Fuse is a new initiative to support the artistic community of Victoria by creating a new temporary pop-up location at the Atrium (800 Yates St). Nellie Lamb and Elizabeth Charters have worked in collaboration to bring Fall in Love You Will be Happy, on display from August 25 until September 7. Thank you to HCMA and Jawl Properties for supporting this program.
Nellie and Elizabeth would like to acknowledge that they are living and working on the traditional and unceeded territories of the Lekwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples. They would like to thank the caretakers of this land by saying, Hay’sxw’qa and HÍSW̱ḴE!
Nellie Lamb is a MA candidate in the University of Victoria’s Art History and Visual Studies department. Her current research focuses on a 1964 NFB film, In Search of Innocence, written and directed by Léonard Forest, which examines the lives and art of several of Vancouver’s artists, poets, and musicians. Her formative years spent in Vancouver where she was raised by and among artists have influenced her research interests, which include modern and contemporary art of Canada’s west coast, artist communities, and ideas of utopia and urbanism. As an emerging curator, Nellie aims to collaborate with artists in an effort to realize innovative and original exhibitions and installations of their work. She is interested in working with artists and artworks that meditate on, investigate, and affect space and our relationships with specific spaces particularly by focusing on memory, minutia, and temporality.
Elizabeth Charters completed her BFA in Visual Art in 2016 at the University of Victoria, located on WSÁNEĆ territory. In an ever-expanding world of constant accessibility and fleeting information, Charters is interested in deliberate communication and moments of connection. As we are constantly situated as viewers in constructed environments, a large part of her practice has evolved from a response to this daily onslaught of images and texts we receive in urban centers. In a grand sense, Charters uses sculpture to ask why it is that we live the way we do and to point out what is both beautiful and sad about it. Charters most often chooses to work with light and language to invent or construct a moment of pause when a viewer encounters her work. With language and text works, she investigates the authority of voice, the notion of authorship, and the power of communication as it manifests in the realm of objecthood. Previous studies in English literature and creative writing have led Charters to fictionalize, borrow, and personalize text to transform simple phrases, idioms, and intimate sentiments into work that stimulates the viewer through the transformative condition of language in changing contexts.
Fall in Love You Will Be Happy
(The Atrium, 2017)
Using text adapted from Paul Gauguin’s Soyez amoureuses vous serez heureuses (1889) Fall in Love You Will Be Happy seeks to create a moment of contemplation within the busy multi-use space of the Atrium. Employing vinyl text as a commercial object and drawing attention to its material presence, the piece changes the quality of light in the Atrium’s three elevators, encouraging a reading of the language as it shifts into a poetic place. Due to its dynamic form, many viewers are initially presented with an incomplete phrase. This fragmented reading allows the work’s meanings to develop as the viewer takes in more of the work while both they and the artwork are moving through the space. While elevator passengers determine the form of Fall In Love You Will Be Happy, no single passenger is in complete control of the elevator’s movement. The text and manipulation of light inside the elevators address each viewer individually, while the piece as a whole addresses the Atrium as a shared, multi-use space when viewed from the ground floor.