Canadian Art

Kim Morgan: Light Years

MSVU Art Gallery, Halifax Oct 16 to Nov 21 2010
Kim Morgan <i>Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI</i> 2010 Installation view  Courtesy MSVU Art Gallery / photo Steve Farmer Kim Morgan Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI 2010 Installation view Courtesy MSVU Art Gallery / photo Steve Farmer

Kim Morgan <i>Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI</i> 2010 Installation view Courtesy MSVU Art Gallery / photo Steve Farmer

Chronology and chroma collide in Halifax artist Kim Morgan’s latest project—a life-size latex cast of a decommissioned PEI lighthouse. Currently suspended in the MSVU Art Gallery are both the inner and outer casts of the structure, which have been sewn together at their base and flow as one long, loose, ballooning line—all of which is lit uncannily from within. Documentation photographs of the finished work and the work-in-progress, available for viewing on the gallery's website, show that Morgan’s technique picks up tiny details like wood grain and flaking paint even as the massive scale of the overall work overwhelms the viewer. These telling details may well intensify the sense of historical resonance in the piece—this range light, located in Borden-Carleton, PEI, once served to guide ferryboats from Nova Scotia prior to the construction of the Confederation Bridge. As in many other changing landscapes, community groups have taken on the task of making the once-nautically-functional structure into a more nebulously utilitarian “heritage site.” This sculpture, interestingly, is just one of Morgan’s intriguing experiments in architectural casting and social memory. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, and holder of an MFA from the University of Regina, Morgan has also used this technique at the Fort San sanitorium in Fort Qu’appelle and at the abandoned Weyburn Mental Hospital. The haunting results, culminated in this latest commission, suggest that the light of Morgan’s own talent is one worth watching. (166 Bedford Hwy, Halifax NS)

This article was first published online on November 11, 2010.

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