The Vancouver Art Gallery has unveiled the newest edition of its Offsite installation, and it’s already turning heads.
The Experience, by Vancouver artist Elizabeth Zvonar, combines materials and imagery used in advertising to transport sun-bleached summer scenes into the city’s often wet and dreary Fall and Winter. The initial inspiration for the piece came from the work of local artist Colleen Heslin.
“I have a painting of hers in my house that is a proposal as a giant pair of sunglasses as a public art project, sort of a satirical pitch,” Zvonar told Vancity Buzz. “I love this painting, because it’s so great, and when I was thinking of this project I thought ‘Oh yeah I want to do giant sunglasses,’ because I look at them every day in this painting but then I thought well I can’t do that, because that’s Colleen’s, but I can riff on that.”
The 54 ft by 20 ft collage combines imagery from a Hubble Telescope photo of Mars, and a sunglasses advertisement from the 1970s. The lighting and textures of the photo, along with the reflecting pool in front of it, create a field of view that makes the piece come alive. Zvonar says she’s excited to release to work public, and is thrilled at the response so far.
“It’s so exciting,” she says. “It’s called The Experience and I want to conjure this experience for people, and I’m curious to see how people are going to react to it. So far so good, I’ve been watching people all week as we’ve been doing lighting stuff, seeing them take pictures and talk about it, which is very exciting.”