Amy Shackleton and Julian Brown | Playing with Fire and Ice

Amy Shackleton and Julian Brown | Playing with Fire and Ice

Show Dates: April 5th - August 27th
Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10 am - 3 pm.
Location: Art Gallery of Northumberland,
 Cobourg, ON.
Opening reception: Saturday August 21, 1 - 3 pm.

Excerpt by Olinda Casimiro | Executive Director August 2021

Anthropocene has become an environmental buzzword since the atmospheric chemist and Nobel laureate Paul Crutzen popularized it in 2000. It gives a name to the current geological era, in which humans are having a profound impact on the Earth’s geological strata. Geologists are still debating the term, but at the Art Gallery of Northumberland (AGN), we are embracing it as a social and cultural tool for exploring the effect humans are having on the environment. To put it simply, people are changing the planet.

Visual artist Amy Shackleton and digital artist Julian Brown’s installation combines a drip-painted mural with augmented reality. The artists immerse viewers within a flooded urban centre complete with floating digital icebergs. The work is informed by Shackleton’s photographs of climate-ravaged landscapes across Canada: burning forests, flooding lands, and melting glaciers. Inspired by this immediacy, she juxtaposes local architecture with Canadian geography to ask pressing questions about our future. Brown provides an augmented reality experience that extends Shackleton’s mural and immerses viewers in the environment. Looking through any device a digitally flooded exhibition space allows them to experience first-hand this climate catastrophe. Brown and Shackleton remind us that we are all playing with fire. Their work is a call for action and a stark prediction for Canadian environmental futures

We are living in an era in which people are changing the planet—the Anthropocene. In response, the planet’s climate is changing: temperatures are warming, ocean and air currents are shifting, glaciers are melting, and rivers are bursting their banks. This exhibition explores aspects of this change, inviting us to reflect on our beliefs about the environment and perhaps reflect on our own role in these processes. Perhaps, by doing so, they may even inspire us to change.

Listen to Shackleton's CBC Radio interview (starting at the 12 minute mark).
Read an articles about the exhibition in Cobourg Now and Grapevine Magazine.

Amy Shackleton acknowledges the generous support of the Ontario Arts Council.



Installation Shots

^ Augmented reality digital still

Mural Creation

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