Amalie Atkins   we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical

December 6, 2014 - February 1, 2015

Opening reception: December 6 at 8 PM
Reception sponsored by North & Company LLP

Set against the luminous landscapes of southern and central Saskatchewan, Atkins' multi-layered narratives present bittersweet sagas of grief, joy and transformation that linger in the memory like half-remembered fairy tales.  Characters in the guise of wolves, bears, crows or other creatures populate her imaginative worlds and engage with human protagonists, enacting scenarios that are both everyday and otherworldly.  With we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical, Atkins introduces an all female cast of characters which includes, among others, two-headed sisters, braid harvesters, and a troupe of roller-skating Valkyries.  With a background in textiles from the Alberta College of Art and Design, Atkins' films have an immediate tactile appeal, which is manifest in the handmade fabric costumes and props, as well as in the felt pavilions which she has created to house her projections.

This touring exhibition, co-organized by the MacKenzie Art Gallery and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, builds on Amalie Atkins' recent residency at Open Space in Victoria with the first major solo presentation of her work.  A Saskatoon artist with a growing reputation for her films and video installations, Atkins' cinematic gifts have been recognized recently in national and international survey exhibitions.  This exhibition will highlight the expansion of her practice into installation by featuring pavilions housing her two most widely seen works, Three Minute Miracle (2008) and Scenes from a Secret World (2009), along with projection-installations based on a major new film: we live on the edge of disaster and imagine we are in a musical.

Amalie Atkins earned a BFA from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2001 and has shown her work in exhibitions nationally and internationally, including: Oh, Canada, a landmark survey of Canadian art at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (North Adams, Mass. 2012); Dreamland: Textiles and the Canadian Landscape at the Textile Museum of Canada (Toronto, 2012); and Mind the Gap! at the Dunlop Art Gallery (Regina, 2010).  In 2013, she participated in an artist residency at Open Space in Victoria, BC, where she worked on elements of the current exhibition.  Amalie Atkins lives and works in Saskatoon.

This exhibition is co-organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery and the MacKenzie Art Gallery with funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the City of Lethbridge.

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