Becky Comber

Resides
Grey County, ON
Born
1982
Website

Using photography, collage, re-photography, and manipulation of media, Comber’s photographs combine representations of figures, objects and moments within illusory space and real space; collapsing fact and fiction into a shared realm. Her work has been exhibited across Canada and the United States, and is part of the permanent collection of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the provincial gallery for New Brunswick. Becky's work has been published in Chatelaine, The Globe and Mail Report on Business and through the Magenta Foundation’s contemporary photographic compilations Carte Blanche and Flash Forward 2008. Becky completed an artist residency at the Banff Centre in 2012 and will be presenting a solo exhibition of her series Broken Horizons at the Gladstone Hotel in May 2014.

Broken Horizons

Using the manipulation of photographic raw materials, Comber physically rearranges imagery to create new visual constructions of her surroundings. Working with these physical documents gives her a flexible medium with which to explore notions such as the landscape and our place amongst it, the mental construction of our reality and the artificiality of media, while also using the re-ordering of her environment as a meditation on existence itself.  Her experiences and reflections are documented, printed and then re-photographed into new compositions to address themes such as the raw and immense power of the wilderness, the environments we inhabit, and the physical world that connects and surrounds us.    The act of interpreting space allows Comber’s aesthetic to unravel like a mysterious new dimension where the landscape acts out of the binds of reality.  This exploration has resulted in images charged with the physical tension of constructed hand cut edges uniting a collision of mismatched visual fields.

 

The Forbidden Hours Can Eat You Alive

The images of The Forbidden Hours Can Eat You Alive were created in response to a series of profound and personal moments from my time living and working in the wilderness of Jasper, National Park in Alberta. Utilizing photography, collage, manipulation of media, and re-photography I was able to explore and articulate the lingering presence of this time and space and communicate the layered intensity of the often overwhelming environment. This work is a direct representation of my memory and documentation intertwining; but is predominantly referring to the vulnerability of exposure, the shocking beauty and wisdom of the wilderness, and the power of the serenity that is offered in these moments of living.

Education

2005
BFA, Photography, Ryerson University, Canada.

Grants, Awards and Residencies

2013 
Artist In Residence, Georgian Bay National Park. 
Mudtown Music and Arts Festival Project Grant

2012 
Banff Artist In Residence
Ontario Arts Council, Emerging Artist Project Grant

2010
Ontario Arts Council, Emerging Artist Project Grant

2009
Ontario Arts Council, Exhibition Assistance grant.

2006, 2008 and 2011
Canadian winner of the annual Flash Forward competition, a Magenta Foundation publication showcasing emerging photographers from Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom.

2004
Monaco Calibration Award for Creative Achievement

Solo Exhibitions

2014
Broken Horizons, The Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON.

2011
The Line From There to Here, Giffen Gallery, Owen Sound, ON.

2009
The Forbidden Hours Can Eat You Alive, Mudtown Gallery, Owen Sound, ON. 
Windows, Infinite Gallery, Eugenia, ON.

2008
The Forbidden Hours Can Eat You Alive, Mudtown Gallery, Owen Sound, ON.
The Forbidden Hours Can Eat You Alive, Pikto Gallery, Distillary District, Toronto, ON.

2005
Association, Gallery 44, Toronto, Ontario.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2013
Hive, Mudtown Music and Arts Festival, Owen Sound, ON.
Unearth, Legacy Gallery, Owen Sound, ON.

2012
Collecting Photography, Collecting The World, Beaverbrook Art Gallery, New Brunswick.
Beyond Imagining: 8 Artists Envision Ontario’s Greenbelt, curated by Patrick Macaulay, a commission of 15 images exhibited as an outdoor exhibition from 2010 to 2012, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, ON.

2011
Diffusion Magazine Volume III Group Show, Jennifer Schwartz Gallery, Atlanta GA, USA.
Flash Forward Group Show (touring), Toronto, ON, Montreal QC, Boston, MA and New York, NY (2010 - 2011).

2009
Nest, curated by Chelsea Mille for Nuit Blanche, Parliament St., Toronto, ON. 
Close Distance, curated by Lena Oehmsen, Harbourfront Centre, Toronto, ON. 
Convergence, Tom Thompson Art Gallery, Owen Sound, ON.

2008
Flash Forward Group Show (touring), Toronto, ON, Ney York, NY, Montreal, QC, Boston, MA. 
Rising, curated by Alice Dixon, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON.

2007
Flash Forward, Designer’s Walk, Belford Rd, Toronto, ON.

2005
Wallpaper, curated by Sophie Hackett, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, ON. 
Cut, Ryerson Gallery, Toronto, ON.
Flash Forward Group Show, Lennox Contemporary, Toronto, ON. 
Redux Gallery, New York, NY.

Publications

2011
“Re-Imagining” Diffusion Magazine Vol. 3, and 4 image spread in Annual American photography Magazine.
The Grid, commission of 4 images for August 6th issue of Toronto Weekly, including cover.
SNAP! Auction catalogue.

2010
Globe and Mail Report On Business Magazine, illustration in December 31st issue.
"Bringing Fine Photography to the People", Peter Simpson, The Ottawa Citizen (Sept 29). 
Flash Forward: Emerging Photographers from Canada, the US and the UK
, Vol. 6, Magenta Foundation.
"Greenbelt Gambol", Leah Sandals, Now Magazine, Toronto (June 24). 
"Digging Deeper", interview with Fern TV about "Beyond Imaginings" at Harbourfront Centre.

2009
"Youth Is Not Wasted", Mark Feeney, Boston Globe (April 19). 
Globe and Mail Report On Business
Magazine – commission of 4 photographic illustrations for editorial.
SNAP! Auction catalogue.
It’ll Happen, editor and co-creator of an independent Canadian arts publication (2006 - 2009).

2008
Flash Forward: Emerging Photographers from Canada, the US and the UK, Vol. 4, Magenta Foundation.

2007
Jasper International Folk Festival, program artwork. Banff, Alberta.

2006
Chatelaine Magazine, 3 image feature to accompany a fictional piece.
Flash Forward: Emerging Photographers from Canada, the US and the UK, Vol. 2, Magenta Foundation.
Carte Blanche, an anthology of contemporary Canadian Photography, Magenta Foundation.

2005
"Wallpaper that isn't boring to look at", Julia Dault, The National Post, (May 12). 
Function Magazine, Independent Arts Publication.

2004
Flash Forward: Emerging Photographers from Canada, the US and the UK, Vol. 1, Magenta Foundation.

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