“Places-Species-Bodies, Walking Alberta” is an alternative Alberta landscape exhibition, featuring the work of artists Sandra Meigs and Alana Bartol. Both have created these pieces “en Plein-air” each in their own way recording their interactions and observations as they walked and interacted with the spaces around them.
The paintings on view by artist Sandra Meigs reflect on her experiences during multiple visits to Southern Alberta’s McIntyre Ranch over a twenty eight year period. A 55,000-acre span of land, the Ranch, established in 1898 in Alberta’s Grasslands, has hosted many artists over the years and has been a site for artistic collaboration and research. “Even after 125 years of operation, the pristine landscape of the McIntyre Ranch remains the largest undisturbed fescue grassland on the North American Continent.”* Wandering out onto this land Meigs recorded her experiences as she encountered the wildlife and flora of the region. The resulting paintings are her responses to the spirit of the Alberta Grasslands and the beauty she was witness to there.
In her series “A Woman Walking (the City Limits)”, Mohkinstsis (Calgary) based interdisciplinary artist Alana Bartol, employs walking, as her medium in an exploration of the city boundaries of Calgary. In the artist’s words, “Walking can be a way to reconnect to our bodies and consider how we relate to complexity: to observe, to listen, to smell, to think, to reflect, to co-mingle and become alive to the world around us.” The resulting collected objects, photographs, drawings and video from her walk, document her experiences as she attempted to trek the perimeter, she walked over 100km, using the City of Calgary map as a guide. Venturing along barbed wire fences, roadways, the Tsuut’ina Nation 145, private property, farmland, suburban sprawl, the Bow and Elbow rivers and the Bearspaw Dam, she was aware of the human traces around her, documenting objects that tell stories of our relationships to the land and each other.
* Ralph Thrall III, from the book “Ranching Under the Arch”, by D. Larraine Andrews, Heritage House Publishing 2019.
Alana Bartol would like to acknowledge M:ST 8 Performative Art Biennial and The New Gallery for their support in the creation of, “A Woman Walking (the city limits)”.