Canary in the Coal Mine

An Art Exhibition by Kathleen Hawkes and Roger Boulay

The Inver Hills Community College Art Gallery has a new exhibit on display from October 3rd to October 31st. The exhibit, titled “Canary in the Coal Mine”, displays the work of artists Kathleen Hawkes and Roger Boulay. Roger and Kate live and work together in Winona, MN with their dogs Lenny and Lou.
Below is an excerpt from the artist statement.
“The exhibition takes its title from the early 20th century practice of coal miners bringing a caged canary into mine tunnels with them. If gases like carbon monoxide built up, the bird would die before the miners. The canary serves as a harbinger. Our planet has entered an era called the Anthropocene, where humans are actively altering the global ecosystem. This exhibition seeks to capture the feeling of this uncertain and disabling time and speculates what future landscapes might look like as our earth environmentally moves past the point of no return.
We create images and groupings of works that are unstable nearing a tipping point or slow fade into destruction. Some of the works are traditionally photographic (made in a dark room with light sensitive emulsions and chemicals), others are digitally photographic, and yet others are simply drawn or constructed from cut paper and other found materials. Though disparate in their process the works are visually held together by a common color pallete and sense of decay or absence.
We both intentionally use cheap, mass-produced, disposable objects in out work. We think of these objects as a new form of elemental building block that make up the matter and fabric of the world around us. It is the sort of cultural detritus that accumulates unintentionally as a result of one’s daily existence. Kate creates photographic works by layers photographs of candy and bits of plastics together into on visually complex strata. Roger uses forms of media that have become or are becoming obsolete. VHS tape, records, books; they are all narrative systems we created and discarded, which echoes cycles of obsolescence on a macroscopic scale.”

Canary in the Coal Mine Art Show

Now through Monday, October 31, 2016

Inver Hills Art Gallery
Fine Arts Building
Gallery Hours:
Monday & Wednesday
10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Tuesday & Thursday
11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Closed Friday – Sunday
Inver Hills Community College
2500 East 80th Street
Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076
General: 651-450-3000
Gallery: 651-450-3101
Discover more about artist Kathleen Hawkes on her website.

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