The Art of Mind Games
Artist Lisa Turner makes new meaning out of familiar shapes
Thursday, Nov 05, 2015 06:00 am
When you peruse Lisa Turner’s latest creation, you immediately understand why the show is called Mind Games. Each image group is made up of twelve prints. The objects are forms that Turner found in online shopping sites. The details have been removed and the pictures converted to black and white silhouettes that are then taken apart and put back together in unexpected ways. The new objects are “somewhat believable, but are a hybrid of several other forms. They are familiar and enigmatic, yet strange and surreal,” says Turner. Just as you begin to understand what you are looking at, you realize you’re wrong.
Turner’s show is one of three that were shown concurrently in the Local Artist Series at the Heart of University of Alberta Museums Galleries at Enterprise Square, ending in October. Amy Loewan’s exhibit, Arche-Textures, explored the harmony that can be found in peace. The third exhibit, Recollections: An Imperfect Schematic, by Erin Pankratz-Smith, was a series of mosaics with layered images that shift your perspective. Jill Horbay, Communications and Marketing Coordinator for the University of Alberta Museums says the three artists were selected through a larger call for proposals program.
Turner, who attended an arts-focused high school in London, Ontario, got her BA at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NCSAD). She moved to Edmonton to get her MA in Fine Arts (Printmaking) at the University of Alberta in 2008. She has taught at many arts programs including Red Deer College, Capilano College, the University of Alberta, and the prestigious Emily Carr Institute in Vancouver. Turner recently accepted a full-time teaching position in the United States, but will be returning to Edmonton regularly.
Art is an important part of how Turner experiences the world. “Being able to express myself through art and explore other ideas is important to me.” The technical aspects of printmaking also interest Turner. Each of her tiles is hand printed on paper. Turner could use digital printmaking techniques, but prefers the quality that hand printing gives to the work. Turner examines the growing ease with which we can buy virtually anything online. “The strange objects and forms inspired me to investigate how the forms function. I decided to make my own forms. When you look at the bigger pieces you know it’s some kind of a product. You think that if you could rearrange them, you might reveal the true object.” Turner wants viewers to think about the strangeness of the forms they see.
Turner’s next show, Private Pleasures, runs in early December at Latitude 53. The new show will continue to explore forms and the ways we interact with them. Turner is working on stop-motion animation to accompany the art pieces. She is especially interested in how commercial forms often reflect the human body, whether it be in a soft curve or a connection between items. She plans to show how consumer objects can come to life by highlighting qualities that make you believe the objects are moving. There will also be an interactive piece that will allow you to move the smaller pieces to create new forms.
When you visit Turner’s show at Latitude 53, look at the forms of objects as you think about the implied promise of happiness that purchasing new items brings. And take advantage. Turner says you never know what to expect in her art, so let your memory and experience guide you – but don’t trust them completely.
* For more information, go to www.lisaturnerart.com