By Nisha Gill, Contributor
Tucked away between bakeries and boutiques in Hamilton’s downtown core, Factory Media Centre (228 James St. North) is somewhat isolated from the hustle and bustle. Housed within the artist-run centre, Hamilton-native Natalie Hunter merges photography, video projection and sculpture to create a space to reflect on questions questions of memory, home, time and light.
A collection of photo-based works created over the last four years, “sensations of breathing at the sound of light” is different Hunter’s typical pieces. The artist’s work has been exhibited across Canada and the United States, almost always in well-lit, neutral-coloured spaces, contrary to the conditions that are present in the Factory Media Centre.
“Factory Media’s space is quite cinematic, and it’s a challenging space because it doesn’t have accurate lighting like most white cube gallery spaces. Working with [Factory Media Centre] coordinator Kristina Durka, we decided to work with the darkness of the space and curate works that create light, in addition to reacting with its kinetic qualities,” Hunter explained.
When viewers enter the Factory Media Centre, it is immediately apparent that the space is as much a part of Hunter’s exhibition as are her works. The visible cables and wires, the naturally limited and cinematic lighting and the openness of the space all compliment Hunter’s work. This interaction between the space and the work allows for the viewer to reflect on the work and the influence of memory and home, furthering the incredibly unique and immersive experience that comes with viewing it.
“Allowing a photograph to become a physical encounter rather than a picture on a screen or in a frame. And I think “Sensations of breathing at the sound of light” really questions areas between screen space and physical space, and how they influence memory, the senses, and perceptions of time in the present moment. Stillness and motion can be experienced at the same time,” said Hunter.
Hunter’s pieces themselves are created using a combination of film, colour filters and lights that allow a moment in time to be captured not only as a photograph, but as something physical that interacts with the space around it.
“I think my work is different in terms of my consideration of materiality in image making and hybrid forms of sculpture and photography. Allowing a photograph to become a physical encounter rather than a picture on a screen or in a frame. And I think ‘sensations of breathing at the sound of light’ really questions areas between screen space and physical space, and how they influence memory, the senses, and perceptions of time in the present moment,” said Hunter.
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You’re invited to the closing reception of Natalie Hunter’s exhibition, Sensations of breathing at the sound of light this Friday, October 4th from 7-9pm. This Friday is your last chance to see Natalie’s work light up the front window! Head over to FMC to meet natalie, and enjoy the refreshments and good company.
Hunter described the exhibition as a conversation between her and Durka, but also as a space for conversation between herself and the viewers of her exhibition.
“An artist’s job is to provide the conditions for an experience so that a dialogue or conversation can exist between artist and viewer. A conversation that a viewer may draw meaning from or pose further questions, perhaps not immediately, but eventually, through the work. I hope that a viewer is drawn into the work for its visceral and emotive qualities, but keeps them there long enough to contemplate the nature of time, memory, and our relationships to the spaces we create for ourselves,” said Hunter.
“Sensations of breathing at the sound of light” interacts with the space it is housed in to immerse the viewer in the works and encourage them to reflect on important questions about the nature and perceptions of the time, as well as the spaces that we interact with.
The closing reception for “Sensations of breathing at the sound of light” will be on Friday, October 4, 2019 at the Factory Media Centre (228 James St. North) from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hunter will be in attendance.