Austin Clay Willis | Rylan Broadbent

Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, Kelowna B.C

Austin Clay Willis, Split, 2021, Vinyl Image, Wood, Paint, Plastic, Fabric, Tape, Light, Extension Cord. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is pleased to present new work by two emerging BC artists: Austin Clay Willis’ Moving Through Debris, and Rylan Broadbent’s Behind My Mask, I Am Secure, on view from January 27 through March 11, 2023.

Austin Clay Willis’ artistic practice revolves around the junction of painting, sculpture, and installation. He is keenly interested in the bodily relationship between built and architectural environments, and creating work that explores the tension between illusory and real space.

Willis creates paintings that oscillate between foreground and background as the combinations of lines, shapes, forms, and colours produce illusionary aspects within the picture plane. He then uses these paintings, combines them with photographs, and incorporates them into sculptural installations. Willis creates new structures like walls, ramps, stairs, and platforms to be occupied by the viewer, and bring attention to their physical relationship with space. The materials he uses are the familiar found scraps of lumber, discarded sheets of plastic, textiles, lights, cords, and cans of discarded house paint.

The sculptures in Moving Through Debris take inspiration from a wide array of spaces, ranging from construction sites to recycling centres, domestic furniture, DIY-style structures, and even backyard treehouses. Willis strives to create dynamic compositions with a charismatic configuration or visual balance.

Rylan Broadbent, Behind My Mask, I Am Secure, 2022. Image courtesy of the artist.

Contrasting against Austin Clay Willis’ exploration of the body in spaces is Rylan Broadbent’s investigation of a body enclosed.

Broadbent’s practice examines the interconnected relationships between object, form, material, and meaning. Objects, like images and language, can hold information; they are utilitarian in their function and also symbols that reference bodies of meaning.

Playing hockey for the first time as an adult, Broadbent was fascinated with how the equipment made him feel. The ritual of shedding street clothes, down to bare skin, and donning an armor of sorts, instilled a sense of being capable, protected, and secure.

Behind My Mask, I Am Secure presents a series of ceramic goalie masks that reference art history and personal experiences. As well, they serve as a broader symbol for the masks everyone wears, metaphorical or physical, to present, project, or protect themselves.

Both Moving Through Debris and Behind My Mask, I Am Secure will be on view from January 27, 2023 to March 11, 2023.

About the Artists

Austin Clay Willis moved to Victoria, British Columbia from Oakland, California and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria. Their experimental sculptures combine painting, photography and are rooted in the experience of space and materials, and often engage physical participation through movement. Clay Willis has exhibited extensively in both solo and group shows across British Columbia.

Rylan Broadbent is a sculptor, designer, and fabricator, who resides and works out of the North Okanagan. Employing an array of techniques, ranging from traditional to digital, he is primarily interested in examining the interconnected relationships between object, form, material, and meaning. His work explores notions of masculine identity, relationship to violence, and social fragmentation. Broadbent holds a BFA from the University of Calgary, and a MFA from University of British Columbia Okanagan.

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About the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is a non-profit organization dedicated to the development of our creative community.

Since 1989, the Alternator has shown the work of emerging Canadian artists and helped develop the talents of local artists by providing a network of collaboration and sharing. The Alternator fosters energetic, creative, critical discussion on art & culture. The Alternator believes in the greater positive potential of our creative community and values our role as a key contributor to the cultural life of Kelowna and beyond.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art respectfully acknowledges its presence on the unceded territory of the syilx (Okanagan) people.

Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art
#103 – 421 Cawston Ave, Kelowna B.C.
(250) 868-2298

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The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is situated within the Rotary Centre for the Arts, which is fully accessible.