Erin Shirreff Lake 2012 Color HD video, silent Inbv# ES111 Installation view: Science on the back end, Hauser & Wirth, 2012

Erin Shirreff, Lake, 2012, Color HD video, silent, Installation view: Science on the back end, Hauser & Wirth, 2012

Have you ever looked intently at a photograph reproduction over a period of time long enough for you to notice small disturbances from what’s around you? Where your image slowly starts to follow the movements of your surroundings? Where one source of light creates another sun on the page, by reflection, and shadows slowly move across the picture?

Such subtle changes are major sources of inspiration for Erin Shirreff, a multidisciplinary artist now showing work at the Contemporary Art Gallery.

The artist is interested in playing with the difference between the experience of a place, and the experience of the representation of a place.

Erin Shirreff Shadow, Glare (screen grab) 2010 Commissioned by Triple Canopy.  Programmed by Seth Erickson.  Download:

Erin Shirreff, Shadow, Glare (screen grab), 2010, Commissioned by Triple Canopy, programmed by Seth Erickson.

For instance, the work Lake uses an image of Lake Okanagan, B.C. where Shirreff grew up. This image, which Shirreff took from a tourism magazine, is presented as a kind of ideally scenic background for her to then experiment with, and paint on with light and shadow.

Here’s an interview with the artist where she talks about growing up in BC and learning about the representation of nature through TV vignettes.


For more information on the CAG and photos of the show, click here.