Geoffrey Farmer, Koerner Artist in Residence
Though celebrated sculptor Geoffrey Farmer has given plenty of artist talks in his 16-year career, he’d never had the opportunity to do a prolonged stint as a visiting artist – until now. Mr. Farmer, who has exhibited internationally, is the 2012-2013 Queen’s University Koerner Artist in Residence. He will be installed on campus for two weeks, giving lectures, meeting with students, and producing an artwork.
“It’s lovely to be here,” says Mr. Farmer of his latest opportunity. “I love the idea of the university. Like a library or a museum, I gravitate towards any place that is set-aside for the sole purpose of learning, discussing and exchanging ideas. It feels like a retreat to be here.”
Mr. Farmer, who is based in Vancouver, first knew he wanted to become an artist after a visit to his sister’s art school. He has since been featured in solo exhibitions across Canada, the United States and Europe. His work was recently part of dOCUMENTA 13, a prestigious international contemporary art exhibition that takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany.
Mr. Farmer created his most ambitious work to-date for the exhibition. Starting with a stack of LIFE magazines dating from 1935 to 1985, Mr. Farmer cut out 17,000 images and arranged them in chronological order as shadow puppets on a table 130 feet in length. The project tapped in to Mr. Farmer’s love of encyclopedic collections and his interest in inventorying and arranging. It also allowed him to explore American history through an unusual lens.
While on campus, Mr Farmer hopes to work with Otis Tamasauskas to produce a print. Mr. Tamasauskas, a master printmaker, is a faculty member in the Queen’s Bachelor of Fine Art program. Mr. Farmer will produce an edition of the print for inclusion in an exhibition at Toronto’s Mercer Union gallery in January 2013.
Mr. Farmer will be giving a number of public talks about his work while in Kingston. Visit the Queen’s BFA program website for complete details.