Intimate Immensity: Spaces We Inhabit

2013, Art, Gladstone Hotel, Temporary Exhibit
Alberta, built environment, contemporary art, displacement, drawing, dreamspace, memory, painting
About This Project

Date: March 5 – 18, 2013

Partner: The Gladstone Hotel

Venue: The Gladstone Hotel – map

Project Members: Laura Warren-Causton


“One might say that immensity is a philosophical category of daydream. Daydream undoubtedly feeds on all kinds of sights, but through a sort of natural inclination, it contemplates grandeur. And this contemplation produces an attitude that is so special, an inner state that is so unlike any other, that the daydream transports the dreamer outside the immediate world to a world that bears the mark of infinity.”
– Gaston Bachelard, Poetics of Space, 1958


Through a series of works that allow us to contemplate the spaces we inhabit, this exhibition evokes a sense of place that is both intimate and yet unfathomable. Intimate Immensity presents the work of four Alberta artists, each of whom reveals something significant about how we occupy and experience space, both physically and psychologically. Although working with different media, these artists are connected through an artistic practice that is largely based on abstraction. Scott Cumberland explores an internal space, which includes notions of time and memory through repetitive ribbon-like forms. His drawings on paper and Mylar create both an intimacy and a feeling of infinity, as they are two-dimensional and are confined to the edges of the page, yet the ribbon implies a sense of endless flowing. Jennifer Poburan paints whimsical panoramic spaces that refer to her daily changing environment. These imagined landscapes investigate how organic elements in nature overlap with our created environment. Alma Visscher presents a nomadic space characterized by her interest in the nature of unstable dwellings. For Alma, the absence of a stable space, physically and spiritually, can be both de-stabilizing and transformative. Ryan Wolters draws repeated, intricate, nebulous forms that reference the body, an internal, biological space. Through a rigorous drawing process, he is able to purge negative emotions and unhealthy physical obsessions.


The work included in Intimate Immensity was chosen because their aesthetic value exemplifies the symbiosis between our bodily existence and the space we inhabit. My personal dislocation in leaving Edmonton for Toronto has informed my decision to show work from Edmonton. Instead of local Toronto artists, which would perhaps better fulfill the Gladstone’s unofficial mandate of exhibiting local work, I have chosen artwork that embodies the notion of this dislocation. Additionally, the Gladstone exhibits work from emerging artists, accepting and encouraging work from varying disciplines and modes of artistic production (i.e. architecture, design, illustration, textile, sculpture, printmaking etc.). Past exhibitions at the Gladstone have explored how “artists and designers occupy space, either within the microcosm of the gallery or the wider footprint of our cities.” As an art hotel, the Gladstone is interested in manipulating a space to evoke an experience for its visitors. Although not from Toronto, these artists fill the Gladstone’s unofficial mandate as being emerging artists and as artists that explore what it is to occupy space.


The second floor of the Gladstone welcomes visitors into a whimsical dreamscape of somewhat ambiguous imagery that will embody the themes of space. These themes provide the viewer with a reference point in which they may reflect on how they occupy and experience space.