Articles tagged with: Amy Friend

  • World-class photographer with a Brock connection

    “One of Them Is a Human #1” by Maija Tammi won third place in this year’s Taylor-Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Tammi studied photography at Brock in 2008-09 with Visual Arts professor Amy Friend. (Image copyright Maija Tammi; Used by permission).

    (Source: The Brock News | Friday Dec. 15, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    At first glance, the photo is a portrait of a young woman.

    On closer inspection, the ‘woman’ isn’t human at all. It is, in fact, an android called Erica, developed by Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories in Osaka University, Japan.

    The photograph, taken by Finnish artist Maija Tammi and titled “One of Them is a Human #1,” won third prize in this year’s prestigious Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

    The photograph also has a surprising Brock connection.

    Finnish artist Maija Tammi, who studied at
    Brock University in 2008-09

    Tammi spent a year studying film and art at Brock University in 2008-09. Although she already had a background in photojournalism, her experience at Brock, and in particular a course with Professor Amy Friend, encouraged her towards art photography.

    “The Visual Arts program at Brock offers an abundance of opportunity for one-on-one interactions in class with students and professors,” says Friend.

    Such interactions allow for personalized and concentrated instruction that allow students to reach their potential.

    “Maija flourished in this environment and took advantage of the surrounding community with her interactive installations and thought-provoking course projects,” says Friend.

    Tammi cites the film Five Obstructions, which she first saw in Friend’s course, as particularly influential.

    The 1967 film shows the remaking of the same story five times, each with a different obstruction. This process of rethinking and reframing inspired Tammi.

    “Once you have thought of a concept,” she explains, “you rethink it several times from different perspectives.”

    Tammi was immediately interested in the ways obstructions can encourage creativity and used the idea in her class project, redoing the same photograph multiple times with different obstructions.

    This experience in Friend’s course influenced her approach to photography. She gives herself obstructions, such as limiting her camera gear, to encourage her own creativity.

    Tammi is particularly attracted to portraiture, which she says tells us more about ourselves as viewers of the photograph than the subject of the photo as we project our stereotypes on them.

    One of Them is a Human #1 has attracted a lot of attention in the arts community. Although the Taylor Wessing contest rules state that the subject needs to be alive, Tammi’s photograph was accepted because it raises important questions about what it means to be human.

    “I’m very excited about the conversation that has arisen,” Tammi says. “It is time to think about what it means to be alive.”

    Tammi doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects; she is currently completing a practise-based PhD exploring representations of sickness in art photography.

    “I like topics that are very difficult and people don’t like to talk about,” she says.

    Friend, who exhibited work in the same show as Tammi in New York in August 2015, has been watching her former student’s success closely.

    “Her success is indicative of the connections that many students make with classmates and professors,” Friend says. “When I see opportunities that fit her areas of expertise I send them her way. These are the types of extended interactions that happen when we are given space to know our students.”

    Tammi’s work was one of three finalists chosen from more than 5,717 submissions. Selected submissions, including the shortlisted portraits and competition winner, are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Work of Visual Arts prof featured on Diana Krall tour

    The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, November 2, 2017 | By: Maryanne Firth)

    When the e-mail popped into Amy Friend’s inbox, she was certain it couldn’t be real.

    But a feeling inside prompted the Brock Fine Arts assistant professor to respond to the inquiry, which asked about her artwork and whether she’d consider collaborating with renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

    It was soon after that Friend found herself on the phone with the Grammy Award winner discussing possibilities for her upcoming tour.

    Friend’s experimental photography has since helped Krall to set the scene on stage, acting as her backdrop as she captivates crowds in venues across North America and Europe.

    Brock University Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend.

    Friend’s work has been featured on the jazz singer’s international tour since June and the partnership is expected to continue through to the summer.

    The project, which includes art pieces from three different bodies of work, has been “particularly fulfilling,” Friend said.

    She has enjoyed the challenge of working with Krall to find pieces that fit the mood and message of individual songs, while also complementing the title of the tour and Krall’s most recent album, Turn Up the Quiet.

    “It’s about trying to respect your own work, while also seeing how you can accommodate a vision that will fit within the repertoire they’re working with,” she said.

