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Artist-in-residence offers works for free download

By Janet Harron

In January 2009, the Faculty of Arts appointed multimedia artist Peter Wilkins as artist-in-residence. Having completed his year-long appointment, Mr. Wilkins is pleased to announce that he has created a range of new artworks that are available to be viewed and downloaded at www.mun.ca/humanities/home/Artist-In-Residence.php.

“My time as artist-in-residence has been a fantastic experience,” said Mr. Wilkins. “I loved being able to discuss all aspects of art with many different groups of people and individuals, from the president to first-year students and everyone in between. It was superb to be part of such a thriving institution [as Memorial], witnessing so many people pursuing and, as far as I could tell, achieving their goals.

“I’ve certainly benefited enormously from my time as artist-in-residence. I have now tested, created and found new avenues of work, the group portraits and portraits of place, both of which I am particularly excited to continue pursuing.”
Four artworks on the website are available as a free download. They have been scaled down from originals investigating the book stacks in the QE II Library. Mr. Wilkins sees the library as an integral part of the university experience, and was inspired by the apparent endlessness of the book stacks.

“I wanted to try and capture the slightly hypnotic effect I feel when I’m immersed in the book stacks, searching for one book, finding another – the idea of endless reading and no matter how much we read, there’s always more.”
Also available for viewing on the website are a series of eight high definition, video looped artworks. Four of these are kinetic group portraits showcasing humanities students, faculty and staff of the philosophy department, the Paragon Press writer’s group and Large Group Portrait, which featured more than 100 Memorial participants.

The remaining artworks are portraits of place (featuring the University Centre, the Arts and Administration Building and the rose garden just outside the north entrance of the Arts and Administration Building), which are the result of a new technique Mr. Wilkins developed while artist-in-residence. Using high definition video, he was able to capture in one minute of real time the movement of people over 16 minutes of recorded real time.

“These works study how individuals interact within a public and physical space over a period of time using repetition and iteration,” said Mr. Wilkins.
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