Fabiola Carranza, Sara Cwynar, Jessica Eaton, Allison Hrabluik, Hannah Maynard, and Nicole Kelly Westman
April 7 to June 3,
Opening Friday, April 6, 7 pm
Fulhame’s Map is an exhibition named after the scientific work of Elizabeth Fulhame, an 18th century Scottish chemist who is known for her experiments with light sensitive materials. In 1794 she wrote that maps could be made using silver chemistry inscribed by the actions of light. This was essentially a photographic process, and the first recorded instance of such a discovery. Her work was remarkable, not only for the revolutionary potential of her ideas, but also for her ability to persevere in a society hostile to the achievements of women. While her experiments did not create lasting images, Fulhame’s concepts were fixed in the form of her essay With a View to a New Art of Dying and Painting, which became a catalyst for the development of photography.
Here on Vancouver Island, photography came along with the influx of wealth from prospecting and resource extraction. Hannah Maynard (1834-1918) was a Victoria BC photographer known locally for her pioneering work and experimental approach. She studied photography and opened Mrs. R. Maynard’s photographic gallery in Victoria 1862. By the 1880s she was working with multiple exposures to create innovative self-portraits in which she played many roles. Her works were unprecedented in their vision and complexity, but her relatively isolated practice remains largely unrecognized.
Alongside a suite of Maynard’s self-portraits sourced from the British Columbia Archives, this exhibition features contemporary artworks that echo Fulhame and Maynard’s prescient ideas. In Fulhame’s Map, Fabiola Carranza, Sara Cwynar, Jessica Eaton, Allison Hrabluik, and Nicole Kelly Westman, experiment with both contemporary and historical modes of image production. Through vibrant and diverse approaches, these artists navigate stories and histories that surround images and their creation. Talking through the language of photography, Fulhame’s Map is the first project in a year in which Nanaimo Art Gallery asks the question: “How can we speak differently?” through exhibitions, educational programs and off-site events.
On Saturday, April 7, 2 pm, join us for a talk by Montreal based artist Jessica Eaton on the processes and inspirations behind her recent photographs.
Image: Hannah Maynard, A multiple exposure self portrait by Hannah Maynard, glass plate negative, 1890.
Courtesy of Royal BC Museum and Archives