Mixed media artist Lyndal Osborne’s fascinating installation relies on abundant material collected from two rivers of personal significance – one in Australia, where she grew up, and the other in rural Edmonton, where she now lives. More than 7,000 glass jars act as the shimmering watercourse that connects her natural and industrial finds in this exhibit at University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery. It’s called Shoalwan: River Through Fire, River of Ice.
The “fire” component refers to the Shoalhaven River near Canberra, Australia, which was a boundary of intense bush fires. The “ice” portion of the work is informed by the yearly freezing process of the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton. Osborne has been collecting and categorizing similar material for decades, including the wood, shells, bones, insects, seeds, tools and even golf balls in this presentation. All her installations reflect her deep concern for the environment (Below: From Organisms 2012)
Below: From Hope for the Future, a representation of a seed-saving project for a small community.
Below: From Ab Ovo, an examination of seeds, from the perspective of an electron microscope.
Lyndal Osborne was born in Newcastle, Australia, studied at the National Art School in Sydney and received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin. Since 1971, she has been based in Edmonton, and is a Professor Emeritus in Art and Design, University of Alberta. Osborne has been exhibiting in Canada and internationally since the early 1970s and has shown in over 350 exhibitions.
Lyndal Osborne’s website, here.
Detail from the Rivers exhibition, here.
A long, interesting profile on Galleries West, here.