Exhibit Dates – July 20 – Sept 27, 2023
The exhibition titled Field Marks was created by artist Lisa Matthias, an interdisciplinary artist based in Edmonton. While her primary focus is on printmaking, she also incorporates photography, drawing, and animation into her practice. Matthias’ work revolves around ecological issues, and she derives her imagery from direct observation and the study of nature in various locations.
Within her field of study, Matthias specializes in large-format woodcuts, a material-oriented process that allows her to experiment with different tools and techniques. Although most of her artwork is representational, some pieces exhibit an abstract quality. This abstraction stems from her observations of plant forms under the microscope. By magnifying these structures, Matthias captures microscopic shapes and incorporates them into her large-format prints. Additionally, her intuitive and experimental artistic approach contributes to the abstract appearance of the forms and compositions.
While the subject matter of Matthias’ exhibition encompasses a range of imagery, including microscopic views of various plant matter, the dominant feature in most of her prints are images of birds’ nests. Her interest in ornithology, derived from her degrees in Botany and Biological Sciences, has led her to study birds as an avid birdwatcher. She observes the seasonal migratory patterns of certain species as well as the year-round residents in her area. The images of birds’ nests in her artwork are based on photographs she took at the Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton.
Field Marks is an exhibition that combines art and ecology. The selection of prints includes both representational images and abstract structures based on magnified plant forms. The abstract images, while derived from microscopic observations, still maintain a connection to observable reality. The cohesive element of the exhibition lies in Matthias’ artistic style, characterized by dense mark-making and strong contrast between negative and positive spaces. Field Marks serves as a lyrical intersection of scientific inquiry, artistic interpretation, and expressive mark-making.
Lisa Matthias would like to recognize support from the Canada Council for the Arts.