by Tammy Salzl
The Main Gallery: Date TBD
Harcourt House Artist Run Centre, 3rd floor, 10215 – 112 St, Edmonton
Tammy Salzl is a multi-disciplinary artist and visual story-teller. Her works blend influences from literature, popular culture and the human psyche, all sewn together by threads of mythology. She uses the familiar tropes of fables, myths, and fairytales to examine the emotional and psychological complexities of modern life.
Broken Walls is Salzl’s newest body of work and the result of nearly 20 months of intensive research, experimentation, and production. The exhibition contains multiple videos, a soundscape, crafted and found sculptural works, and two-dimensional elements, which invite the viewers to wander through peaceful domestic settings where all is not as it initially seems. Using the Ancient Greek mythological tale of Leda and the Swan as a conceptual base for her exhibition, Salzl explores our common fears and desires interwoven with sociological undercurrents, issues of gender, femininity, sexuality, isolation, nature, and the subjective nature of truth. The immersive scenes piece together a story of transition and awakening. As ‘Leda’ shifts her gaze from unchangeable pasts to unknown futures, the viewer takes on a participatory role, moving through the space between childhood and adulthood, as they walk through entryways, peer into windows, trigger kinetic motion, and are guided by sound. The viewers become both witnesses and participants through the multi-media retelling of the tale originating in Ancient Greek mythology – Leda and the Swan.
In Broken Walls, ‘Leda’ or her modern-day descendant, challenges the role history has assigned to her. Elements within Salzl’s works encourage the viewers to question the subjective truths found in any story as the narrative is entirely dependent on the viewers’ sequence of experience through the space, their awareness of truth and fiction within the historic stories embedded in the work, and their own perspectives. Broken Walls folds time and story on itself in a contemporary reimagining of this tale.
Tammy Salzl is a multimedia artist based in Edmonton. She holds a BFA from the University of Alberta (2000) in Edmonton and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the Concordia University in Montréal, QC. Her artistic practice is driven by a keen interest in the power of storytelling. Rooted in an investigation into ecology and historical tales, Salzl’s work in all media draws on cultural contexts ranging from Ancient Greek mythology to pop culture. Her installations blend video, sound, hand crafted and found elements, transforming recognizable objects and materials to shift embedded perceptions and associations. Salzl is a recipient of numerous awards and commendations for her contributions to contemporary Canadian visual arts, including: the prestigious 2018 OALA/Ground Ward, an Honorable Award in the 2011 Kingston Prize, and a Concordia University Tedeschi Scholarship. She has received grants for her projects from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec. She has participated in several arts residencies, including Vermont Studio Center in USA, I-Park International Artist-In-Residence Program in East Haddam, USA, KH Messen Art House in Norway, The Banff Centre, and the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture Centre in Dawson City, Yukon, . Her impressive body of work has been a subject of solo and group exhibitions held in Canada, Germany, and in the USA.