Western Libraries

Current Display in The D. B. Weldon Library

April 2014

Barbara Astman
I as artifact Part 2

McIntosh Gallery, UWO
Catherine Elliot Shaw

Barbara Astman I as artifact Part 2
Weldon Library
April 6 to 30, 2014

I as artifact Part 2
grew out of the I as artifact series in a very organic way. I was looking through a book titled, Galaxies, and I could envision the floating faces directly on the galaxy pages.  After cutting apart the book and re-sizing the faces to fit the pages, I began feeding the book pages directly into my digital printer.  The ink sits on the surface of the glossy pages which made it very vulnerable.  They needed over a week to dry and during that time the vulnerability became a metaphor for this barely there face floating in the black void.  I think the confusion of the interaction of the face on the galaxy image adds another layer of mystery.  They question our relationship with the world and possibly position us as a part of the bigger word. – Barbara Astman


This exhibition coincides with the exhibition Barbara Astman I as artifact on view at McIntosh Gallery from April 17 to June 7, 2014.


In her recent photographs Barbara Astman presents a collection of arresting, face-like constructions isolated by a dense void of deepest black. Each one appears momentarily caught, its angular eye sockets, flattened nose and individual mouth shape, projecting an animated personality. Intimidating, friendly, haunting, engaged, immediate yet somehow inaccessible, these monumental faces challenge us to consider the assortment of masks we wear every day to bridge the inner self to an outer reality.


Since the 1970s Astman has explored a wide range of photographic practices including an innovative use of new technologies such as SX-70 format film and digital techniques. She has been commissioned for numerous public art projects including the 1987 Calgary Winter Olympics and the Canadian Embassy in Berlin.  She has exhibited and lectured extensively and her work is represented in public and private collections across Canada and internationally including Canada Council Art Bank, Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, and the Victoria and Albert Museum.  She is represented by the Corkin Gallery, Toronto.


For more information, visit mcintoshgallery.ca.

 If you wish to contribute an exhibit in the Interior Display cases or, have suggestions for display topics please send an email to The D. B. Weldon Library.





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