Margaret Lawther has exhibited her photographic work across Canada since 1984, including solo exhibitions at The Photographer’s Gallery, Saskatoon (1999), Cambridge Art Gallery, Cambridge, Ontario (1995) Mercer Union, Toronto, Ontario (1986) and Galerie Lilian Rodriguez, Montreal (1997, 2000, 2002). Lawther teaches mixed media and photography at Bishop’s University in Lennoxville, Quebec.
June 7–July 19, 2003
Margaret Lawther routinely travels by car each summer between Vancouver and Montreal. Begun in 2001, this exhibition consists of large-scale colour photographs, depicting views of the Trans-Canada, the world’s longest national highway. In counterpoint to the mythified and romantic Canadian landscape for which this country is known, these images, arranged in diptychs, triptychs and singly, embrace a flat and acerbic approach to the idea of the scenic viewpoint. Lawther’s photographs resist the idea of a Canada comprised of spectacular natural beauty and inspirational perspectives; these points of interest are more likely to be skid marks and eroded shoulders than waterfalls or waving grain. Lawther interrupts the landscape series with still life images of car wrecks found in scrap yards, continuing the history of photography¹s fascination with the land and with death.
In combination they elaborate on the paradox of the road trip; the experience of the disjunctive relationship between time, space and immense distances traveled while sheathed in an automobile.
MARGARET LAWTHER, DON GILL
July 19, 2003
Artspeak is pleased to host the book launch event for Coincident; a book by Margaret Lawther and Don Gill. Coincident is published on the occasion of an exhibition of photographs and video, titled Souvenir: A Road Show, by Lawther, which takes place at Artspeak between June 7th and July 19, 2003.
Category: Artist Book
Artist: Margaret Lawther, Don Gill
Writers: Lorna Brown
Design: Robin Mitchell
Year published: 2003
Binding: Staple Bound
Features: 8 b&w images, 8 colour images
Dimensions: 18 x 14.5 x 0.5 cm
Weight: 109 g
Price: $7 CDN
Coincident is one of a collection of Artspeak publications that pairs photographs of artworks with new writing by artists and writers whose practices share similar concerns. This collection aims to contribute to the shifting definition of visual arts publication, and to extend the long history of innovative relationships between the visual and language arts in Vancouver.
Coincident is published on the occasion of an exhibition of photographs and video, titled Souvenir: A Road Show, by Margaret Lawther, which took place at Artspeak between June 7 and July 19, 2003.
The Axis of Coincidence by Don Gill combines the friendly voice of travel literature with the most unlikely of destinations – a tour of the prisons of Texas or a gopher museum in Alberta. During his adventures our hero must endure such trials as a flashing oil-pressure light, bulky travel companions in rented compacts and bad coffee. His idiosyncratic itinerary is mapped on a coincidence; which holds that “Curiously, if you take a map of North America and draw a straight line from Lethbridge to Mérida, depending on the width of the line, it will pass directly through Houston.” This sketchy rationale forms the plan for a series of excursions, with arbitrary end points, that skip across the continent.