    Friend is currently working to select new pieces for Krall’s Canadian tour dates, including a Nov. 24 show at Massey Hall in Toronto that she plans to attend.

    “I’m looking forward to seeing her perform and to seeing my work filling the stage in a concert hall where I have heard musicians like Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Nick Cave perform,” she said.

    Krall’s latest repertoire will include a cover of Bob Dylan’s Simple Twist of Fate, which Friend is particularly excited to find a piece to accompany.

    “Much of my work revolves around ideas of memory, impermanence, history and time,” said Friend, who has worked at Brock for the past decade. “I am less concerned with capturing a ‘concrete’ reality. Instead, I aim to use photography as a medium that offers the possibility of exploring the relationship between what is visible and non-visible.”

    Work featured on the tour includes hand-manipulated photographs, pieces featuring floating handkerchiefs once belonging to Friend’s grandparents, and artwork inspired by snippets of film from her childhood.

    Over the past few months, Friend and Krall have shared many inspiring conversations about family, creativity and women in the arts.

    “She has been so great to work with, you could almost forget her status in the music world,” Friend said.

    Krall often emphasized the need to respect Friend’s work and always checks in with the artist to ensure she’s pleased with the end results of each tour stop.

    Friend called it “refreshing” to be able to engage with other artists.

    “It exposes you to experiences that have commonalities and, at times, interesting variances,” she said. “It’s also wonderful to see how my work found a place to exist far beyond my initial intentions.”

    The team responsible for the on-stage initiative also included Judy Jacob, a video and visual content director, and Paul Normandale, a lighting designer, who Friend said “took the project to the next level.”

    In addition to her work with the tour, Friend has been busy over the past year with international exhibitions in Spain, Korea, Poland, Portugal and France. She has shows coming up in Boston and Italy and plans to release a new book in the near future.

    Amy Friend's work featured on Diana Krall's tour

    The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

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    Categories: Department/Centre News, In the Media, News

  • Speaker provides chilling reminder of Canadian slave history

    Charmaine Nelson, far right, spoke on Colonial Print Culture and the Limits of Enslaved Resistance on Oct. 19 as part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series. She is pictured here with Department of Visual Arts Professors and event organizers, pictured from left, Keri Cronin, Linda Steer and Amy Friend.

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, October 26, 2017 | by: Alison Innes)

    Charmaine Nelson worked to paint a picture for the audience, one that detailed the experiences of Canadian slaves and the horrors they endured throughout history.

    The renowned scholar, known for her groundbreaking contributions in the fields of black Canadian studies, visual culture of slavery, and race and representation, delivered the first 2017-18 public lecture of Brock’s Walker Cultural Leader Series on Oct. 19.

    Her address drew more than 150 people who gathered at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines to listen to her presentation, Colonial Print Culture and the Limits of Enslaved Resistance: Examining the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century Fugitive Slave Archive in Canada and Jamaica.

    A professor of Art History at McGill University, Nelson has published seven books and held a number of prestigious research chairs across North America. She is currently the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University for 2017-18.

    As the first and currently only black professor within the discipline of Art History at a Canadian university, Nelson, through her website, is an advocate for the field of Black Canadian Studies.

    Her latest research, which she shared in her talk, attempts to understand the black experience in Canada by examining fugitive slave advertisements for details about the process of creolization in slave minority (temperate) and slave majority (tropical) locations in the British Empire.

    Nelson explained how she reconceptualizes fugitive slave ads — once produced by slave owners seeking to recapture their runaways — as portraits of enslaved people. The ads can provide information on a group of people who often leave no record of their own, she said.

    These portraits, however, are imperfect, since the subject is an unwilling participant and the depiction is written by the white slave owner. In addition, only slaves considered sufficiently valuable were pursued through advertising.

    Fugitive slave ads provided detailed racialized descriptions of enslaved people, including complexion, hairstyle, clothing, language, accents and bodily marks. In some cases, the ads offered rewards for the recapture of a fugitive slave, encouraging white participation in the criminalization of fugitive slaves.

    While the ads provide a portrait of enslaved people, they are also a lop-sided truth, Nelson explained. Some owners maligned fugitives with sweeping generalizations about their character, while others detailed specific crimes the enslaved person was alleged to have committed. Such descriptions helped associate blackness with slavery and criminality.

