Kein Heim in Sicht - Gleich Gewicht
Lisa Birke & Heather Benning
Opening 7th of April, 2017
Heather Benning currently lives and works in rural Saskatchewan. She completed a bachelor of fine arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 2004, and a master of sculpture at Edinburgh College of Art in 2009. Between her degrees, Benning returned to Saskatchewan, where she completed several large-scale, site-specific installations. She has had numerous solo and group shows throughout Canada and abroad. Heather’s work has been reviewed in Canadian Art magazine, Sculpture magazine, Galleries West, Espace, and Uppercase Magazine, Studio Magazine, The Paris Review, and The Nation Post, etc. She is predominantly a sculptor that dabbles in multimedia.
All Safety Gone by Heather Benning
All Safety Gone is a series of three figurative sculptures. The work was created while I was completing an MFA in Sculpture at The Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland.
The work was created between 2008 and 2009 during the economic collapse. Simultaneously I was reading John Steinbeck’s East of Eden. The novel and the economic situation heavily influenced All Safety Gone. All titles of the individual sculptures are direct references to the novel.
The Gods Have Fallen - girl standing on whitewashed pallets
Everything is Only for a Day - boy with rabbit
Descended of the Restless - black dog chasing his tail
Polyester resin, wood, metal, oil paint, cement Dimensions vary, life size
Lisa Birke is an award winning Canadian experimental short film maker who situates between the traditions of painting, digital video and performance art. She has had solo exhibitions across Canada and her short films have been screened at film/video festivals and media centres internationally, including amongst others: Vancouver International Film Festival (Canada), Slamdance Film Festival (US). Birke created projects for CAFKA (Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area), the Kitchener Waterloo Art Gallery in 2016 and has just completed “The Knits” with the support of an Ontario Arts Council Media Artists Project Creation Grant.
Lisa Birke examines notions of ‘self’ through the lens of gender, bringing the cultural tropes of woman into focus and into question. Filmed unaccompanied in the Canadian landscape, absurd yet insightful performative acts become entangled in nuanced and complex narratives in single and multichannel video works that make reference to art history, mythology and popular culture. Birke is currently Assistant Professor of Digital and Extended Media at the University of Saskatchewan.
The Knits by Lisa Birke
Straddling a liminal filmic space between performance-for-video, and contemporary fairy tale, “The Knits” simultaneously knits and unravels the threads of a familial relationship stretching from Vancouver Island, British Columbia to Kitchener, Ontario, Canada. Along the way, the work tugs at the interwoven loops of art versus craft, gendered materiality, and the nostalgic artifacts of technologies.
In knitting, one literally gives one’s time—chronicled in interwoven loops of yarn—to keep someone warm. Hand-knitted sweaters bring us closer to our mothers and grandmothers as we physically carry a document of their love and labour next to our skin, almost like a protective second skin.
This project is a loving homage to Barbara Birke (the artist’s mother) and her chronic affliction of “the Knits”.
The Knits is a three channel installation with one projection, one television monitor and one digital photo screen. The installation also has a sofa chair in front of the tv and a table stand holding the actual sweater that you see in the film.