PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY presents SUSAN McEACHERN, selected works from the exhibition STRUCTURES OF MEANING
MARCH 11 TO APRIL 6, 2009
Structures of Meaning Selected Works
Friday, March 13, 2009 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
PATRICK MIKHAIL GALLERY is pleased to present an exhibition of photo-based works by Halifax artist and NSCAD Professor SUSAN McEACHERN. The exhibition features a selection of works from the exhibition STRUCTURES OF MEANING previously on view at the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography.
This selection of work entitled Questions of Nature and Backyard Community, from the exhibition Structures of Meaning, addresses two basic components of the relationship between humans and nature. Photographic images from the artist’s own flower garden speak to the human tendency to anthropomorphize the world of non-human nature and imply that humans are somehow outside of the rules and constraints applied to the natural world. The works contemplate how we strive to organize, control, and exploit the natural world, and use humour to point out the absurdity of this tendency. They encourage reflection on this premise of “human as God,” instead of “human as a part of nature.”
Ms. McEachern’s work uses the personal to comment on the social. She combines photographs taken in and around her home with images from different sources, including the mass media. These are accompanied by texts, in her own words, or drawn from fairytales, feminist treatises, medical journals, feminist utopia literature, and other sources. She is interested in investigating why certain values and beliefs are dominant in our culture, and the impact these have on people’s lives, particularly women. Her voice, though critical, is tinged with humour and irony, and is not without optimism. She believes that by exploring different ways of living in, and making sense of the world, there is hope for positive change.
Susan McEachern’s work has been widely exhibited in North America and is represented in numerous public and private collections. Born in Wausau, Wisconsin, she holds a B.A. in Theatre from Hamline University in Minnesota, a diploma in Photography from the Banff Centre, and an M.A. in Sociology from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. She has taught photography at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax since 1979. Ms. McEachern returns to Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Fall/Winter 2009/10 with a new body of work entitled Equine Studies, an extension of her current project Still Seeking Athena.