Obscura // Angela Snieder

Storm 2. Digital print on Japanese paper, 4x9', 2017

Exhibition Dates: Friday September 6th – Friday October 18th, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday September 6th, 5-8 pm

Artist Talk: Saturday September 7th, 2pm

Martha Street Studio is pleased to present Obscura, a solo exhibition of work by Angela Snieder (ON). Obscura will be on display at Martha Street Studio from Friday September 6th to Friday October 18th. An opening reception will be held on September 6th from 5-8 pm with the artist in attendance. Snieder will present an artist talk on Saturday September 6th at 2pm.

Obscura engages with questions of truth and artifice related to experience, perception, and lens-based processes. Through various photographic forms, including photopolymer prints, large-scale pasted prints and moving analog projections, the works in the exhibition aim to prompt a negotiation of reality and its representations that calls into question the truthfulness of photography.

The role of illusion is central to the printed and projected scenes. Photographic textures and surfaces offer a sense of familiarity, recalling physical spaces such as mineshafts, caves, undergrowth or mountains, but incongruities in scale and subject matter unsettle the scenes and allude to their artifice. What is happening in the shifting moment when the eye catches on to the trick; and how does the knowledge of this conspiracy alter the experience of the image? The feeling of certainty comes in and out of focus as tall grass undulates or an illuminated fog floats in a snow-filled room. 

The newest work, Field (2019), is a moving analog projection created with two camera obscura devices. Whereas historically the camera obscura projected an image of the external world (reversed and inverted), the devices in the exhibition reveal fabricated physical spaces, projected through apertures onto the walls of a darkened room.

Artist Statement

How can we think about the relationship between physical and psychological spaces? My creative practice explores the possibility that the intersection of the two can foster deeply contemplative experiences and enable attentive and empathetic consideration of our relationship with the world.

Working in photo-based print media and installation, I make use of the mimetic qualities inherent to photography, with the hope of drawing attention not only to the photograph’s capacity for deception, but also to the duplicitous nature of perception and memory. Since their invention, photographic impressions have held an evidentiary power due to their indexical relationship with the physical world. Using the diorama as a creative device, I construct spaces that play with this implicit sense of trust. The resulting printed and projected images reference built structures, but exist in a state of transformation, as if being reclaimed by natural materials and processes. These dream-like scenes serve to explore an ‘in-betweenness’; spaces of both protection and entrapment, of natural and built, of fascination and fear. They are settings in which something is on the verge of taking place.

Angela Snieder is an artist working primarily in photo-based print media and installation. She completed her BFA at York University (2013) and her MFA in Printmaking at the University of Alberta (2017). Angela taught for several years at the University of Alberta in Printmaking, Foundations, Drawing and Intermedia, and at the Society of Northern Alberta Print Artists (SNAP). She has exhibited nationally and internationally, most recently in a solo show at Alberta Printmakers in Calgary, and in group shows including the 7th International Guanlan Print Biennial in Shenzhen, China, and the Krakòw International Print Triennial in Krakòw, Poland. She is the recipient of a SSHRC graduate scholarship and a Research and Creation Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts for an ongoing project with collaborator Morgan Wedderspoon. Angela currently resides in Hamilton, Ontario.

July 23, 2019 by Martha Street Studio