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School of Fine Arts

INSIGHT-FELL

Offering programs in theatre and visual arts, and courses in Visual Culture/Art History, the School of Fine Arts is a cornerstone of artistic life and cutting-edge research, scholarly and creative activity in Newfoundland and Labrador, and has built a name for itself both nationally and internationally.

Anna House, a Visual Arts Instructor at Grenfell, started researching differences between perceived and physical environmental change this summer near Mistaken Point and throughout the coastline of Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula. A world heritage site and ecological reserve, Mistaken Point contains fossils of some of the first complex life forms on the planet dating back 580 million years. She was interested in analyzing the perceptions of the 'truth of nature' in the region and their relation to romantic narratives of tourism an ecological preservation; the differences between the way the area is depicted to visitors and the biophysical changes taking place along the coast. This exploration further led to a more specific exploration of tourism goods and other products, such as preserved foods, and their cultural and environmental significance. The research then resulted in a series of artworks depicting satirical products and labels with messages such as 'we suggest apathy to the facts' accompanying them.

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Dr. Gerard Curtis, Professor of Art History and Visual Culture, is working on a joint project with two British-Council sponsored artists and fellow collaborators, who were able to hike and tour the West Coast of Newfoundland with him during May's snowstorms. That same month he participated in a creative work with one of these artists, Jan Platun; his visage, hands, and voice, being writ-large in projections in the Tate Modern, London. Additionally, Dr. Curtis worked on the new MFA program at Grenfell, undertook activist-educational work for the NL Federation of Labour, is developing an article on the history of Grenfell's BFA program for The Rooms, and presented on the social-political interrelationship of graffiti and mural art to cultural tourism at the Global Mural Conference. Further, researching maritime art for a book, he visited Grate's Cove and Winterton's Boat Museum, documenting the morphology of boat design, hydrodynamics, and aesthetics. For the same book he conducted sketching tours at L'Anse aux Meadows and St. Pierre/Miquelon; there salvaged portholes in sarcophaguses, a seafaring oceanic window into death, aided in understanding how maritime designs impact land-based architecture.

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Louise Gauthier, an Instructor in Grenfell Campus' Theatre Program, spent this summer working to further develop Corner Brook's CBNuit arts festival, along with a team of other volunteers. This involved research into other festivals in Canada, and community festivals in the United States, as well as the larger history of Nuit Blanche itself. Nuit Blanche refers to a series of 'sleepless night' city arts festivals, with a history dating back to 2001. Louise's exploration of these subjects focussed, among other aspects, on the social media and website strategies other festivals had used to help drive participation, attendance, and general interest. One of the key lessons learned was that less can be more. For example, giving people too much information on the sort of art they may encounter reduces the mystery around the event, while giving just the right amount of information appeals to their curiosity.

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Charlotte May Hobden was in the third year of her BFA when she began her research on the perception of colour, an interest stimulated by Prof. D'Arcy Wilson's Extended Sight course at the Bonne Bay Marine Station in Gros Morne National Park. While there, Charlotte was painting the landscape en plein air. This painting was initially used in a photographic series exploring the changing formal and contextual elements that were relative to the painting's environment. Developing her interests in colour through a scientific lens, Charlotte collaborated with Pierre Garigue, a Geographical Information Systems Specialist. Using LANDSAT8 Imagery, they expanded Charlotte's project for the SpaceUp exhibition at Grenfell Campus in February of 2018. Seeing the Unseen used the perspectives of the human eye and infrared satellite imagery of Bombay to create a diptych that was displayed under a changing loop of coloured LED lights as a means to demonstrate our perceptual filter.

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Office of Research and Graduate Studies

Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland
20 University Drive, Corner Brook, NL
A2H 5G4, Canada

Office: FC4020-4027
Phone: (709) 637-7193
Email: research@grenfell.mun.ca