Tyler Los-Jones: a slow light at SAAG, Dec 9 to Feb 4, Lethbridge

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Tyler Los-Jones   a slow light

December 9, 2017 – February 4, 2018

Opening Reception: Saturday, December 9 at 8 PM
Reception sponsored by Andrew Hilton Wine & Spirits

Tyler Los-Jones a slow light

Tyler Los-Jones a slow light

The community of Crowsnest Pass is located in a valley surrounded by ancient seabeds later folded to produce a dramatic mountain environment. Each band of strata in the rock signifies vast amounts of energy and ‘deep time’ – a geological concept in which the existence of humans amounts to the tiniest fraction of earth’s history. Within this strata are seams of coal; dense black bands of compressed and concentrated extinct life-forms. Through processes such as photosynthesis, these ancient organisms spend their lives collecting solar energy, only to be released 100 – 145 million years later as this ‘fossilized sunlight’ is burned. Crowsnest Pass is not a location where the myth of a static, objective, or disconnected landscape has much credence; the area is notable for the relationship its inhabitants have to a uniquely dynamic environment. One only has to look to Turtle Mountain, named “the mountain that moves” by local indigenous peoples, and the devastation of Frank Slide below, to understand how landscapes are continually in flux. Scattered throughout the Pass are markers signifying how people navigate and relate to this environment, these directional aids inform the objects and images included in Tyler Los-Jones’ exhibitions, a slow light.

Los-Jones observed and identified these navigational markers during a 2015 residency at the Gushul Studio in Blairmore, Alberta. These same objects that have been used to orient people in relation to entities that once lived similarly help constitute the places we live today. Examples of these orientation markers range from the Turtle Mountain monitoring station; the windswept Burmis Tree (the most photographed tree in western Canada despite its death in the late 1970s); and a chain hanging from the slanted wall of the mine, used tas a tool during mine tours to signify the vertical axis for visitors who often became disoriented. Through a collection of photographs, sculpture, and other forms, a slow light aims to generate experiences for wayfinding, disorienting and reorienting our sense of time and space in a complicated present.

Since graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2007, Tyler Los-Jones has produced objects and images using a range of media including photography, sculpture, handmade books, and installations. The broad range of work Los-Jones has created is connected by an overarching interest in how visual culture relates to expectations of environments by bringing the unnatural aspects of the western conception of nature to the forefront. Los-Jones’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Banff Centre, TD Canada Trust, Royal Bank of Canada, City of Calgary, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the Government of Canada.

a slow light is organized by the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in collaboration with Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI. Like at the Gushul Studio, Los-Jones will participate in a residency and exhibition there, responding to the specificities of that place and to the nature of residencies more generally. Funding assistance from the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the City of Lethbridge.

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