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Outskirts
installation, urban planning, mixed media, construction, woman artist, plans, appearances, Regina, prairie, flat horizon, sculpture, furniture, impermanence,space, shape, 3 dimensional, urban sprawl, irregular shape, , conceptual art, photographs, location and place, form, natural environment, table, installation, urban growth
description

For Jennifer Hamilton, exploring location and place are prominent in her art-making practice. Living in Regina, on the open prairie with its vast sky and flat horizon, has had an impact on her ideas and upon the work seen here.

start quoteBut it is so striking here, the location and the place, that one can't help but think...I can't help but think that that is going to enter the work in one manner or another. So the piece that is at the MacKenzie, the Outskirts piece, directly relates to the location and place.end quote -- Jennifer Hamilton

Hamilton’s sculptural  formIn its widest sense, total structure; a synthesis of all the visible aspects of that structure and of the manner in which they are united to create its distinctive character. The form of a work is what enables us to perceive it. Form also refers to an element of art that is three-dimensional (height, width, and depth) and encloses volume. For example, a triangle, which is two-dimensional, is a shape, but a pyramid, which is three-dimensional, is a form. Cubes, spheres, ovoids, pyramids, cone, and cylinders are examples of various forms. Also, all of the elements of a work of art independent of their meaning. Formal elements are primary features which are not a matter of semantic significance — including colour, dimensions, line, mass, medium, scale, shape, space, texture, value; and the principles of design under which they are placed — including balance, contrast, dominance, harmony, movement, proportion, proximity, rhythm, similarity, unity, and variety. (Artlex.com)  is installed in a corner of the gallery and references a table in a living or dining room in a home. Two photographs hung on the wall depict images of houses on a vast space where the city and the countryside meet. They signal ideas about the expansion of cities and the impact of the urban upon the natural environment.

Within this installation, Hamilton constructs anything but an ordinary table. She creates a giant albatross-like table with plates or leaves (table expansions) cascading and expanding from an empty centre where a table would typically be. In her ARTSask interview in 2007 Hamilton describes these additions as looking like “airplane wings or as skateboard ramps.” The over-all planning for the form looks haphazard and lacks any sign of strength or longevity and it looks like it could fall down at any moment. In Hamilton’s sculpture, the central core is empty, as is the case in so many cities, and could imply lack of growth. The expanding outlying areas of her table form could additionally suggest development where little planning is evident and developments appear to be constructed with speed and abandon.

additional resources Describing
Duration: 3:16 min
Size: 13307kb
Go Out There and Make Stuff
Duration: 1:52 min
Size: 7467kb
On Being a Saskatchewan Artist
Duration: 1:38 min
Size: 6701kb
The Meaning Behind
Duration: 1:28 min
Size: 5996kb
Things to Think About
  • How do the photos on the wall relate to the work? Why do you think she included them?
Studio Activity

Found objects

  • Rearrange and manipulate the objects to make a comment on an issue or concern in your community.

Movement in art

When Jen Hamilton designed the floor for the Kinesiology Building at the University of Regina, she referenced the pathways used in designing and discussing "plays" in sports.

  • Can you think of other kinds of movement that could be recorded?
  • How could you visually record your movements during a day at school?
  • Use a variety of coloured markers or pencils to record your movements.
  • These marks could become a maze of lines or "tapestries" representing a day in your life.

Technology

  • Quiz your friends and family about their relationship to technology.
  • Look at examples of how simple technology has changed and become more sophisticated.
  • Design the most advanced household technology of the future.
References

Author unknown.  Two new exhibitions by Jen Southern using GPS to explore local topography.  Exhibition announcement.  Nettime, August 24, 2004.  Retrieved from the Internet on August 9, 2008 from:  http://www.nettime.org/Lists-Archives/oldboys-0408/msg00002.html

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