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Altered Realities


Altered Realities features works by Canmore-based artist David Foxcroft and Calgary-based artist Kristine Zingeler. In these works, both Foxcroft and Zingeler use the process of layering to create complex photographic collages. Each artist has a unique approach, though; Foxcroft uses ten layers of personal photographs to create consuming, intangible environments, whereas Zingeler uses images of photographs from vintage books layered with three-dimensional found objects to create abstract, surreal worlds. “Unlike portrait or landscape paintings, which are believed to represent the world, abstract apparently refers only to invisible, inner states or simply to itself. It challenges the spectator and raises puzzling questions: What is this kind of art about? What is it trying to say? And how are we supposed to react to it?”[1] Both artists’ works are abstracted from nature, “the starting point is the real world, and then simplifies it until the image bears only stylized similarities to the original.”[2]

Foxcroft and Zingeler use complex, tedious processes to create complex compositions. Foxcroft begins his creative process with his camera; he has taken hundreds, if not thousands, of pictures of alleyways, interiors and construction sites. He explains, “The images for each collage are carefully selected for colour, design, and imagery and then cut creating different shapes that are overlapped—at first inspection resulting in a chaotic presentation.” From this process, a three-dimensional image emerges: ten layers of cut and altered photographs. The results are a labyrinth of colourful configurations, which create an intricately orchestrated composition.

Zingeler is a collector in her own right. Her studio is filled with tiny boxes of multiples—everything from hops seeds to shavings of dried oil paint. She has collections of vintage books and catalogues from which she selects images, which are then distorted through enlarging small sections of the composition. These images are the foundation of the surreal configuration created by layering torn photographs and objects. The layered works are then photographed and digitally printed in limited editions. Zingeler’s photographs are an immersive experience. These large-scale pieces draw the viewer into a place that is surreal, real and abstract, all at the same time.

The seventeen works in this exhibition describe both the familiar and unreal. Each artist’s approach bridges several complex processes and requires precise techniques. Assemblage, collage, photography and digital manipulation are combined, and together, they comprise altered reality.

[1] Anna Moszynska, Abstract Art (London: Thames and Hudson Ltd., 1990), xx.

[2] Ibid.