From two-person exhibition: Prelude and Pneuma | Mary Kavanagh and Ruth Chambers
Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
28 August - 1 November 1998
SAW Gallery, Ottawa, Ontario
10 March - 21 April 1999
Installation: chemistry glass and instrumentation; steel rods and clamps; video projection; shelf with audio
Prelude examines memory and the inscription of social and scientific codes on the body. The central work, Distillation: in her element, consists of a matrix of sharpened metal rods on which are suspended a collection of 250 antique glass laboratory vessels, inherited from the artist's grandparents who were career chemists. Kavanagh's work often references the formative space of the basement laboratory established in her ancestral family home in Toronto.
Balance: cloak room song consists of a wooden mantelpiece on which sits a set of scales. Barely audible sounds of a piano evoke the intangible, invisible nature of both music and memory. Separation: until each space is walked through is a cinematic video projection of a slow walk through the house.