Matthew Walker | Drawing Blackwater


Matthew Walker

September 4 – October 18, 2014

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: Saturday, September 6, 2:00 – 4:00pm

SUPERCRAWL: September 12-14

IMG_0880Matthew Walker, Night Waves, 2014

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to present, Drawing Blackwater, an immersive exhibition by Matthew Walker, that uses sound, natural materials and imagery, as well as repurposed man made objects to mediate a reflection on time, space and our place in the world. Walker employs divergent temporalities within the exhibition to construct a critical narrative that ultimately questions our relation to, distance from, and manipulation of, natural phenomena and the environment by contrasting the entropic, abstract rhythms of nature to the expansionist notion of time as a spatial projection of social and societal progress.

The exhibition is comprised of three major components. Relational in nature, Niagara, a large steel resonator constructed from repurposed fuel tanks and filled with loose, carded wool, projects the constant powerful thrum of Niagara Falls as recorded from the caves behind it. Through the juxtaposition of materials used to construct the resonator and the sound it projects, Walker questions the relationships between Niagara Falls as a cultural commodity, industrialized resource and natural wonder. Likewise, by introducing the concept of water as a metaphor for how we perceive the passage of time, the installation creates a dichotomy between the natural power and rhythm of falling water and our relationship to technology. Providing a counterpoint to the temporal experience of Niagara, Night Waves, a suite of large-scale, long exposure photographs, creates a visually sonic landscape emphasizing the rhythms of the seascapes depicted. The contrasting representations of time between these works present for Walker the slippage between our relationships with physical, visual and perceptual experiences. The grainy texture of these seascapes abstracts them, but at the same time amplifies the arrested movement of these powerful waves crashing into the shoreline. Extinction Event, a large boulder situated in the gallery—the site of a private performative event—references mass ecological collapse. Extracted from a development site (a wetland) nearby, Walker has sandblasted its surface smooth, removing of all of the Lichen. In previous extinction events (all associated with significant sea level changes), Lichen as an organism can be credited as an integral component of regeneration and renewal. The performative action in this work—both the removal of the stone from the development site and its sandblasting—looks to connect human interaction with geologic time and its potential consequences on the environment.

Conceptual, experiential and transformative, the explorative installations in Drawing Blackwater weave together to create complex narratives highlighting the social construct of how we perceive and interact with the world around us in the current paradigm.

An exhibition essay by Jacob Wren can be downloaded HERE.

Matthew Walker lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario. He graduated from Mcmaster University and completed his MFA at the University of Calgary.  His work reflects his interest in landscape and models of mapping and understanding place along with the exploration of materials and performative action through the interaction of objects and space.

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