A video tour of Brad Copping: Prairie Portage Primer held at the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, June 7 to September 2, 2012.
The Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery (mjmag.ca) recent exhibition Brad Copping: Prairie Portage Primer was organized in conjunction with the Art Gallery of Swift Current (artgalleryofswiftcurrent.org), features the work of the Ontario-based artist Brad Copping.
Copping’s artistic practice is informed by a sense of place. In the summer of 2010, he and his partner, fellow artist and Saskatchewan native Sue Rankin, set out on a journey through southwest Saskatchewan in their van. Copping had been invited by curators Heather Smith and Kim Houghtaling to create an exhibition for the public galleries in Moose Jaw and Swift Current. He was asked to create work that specifically responded to the landscape of the region.
The result of this investigation is a conceptually-driven installation in which multiple sculptural works have interrelated meanings. Over-all, the work is in response to a very dry landscape, and one which, while sparsely populated, is predominantly transformed by man through the practices of large-scale agriculture.
I would like to thank Heather Smith for encouraging me to look closely at one of the most beautiful landscapes in Canada. Michael Rankin, for his love of his home province and for turning me on to the work of Trevor Herriot. Thanks also to Kim Houghtaling for his insight, resourcefulness and generosity. I continue to be indebted to my Toronto gallerist Aurelie Collings, who wrote the essay for the exhibition publication, for her thoughtfulness and her ongoing support of my work. The technical assistance of Jay Olauson of Highway 504 Productions, on the video front, and many others, is also greatly appreciated. The Canada Council for the Arts provided significant assistance in undertaking this project and the Ontario Arts Council also provided assistance in shipping the work to Saskatchewan. Their financial assistance to artists across this country matters greatly. And finally I would like to thank my partner at home, in the studio, and in the canoe, Susan Rankin. Thanks for sharing it all with me. Brad.
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