Sponsorship: Trico Changemakers Studio/ Calgary Arts Development
Address: 4825 Mt Royal Cr SW
Artist: Barbara Amos
Animator: Mike Hooves
Q: Tell us a bit about your art practice.
BA: I follow my curiosity. It is about inquiry and it has led to interesting projects. I have completed residencies and public art projects on migration for an ESL school, a photography project about language barriers in a hospital, a steel scope on a city street about environmental fragmentation and in situ interventions about preserving a watershed. The big questions of who are we and why are we here come to the surface when I follow my curiosity.
MH: I am an illustrator, animator, and filmmaker who explores whimsy and queerness in the prairies.
Q: What has been a favorite project of yours?
BA: I am delighted when I am invited to create a new work. The Royal Botanical Gardens in Hamilton, Ontario. asked me to create a work for their International Sculpture Garden. A similar work is in Calgary on 26 Ave and 4 St. It is a scope that creates an ironic twist on the scenic viewfinders at tourist locations. It was exciting to realize that it had interest and impact beyond my city.
MH: I enjoyed my participation as an animator in last year’s Northern Reflections, animating penguins. I’ve also created two short films—one called G.E.M., about a local bicycle shop here.
Q: What was your inspiration for this painting/animation?
BA: Changing the way that people think is like an iceberg. Most of the work happens deep below the surface. The events that we see in our world are at the tip of the iceberg.
MH: My inspiration was the natural light generated from stars and the aurora borealis vs the electricity of neon city lights. I wanted to speak to that through colour, light, and movement of the light within the animation.
Q: How did the AR (Augmented Reality) aspect of this exhibition influence you when creating the mural/animation?
BA: There were technical considerations for the AR the that needed to be considered in the design phase. These requirements impacted the image. I had not painted on glass before so there were new aspects to implement in a short time frame. Collaborating with an animator was so interesting and I'd enjoy more time and more possibilities to explore this in the future.
MH: I wanted the AR to further enforce the idea of the iceberg representing perception. Just like the iceberg, there's more than what you can see with your eye. Using the AR, you can observe aspects in this image that are otherwise unseen.
Q: What is something you want the viewer to take away after experiencing your window?
BA: I would like the viewers to be intrigued by the AUGLE app and search out the other mural sites. I would hope that this creative introduction to AR initiates conversations about what AR might do in the future.
MH: I’d like people viewing the work to think about unseen possibilities and to take a second look at the things around them every day.
Q: When touring the exhibition what is the ideal beverage to bring along?
BA: Chai latte and the brownie that goes with it. ;)
MH: A half hot chocolate, half coffee. Tasty to sip and keeps you alert.
Q: What did you find surprising/unexpected about participating in the exhibition?
BA: Working on glass presents unique issues. It is transparent. At my site, both sides have high visibility. The location is very public and social. It is difficult to address these factors, and also temperatures were falling and time was an issue. I was surprised that it worked!
MH: The way in which light could interact with the paint. Once you’ve viewed the front side of the window, have a look at the other side and how the light interacts with it!
Q: What do you enjoy about being an artist/animator in Calgary?
BA: Calgary is on the cusp of change. This presents interesting possibilities for creativity. I think that there is a receptiveness to new ideas and new approaches and this shift is beginning to surface in exciting ways.
MH: The connections you make and keep within the ever-growing artist community here.
Buds Collective would like to thank Trico Changemakers Studio and Calgary Arts Development for participating in Northern Reflections 2018.
Photographer: Katy Whitt
Article: Victoria Hedin