    Nelson draws on a variety of archival sources in her research to flesh out these portraits, tracing fugitive slave stories through estate ledgers, bills of sale, poll tax records and workhouse and jail ledgers.

    Nelson’s talk also explored the link between print and slave culture. Printed newspaper ads in the 18th and 19th century permitted white slave owners to assert their ownership over long distances.

    Although printers facilitated slavery by asserting rights of white people to own slaves, the abolitionist movement eventually used the same fugitive slave ads, with their references to injuries, scars and branding, to show the horror of slavery.

    As Nelson pointed out, many Canadians are unaware of Canada’s history of enslaving black and indigenous peoples.

    “Slavery is not a black history,” she explained, “but a multi-racial, transatlantic history. Who were the slave owners, the ships’ captains, the printers, the jailers?”

    The narrative of the Underground Railway, which Canadians eagerly embrace, spanned a period of about only 30 years, Nelson explained. She went on to challenge listeners to consider why the preceding two centuries of slavery in Canada have been erased from history.

    In concluding her talk, Nelson encouraged the audience to change the lens through which they see history. The opportunities in the field of Canadian slavery history are immense, she said, while directing her words to students. Since so few people are studying the black Canadian experience, there are many contributions to be made.

    The talk is part of the 2017-18 Walker Cultural Leaders Series, organized by Professors Keri Cronin, Linda Steer and Amy Friend the Department of Visual Arts and funded by the generous legacy of Marilyn I. Walker.

    The author, Alison Innes, has assembled her live tweets about the lecture at Storify.

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    Categories: News

  • Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend exhibits in Provence, France.

    AMY FRIEND, INCONNUS FAMILIERS / Familiar Strangers

    “Amy Friend est une photographe canadienne. «Dare alla luce» («apporter à la lumière») est un travail où l’artiste mêle vieux clichés familiaux et photos glanées au hasard de ses promenades. Une fois perforées et rétro-éclairées, la lumière révèle une seconde fois le cliché. Grâce à ce procédé, Amy peut donner une seconde vie à ses photographies. Des notions telles que l’histoire intime, la mémoire, la présence et l’absence traversent tout son travail.”
    from www.liberation.fr/photographie/2017/08/21/amy-friend-inconnus-familiers_1590958 

    Amy Friend is a Canadian photographer. In “Dare alla luce” (bringing to light), she collects old family portraits and photos gathered in her walks. Once perforated and backlighted, the light reveals the images a second time. Through this process Amy gives a second life to her photographs. Notions of privacy, memory, presence and absence cross-pollinate her work.
    [translation by C. Parayre]

    for more information and to see her work:

    www.liberation.fr/photographie/2017/08/21/amy-friend-inconnus-familiers_1590958 

    https://www.facebook.com/recitsphotographiques/

    Récits Photographiques
    August 24 > September 30, 2017
    Abbaye De Silvacane, La Roque D’Antheron
    Les Terrasses Du Chateau, Lauris
    Provence, France

    Assistant Professor Amy Friend holds a BFA honours Degree and BEd from York University and an MFA from the University of Windsor. She has received grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2015 Amy was awarded the Clarke Thompson Award for Sessional Teaching at Brock University.

    For more information about her creative and research work see her faculty profile.

     

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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • VISA instructor Amy Friend featured on MoMA Instagram

    VISA instructor Amy Friend’s piece, “Hands on Water”, is featured today on the Instagram page of the Museum of Modern Art as part of their MoMA R&D Salon 19: Modern Death. Have a look! Congratulations, Amy!

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  • Amy Friend featured in Donggang International Photo Festival

    web_01-amyfriend_01amyfriend_march-28_42-17-years_0Brock University Visual Arts assistant professor Amy Friend’s work is featured in the Main Exhibition at the Donggang International Photo Festival in South Korea.

    Exhibition Overview:
    A total of 14 photographers around the world are participating in this exhibition, which will revolve around the theme of ‘Heaven on Earth’.

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  • Brock instructor’s work one of Time’s top 10 magazine covers of the year

    (Source: The Brock NewsThursday, December 10, 2015 | by )

    Time Magazine has recognized the photographic work of Brock University visual arts instructor Amy Friend. A photograph created by Friend for the cover of The California Sunday Magazine’s April 5 edition is one of Time’s Top 10 covers of the year.

