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Cliff Eyland

Local artist, curator and writer Cliff Eyland features selections from his newest body of work in the solo exhibition Cameras, Cellphones and Hard Drives at Gallery 1C03. Known as a prolific producer of miniature drawings, paintings and sculptures that emerge from 28 categories, Eyland maintains his standard 3" x 5" file card-size format for these lushly-coloured, sensuous objects. In addition to his usual working materials of acrylic paint and MDF, however, the artist incorporates plastic gum packages, cosmetic cases, discarded cameras and dollar store bric-a-brac.

The impulse to reproduce these technological devices is based on their sheer proliferation and their value as props for everyday performances. Says the artist, "One notices that it really does not matter whether or not a cell phone works to the observer of someone who is walking down the street seemingly talking (to themselves?) on a cell phone. Similarly, cameras may be used without film - perhaps there is a click, but an actual photograph may or may not result from the posing and clicking."

But Eyland's art is neither a protest of nor a comment on consumerism; instead the work is engaged with notions of the absurd in which the unexpected and illogical are relished. "There is negation in my work, a Dada impulse that grows out of a veneration for a fractured European tradition that includes everything from Renaissance art to Marcel Duchamp."

Eyland's approach to art production opens a space for contemplation of the absurd, for speculation and for play. Viewers are invited to consider art as commodity or non-commodity, to entertain the notion that they are immersed in the search for meaning and that there may be none.

Cliff Eyland studied philosophy, art history and fine art at Mount Allison University, Holland College and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Eyland has written criticism for Canadian art magazines and carried out curatorial work for nearly 25 years. In the past three decades, he has presented his own art in public and secret installations in art galleries and libraries in Canada, the United States and Europe. His permanent installation of over 1000 paintings at Winnipeg's Millennium Library opened in 2005. He is currently an Associate Professor and Director of Gallery One One One at the University of Manitoba School of Art.

Girl.tif, 2003-2004, digital Photoshop file, 12.7 cm x 7.6 cm


untitled (cellphone), 2006, acrylic, enamel spray paint and gum packet on MDF board, 12.7 cm x 7.6 cm

Please be sure to visit the exhibition's related website, created by the artist.

Gallery 1C03 gratefully acknowledges the support of the Manitoba Arts Council.

For more information contact University Art Curator Jennifer Gibson at 204.786.9253 or

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