The meaning of Retreat
Artist Sherri Chaba to talk about her work in gallery presentation
Saturday, Jul 19, 2014 06:00 am
Her latest exhibit is now into its third week of being on display at the Art Gallery of St. Albert. Now, it’s time for her to sit down with the public and tell them what it – and her art – is all about.
Sherri Chaba is getting ready to conduct an art talk, focusing on her current show. She said it’s important for people to get to know her first in order to gain a better understanding of Retreat.
“I’m planning to present a brief history of my work so that the people who attend can gain a bit of understanding of what my work is about and also to see how it’s evolved,” she explained. “I think it’s important to the work that I’m presenting right now to have an understanding of both those things.”
Retreat is a series of seemingly childlike installation works but each with a deeper undercurrent of angst and conscientious objection. It’s a pretty subversive show if you stop to consider everything, Chaba says.
“I do a lot with issues around sustainability and the environment. I’ll be talking about both industry and nature.”
What otherwise looks like a giant playset – including makeshift trees, treehouse and a portable moss-covered hill – are actually large statements about the tricky balance of industry versus nature, itself a precarious topic especially in Alberta’s expansive economy that many feel puts financial gains over forests and rivers.
So far, the public reception to the show has been “wonderful,” said Chaba.
She’s heard many stories about how visitors to the gallery are surprised by the pieces, some of which feature peepholes for people to look through to challenge their perspectives and perceptions.
According to her artist’s statement about the show, she has lived most of her life in rural Alberta and has a “strong personal connection to the land and its history.” That connection, she admits, has been negatively affected by the encroachments of industry.
“My experience is reflected in works that merge the industrial with nature and recycled historical objects. I create multimedia installations that draw on issues of ecological and social sustainability. My work challenges viewers to imagine new ways of considering the environment and our relationship to it,” the statement reads.
Retreat, it continues, is meant to challenge people to share and reflect on their experiences.
“My hope is that as they bring their knowledge and vision into the space, they will develop a deeper understanding as to where they situate themselves within 21st century dialogues of ecological and societal sustainability.”
Chaba has previously given other art talks about her work. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a masters degree in fine art in 2007, and has had a series of public exhibitions of her work ever since. She welcomes these opportunities to meet the public and discuss art and its meanings.
“It’s always great to do a talk because it’s always great to hear what other people feel. I quite enjoy that.”
People can see more of Chaba’s work on her website at www.sherrichaba.com.
Her upcoming in-gallery artist talk will be preceded by a brief tour of the exhibit. It takes place next Thursday, July 24 from 7 to 8 p.m. Attendance is free but a suggested donation for admission is $10.
Registration is required as availability is limited. There will be refreshments served to the attendees.
Please contact 780-460-4310 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Visit www.artgalleryofstalbert.ca for more information.
Chaba’s exhibit Retreat will remain on display in the gallery until Saturday, Aug. 2. Also on display during the same period will be Shyra de Souza’s 10-minute stop-motion animation video called Distraction of a Stationary Nature.