    “Our selection of the top 10 covers of 2015 displays an exquisite use of photography,” writes Kira Pollack in Time’s online article announcing the best covers. “With this unranked selection, we’ve witnessed that the cover still holds the power to be iconic and, at the very least, move and delight us.”

    Other covers on the list include the Vanity Fair image of Caitlyn Jenner shot by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz, New York Magazine’s issue featuring black and white images of 35 women who claim to be victims of Bill Cosby and a Harper’s Bazaar photo of singer Rihanna in the mouth of a shark.

    Friend said she is thrilled her work is included in a collection of so many amazing images.

    “It gives a boost to the aspects I really believe in regarding photography and its ability to reach a certain and specific sentiment with people,” she said. “When you are struck by an image, it remains with you.”

    As a fine arts photographer, Friend works with light.

    In her photographic series Dare alla Luce, she uses light to re-make vintage photographs.

    “We loved the work of Canadian artist Amy Friend, specifically her series Dare alla Luce, in which she manipulates archival photographs with a needle and then projects light through the images,” said the magazine’s creative director Leo Jung.

    More and more, artists are being approached to work with mainstream media.

    The California Sunday Magazine cover is inspired by that series and shows the silhouette of a woman with spots of light shining through, giving it a poignant quality. John von Pamer took the picture of the woman and Friend applied her technique on it and then re-photographed it. It goes with the story Death, Re-Designed.

    “The resulting image has an otherworldly, ethereal quality – a perfect metaphor for this story,” said Jacqueline Bates, photography director.

    Friend said it’s not unusual for artists to work in editorial realms.

    “More and more, artists are being approached to work with mainstream media,” she said, noting that’s opening even more doors for her students at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    “There’s fertile ground between the fine arts stream and with editorial based work,” she said.

    Friend said Brock visual arts students are exposed to both digital and analogue photography thanks to the MIWSFPA’s brand new darkroom.

    “It’s what really sets us apart from many other universities, which are mainly concentrating on digital,” she said.

    As a photographer, she knows the value of a well-rounded education in the art form.

    “Every time a student develops a photo in the darkroom, it’s a completely magical experience,” she said.

    In her photography, Friend said she concentrates on elements of history, time, memory and impermanence.

    “Despite photography’s traditional connection with the real, I am less concerned with capturing a ‘concrete’ reality, and instead aim to use and explore photography as a medium yet focus on what lies beyond its immediate visual representations,” she said.

    In much of her work, Friend uses found images and vintage pictures.

    Dare Alla Luce has been published in book form by photolucida.org and one of the images featured hangs in the new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.

    Friend’s recent work will be on display at Rodman Hall from Jan. 29-May 1 in a show called Assorted Boxes of Ordinary Life, curated by Marcie Bronson.

    An opening reception will be held Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.

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  • Visual Arts Instructor wins teaching excellence award

    (Source: The Brock News, Friday, April 24, 2015)

    Visual Arts Instructor Amy Friend has been awarded with the Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching.

    The award is presented annually to an instructor who is on contract or a limited term appointment and has been teaching undergraduate classes for two or more years.

    Friend was ‘elated’ to hear that she won the award. She was particularly excited to have her work validated and recognized.

    “I work at establishing an environment that empowers students to be thinkers who actively seek creative solutions in their research,” she says. “I stress the importance of experimentation and exploration to build a climate of openness and possibility, which I believe is paramount to their success.”

    Friend was also quick to credit the support of her Visual Arts colleagues, as well as the faculty of Humanities and the greater Brock community, with making her job easier.

    Having taught in numerous grades prior to achieving her MFA, Friend credits the culture in one of her master’s level courses at the University of Windsor with shaping her approach to teaching.

    “I learned to look closely at what each student was aiming to accomplish within the perimeters of the course and I learned to set aside my own expectations,” she says.

    With this student-centred teaching focus, Friend has secured the respect and admiration of students, faculty, alumni and staff at the University.

    The Clarke Thomson Award for Excellence in Sessional Teaching will be presented April 28, at the Spring Perspectives event. The award will be presented at 2:30 p.m. and will be accepted on her behalf by Duncan MacDonald.

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