February 3 – 19, 2023
Artist talk: Sunday, February 19 at 2:30 pm
It is said that adversity introduces us to ourselves. safety within contemplates how individuals and communities seek sanctuary during challenging times. Where does one go when faced with adversity? Can introspection promote resilience? How do we find comfort in the companionship of others who are near or distanced from us?
Works in this exhibition are informed by time spent in the studio over months of social distancing and isolation due to the global pandemic. Since the onset of the pandemic there has been time for turning inward. Time for sanctuary and quiet, darkness and melancholy, and renewed gratitude for people whose support makes a positive difference. Although the worst of the pandemic appears to be over, feelings of trepidation continually surface.
Activist and writer Aruhdhati Roy views the pandemic as a portal or gateway from one world to another; an opportunity for humanity to break with the past to imagine the world anew. She maintains that by bringing the world to a halt, the pandemic offers a chance to re-think the everyday and to move forward, rather than longing for a return to “normality”. Her words have served as inspiration and hope.
Layers of translucent papers in the installation allude to the fragility of living with uncertainty. A singular figurative motif appearing and reappearing in variable iterations throughout the space, suggests feelings of ‘being alone’, yet ‘being together alone’. The viewer is invited to become immersed in this meditative space to reflect, take pause, and connect to their own experience.
Embracing uncertainty while creating this body of work over the past three years has offered new insights into her creative process and that of others. As pandemic restrictions continue to ease, questions linger: Where are we now in the portal to a new reality? Will this be the last time?
About the Artist
Regan Rasmussen is an interdisciplinary artist whose studio practice is informed by the phenomenology of living experience and human interactions. She holds a B.F.A. in Visual Arts from University of Manitoba, B.Ed from University of Saskatchewan, and an M.Ed. in arts-based research from the University of Victoria. She has brought artists and poets together to curate collaborative exhibitions and chapbook publications. Regan lives on the unceded territories of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples where she teaches drawing, ceramics, and arts foundation courses at the University of Victoria. She is co-gallery coordinator at arc.hive artist run centre in Victoria. Her work has been shown in public and private galleries in Canada and the UK.
You can find more information about the artist at the following links:
Xchanges gratefully acknowledges the support of the Province of British Columbia and the Capital Regional District for our gallery programs.