Art: Issue #2

Featured artist

Linda Craddock

 

 

 

Hometown Dreams: Memory and Change

 

On Main Street

Memory: Woman On Main Street

 

 

Linda_Craddock-12_LindaCraddock_Memory_West_View_Motel_4x15 (1)

Memory: West View Hotel

 

 

Side Streets by Linda Craddock

Change: Side Streets

 

 

I dreamed that the sky became the sea. I stood with my mother and father on the railroad tracks that split the town in two. We watched in awe as buildings floated high above the horizon, and away.
Reflections of trees not yet uprooted, hung upside-down over our heads. I held an antique box camera but did not take a photograph.   (1988)

 

 

Memory: Back Alley Legion by Linda Craddock

Memory: Back Alley Legion

 

 

Memory: Night, Houses, Truck by Linda Craddock

Memory: Night, Houses, Truck

 

 

Change: Spring Thaw by Linda Craddock

Change: Spring Thaw

 

 

 Memory fragments twist and turn in my mind’s eye as though moving through space and time.
The metaphor is autobiographical and based upon the inevitability of change.

 

 

Memory: Saturday Night by Linda Craddock

Memory: Saturday Night

 

 

Memory: CNR Hotel by Linda Craddock

Memory: CNR Hotel

 

 

Change: Storm Sky at Night by Linda Craddock

Change: Storm Sky at Night

 

Artist Statement

All art is experiential and autobiographical.

My prairie roots were intertwined with people from various sociological, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds who shared an upbringing in and around a rural east-central Alberta community. Our great-grandparents and grandparents immigrated to Canada at the turn of the century, mine in 1902. Their children, my parent’s generation, remained and built a vital community, their efforts culminating after WWII with the boom of the 1950s. But the Boomer generation left home for the sake of further education and employment in larger centers and many towns faltered. The subsequent development of corporate chains such as Canadian Tire and later Wal-Mart shut down what was left of locally owned businesses and the proverbial “Main Street” storefronts were abandoned. Hardware stores, clothing shops, and the local five and dime store were no longer viable. Even grain elevators, historically the essential visual signifier of rural Alberta, were replaced with large, more efficient, centralized systems.

None of us live exclusively in the present. What we understand as being “now” is in fact an amalgamation of personal and collective experiences interacting with a current framework of existence. This defines who we are. In recent years, I have become more aware of the significance of this interaction not only in myself but also in that of colleagues friends and family. As an example, my mother is now 93 years old and her own existence is permeated with increasingly vague and distant images and thoughts that make up who she is. I am now myself 62 years old and this level of awareness becomes increasingly significant.

My previous works, all mixed media series, address the question of the elusiveness of experience, memory and time. My “Transitional Form” series addresses the linear movement through space and time whereby perceptions are merged into images of transitional motion. The metaphor is autobiographical and based upon the inevitability of change and alludes to loss of memory. My mixed media series “Canyon Melt” addresses the transitional states from ice to liquid to mist. This capacity for metamorphosis has autobiographical meaning and is related to the inevitable cycles of life and the cycles within life.

The importance of my relationship with the rural community is paramount to my perception and my own hometown and family serve then as both subject matter and metaphor for an understanding of the complex relationship between my own background and that of Canadian society at large.

There are obvious personal complexities involved. Physically moving away from the area and having to view my own heritage from a different perspective has resulted in a perceptual stance of looking back at my own history and that of the individuals involved. I could distance myself or become more involved and this conflict became manageable through the use of photography and the positioning of the camera as being half way between the subjective and objective.

The conflict between conscious memory, subconscious memory, and reality form the framework for my work.

Linda Craddock

A professional artist for nearly 40 years, Linda Craddock’s work has been collected by the Canadian Contemporary Museum of Photography, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and Art Gallery of Alberta. Her work has been exhibited internationally, nationally, and regionally both in public and commercial venues.

Craddock’s discipline involves the history, landscape, and experience of the prairie and mountain regions of Alberta. Always autobiographical, her work often utilizes mixed-media approach that incorporates drawing, oil and photographic imagery. Linda graduated both from the Alberta College of Art and Design and the University of Calgary, where she earned an MFA. More of her work can be viewed at www.lindacraddock.ca.

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