Cameron Forbes 
Observation Survey Drawings

May 1 - August 31, 2018

Kenderdine Art Gallery

May 1 - May 25, 2018
Exhibition runs:
May 25 - August 31, 2018 

Leah Taylor, curator

Thursday, July 12 at 12 noon in the Kenderdine Art Gallery
Friday, July 13, 2018 

Cameron Forbes paints as an act of engagement with both space and people. Existing architecture, human delineations of the environment, differential access to space, and the persistent drive for climate control are continuing themes in Forbes’ work. Cameron Forbes: Observation Survey Drawings expands upon these thematics through an interrogation of the architectural and spatial features of the University of Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Building. 

During a three-week artist residency with the Kenderdine Art Gallery, Forbes constructed and mobilized a portable studio structure inspired by the building’s pyramid-shaped portico. Moving the studio to a new location each day – inside and outside the building – Forbes painted from within the portico-inspired structure, activating multiple sites in the creation of new work. 

The moving structure and drawings observe and document the building’s different spatial manifestations. The performative and process drive nature of her studio-in-flux points to Forbes’ interest in the institutional critique of purpose built architectural environments. By inserting herself into this public arena, she tampers with the notion of public versus private within the space. Through the gestural act of plein air painting – a seemingly subtle disruption – Forbes makes visible the process of the survey; a process related to both Western map-making and Canada’s tradition of landscape painting. This visibility points to the painted gesture’s ability to simultaneously reinforce, subvert, and reimagine spatial realities.

Her archive of survey drawings and paintings produced during the residency, as well as the portable studio, comprise a solo exhibition elegant in its deconstruction of public architecture; poised in its unveiling of the power-laden, socially constraining realities of built form.




Cameron Forbes, Observation Survey Drawings. 2018. Courtesy of artist. Cameron Forbes, Portico Mock-Up, 2018, digital collage. Courtesy of the Artist.



About the Artist

Cameron Forbes paints as an act of engagement: with space and with people. Through the lens of plein air landscape painting, she is interested in observing ways in which we create space. The tension between Canada’s tradition of landscape painting, and its inextricable link to our history of exploration, exploitation, settlement and colonization informs the foundation of her practice. Forbes recently participated in the Artscape Gibraltor Point residency through Collective Assembly, and, since 2017, has exhibited at Neutral Ground (Regina), aceartinc. (Winnipeg), McClure Gallery (Montreal), and Art Placement (Saskatoon). In 2016, she was awarded an honourable mention prize in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. Forbes was a regular participant at the Emma Lake Artists Workshop (2007, 2009, 2011, 2012), and, from 2008 to 2011, served as the executive director of Winnipeg’s Art City. Born in Regina, and raised in Makwa and Saskatoon, Forbes now lives in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, where she is an assistant professor in Painting and Drawing at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University and a Master of Fine Arts from Concordia University