Lorna Brown is a visual artist, writer, educator and editor, exhibiting her work internationally since 1984. Brown was the Director/Curator of Artspeak Gallery from 1999 to 2004 and is a founding member of Other Sights for Artists’ Projects, a collective of artists, architects and curators presenting projects that consider the varying conditions of public places and public life. She has taught at Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Simon Fraser University. Brown received an honorary degree from Emily Carr University of Art and Design (2015), the Vancouver Institute for the Visual Arts Award (1996) and the Canada Council Paris Studio Award (2000). Her work is in the collections of the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the National Gallery of Canada, the BC Arts Council, the Surrey Art Gallery and the Canada Council Art Bank.
Director/Curator of Artspeak 1999–2004.
Director/Curator of Artspeak
April 26–May 25, 1996
Artspeak Gallery is pleased to announce W., a installation work in the gallery space with an internet component by Vancouver artist Lorna Brown.
‘W.’ is a ‘mirror’ work to ‘M.’ from 1990 which was installed at Cathedral Place, using the history and recent controversy about the Woodward’s Building in downtown Vancouver. Brown’s studio has been in this neighborhood for the last ten years and she was, until its recent closure, a Woodward’s hardware department ‘regular’. Its basement food floor was an established hangout for local residents in the middle hours of the day. The building has been described as an anchor to the surrounding businesses, residential hotels, missions and soup kitchens. The neighborhood and its longtime residents are feeling the effect of upscale development in Gastown to the north and the Expo lands to the south.
Over the past six years Brown has been making installation works that combine two sets of ideas: the social history of several Vancouver area buildings under dispute, and the structural use of the initial (I.) in creating a contingent place or temporary identity from which women can safely speak. These works are loosely titled ‘Anomalies’.
“I am interested in investigating further the relationship between the structures of our built environment and the social structures of gender, class and history. The temporary, strategic positioning of the female subject in urban spaces is evident in the title of this body of work”.
This new work refers in part to large scale ‘fictional’ pictures used to revamp and renovate the identities of neighbourhoods in the form of banners, hoardings and the like, a field for the free play of fantasy in the revisioning of the city, the imaginings of various interests or ‘stakeholders’. The work intersects with the use of imaging technology in the construction of identities and takes advantage of technology’s potential to suggest fictional identities while pointing out the illusion.