Brenda Pelkey

About the Artist

Brenda Francis Pelkey was born in Kingston, Ontario, in 1950. She studied art at Sir Sanford Fleming College of Applied Arts and Technology and Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. She moved to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1980, and received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon in 1994. She was an Associate Professor in the department of Art and Art History at the University of Saskatchewan from 1994 to 2003, when she moved to the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario.

Dark Forest Pelkey takes photographs of places that are a little bit off the beaten path, and sometimes creates images of places that look downright threatening. For an exhibition titled Haunts, for example, Pelkey took her  cameraIn photography, a tool for producing photographs, having a lightproof enclosure with an aperture and a shuttered lens through which the image of an object is focused and recorded on a photosensitive film or plate. In video, a device that receives the primary image on a light-sensitive cathode tube and transforms it into electrical impulses. ( Find out about 35-mm cameras at Wikipedia:  and a battery of lights out to the woods. The combination of over-lit foregrounds and the quick drop-off of light in the  backgroundPart of the picture plane that seems to be farthest from the viewer.  created images that portrayed the menace of the unknown, tapping into our fundamental fear of the dark.

In a 2004 exhibition, Spaces of Transformation, Pelkey went inside hospital operating rooms, bars and strip joints, “..spaces that could function as sites of fear or anxiety, in that they suggest a complex multiplicity of individual stories with unknown outcomes.” (Pelkey, 2004)

Pelkey has exhibited throughout Canada, as well as in England, Scotland, France, Germany, Czechoslovakia and Finland. Her works appear in many public and private collections, including the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Dunlop Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan, the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon and the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography in Ottawa, Ontario.

Canadian Heritage University of Regina Mackenzie Art Gallery Mendel Art Gallery Sask Learning