins with drawings that she views as performances in the landscape. She photographs these from far overhead with a drone, and then uses paint and drawing materials to work into the print, adding marks made by the hand to those captured in the image. Selected images are printed onto fabric to use in lightboxes scaled to the height of the viewer. The lightboxes envelop the viewer, casting light and the reflected image into the space. These immersive experiences of place visualize precarious landscapes on the verge of radical change.
Millard has made her line drawings in remote and familiar places, from using a recovered fishing net and rope in Svalbard, Norway, to using snowmobiles and ice skates in northern Canadian locales. The ephemeral nature of these drawings done on ice, sand and snow points to the impermanent nature of our time in these places and the hubris of ‘leaving our mark’.
Millard brings the light and expanse of place to her abstract patterns documented in situ. The high vantage point plays with the scale of marks in the landscape, conflating distant and intimate proximities to the surface. Her tight, loopy snowmobile track lines are sometimes juxtaposed with the tracks of animals passing through the frame with the linear pathways left by these animals in contrast to the frenetic, recursive nature of Millard’s mark-making in the environment.
Laura Millard has exhibited in artist-run, commercial and public galleries across Canada and internationally; including the Art Gallery of Ontario, Angell Gallery in Toronto, Art Gallery of Windsor, Whyte Museum, Banff, Where Where Exhibition Space, Beijing, China, Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto, Glenbow Museum Calgary, Sookmyung Women’s University, Korea and St. Lawrence University Art Gallery, New York. An artist, writer and educator, Laura Millard is currently an Associate Professor at OCAD University. She received a BFA from NSCAD University in 1983 and her MFA from Concordia University in 1992. Millard has done several artists residencies including the Arctic Circle Residency in Svalbard, the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Yukon, the Banff Centre, NSCAD University, Brucebo Studio in Sweden and Red Gate in Beijing, China. She is the recipient of numerous awards including grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. She has received critical acclaim for her work in publications such as Canadian Art, Border Crossings, The Globe & Mail, and C Magazine and Blake Gopnik On Art.