Libby Hague: My Story of Sublimation

Simple Gifts, Purgatorio, detail, woodcut installation. Photo: Blaine Campbell

My Story of Sublimation
a woodcut installation, 8 smaller vignettes and augmented reality

SNAP Gallery, Edmonton until April 8, 2023

“Over time my father who was a physicist and an engineer, could no longer find his way home. Despite his forgetfulness (Alzheimer’s) he always delighted in the idea of sublimation. ‘Do you know what sublimation is?’ he would ask. ‘Tell me again,’ I would answer. ‘Sublimation is when ice is transformed directly into a gas without melting. It seems to skip this intermediate step and just disappears.’” – Libby Hague

This work is about the mystery of changing states, of disappearing from one form and assuming another. It speculates, stretching the imagination, as it tries to picture the other side of life.

Sublimation combines two bodies of work. The first, Simple Gifts, is a woodcut installation that began as a response to migration crises and broadened into a story of people in desperate circumstances seeking a better life by helping each other and themselves. It’s three sections are modelled on Dante’s Divine Comedy: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso, a descent into brutality, an escape story and a resting place. The resting place is also a vision of heaven, that is, the hope of reuniting with family and friends.

Simple Gifts, inferno, 16 x 10ft. woodcut installation. Photo: Blaine Campbell

The second, Bring me the Sunset in a Cup, derives from the fundamental weirdness of augmented reality experiments. In time bending experiments, small vignettes are part of feedback loops from woodcut to AR to watercolour and back. It glimpses worlds/ people/ states that are invisible for one reason or another; in particular, it looks at the moment of transformation from one state to another. After all, she is her father’s daughter.

In addition, both inside and outside the gallery there is an augmented reality animation accessible on phones and devices through a QR code. This work called Stranger, imagines that after 1005 days of isolation, two unusual individuals venture out to a dance to meet new people. New people, it turns out, are different than they recalled; still, there is curiosity, and mutual attraction.
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Thank you to SNAP, the Canada Council of the Arts and the Artificial Museum in Vienna for their help and for hosting the AR component.

Simple Gifts, Purgatorio, Paradiso, 32 x 10ft. woodcut installation. Photo: Blaine Campbell

About SNAP:
The Society of Northern Alberta Print-artists (SNAP) is a non-profit artist run centre located in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta), dedicated to printmaking in all of its traditional and contemporary forms. Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in 2022, SNAP has grown to be one of Edmonton’s most unique and exciting visual arts organizations with a robust programming schedule, dedicated membership program, active printmaking studio, and the drive to be an important community resource. SNAP is grateful to operate on Treaty Six Territory and the homeland of Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 4.

SNAP acknowledges the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Edmonton Arts Council and the City of Edmonton.

SNAP (Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists)
10572 115 St. NW
Edmonton / ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (amiskwacîwâskahikan)
AB T5H 3K6

Gallery hours: Wednesday to Friday: 12-6pm and Saturday: 12-5pm

For more information, please visit:
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Accessibility: SNAP is a single-level space. The front entrance has a short metal ramp and a manual door. The Printshop entrance at the back of the building opens to the alleyway, and has a manual door with a level entrance. There is street parking in the front of the building, and a few parking spots along the back entrance. There are 4 single-stall gender-neutral washrooms available and 1 of these is wheelchair accessible. For full accessibility info, please visit our website.

About the Artificial Museum:
At its core, the Artificial Museum challenges the status quo and redefines the art museum, rethinking the questions ’what is art?’and ‘who perceives it?’ There are more artworks by dead men stored in museums than can be exhibited. What remains is the virtual, imaginary area, with it’s almost infinite amount of room. Instead of continuing to practice art as “temporary intervention”,the Artificial Museum reveals a space between the worlds, to be used as a self-determined, permanent and experimental playground, with the goal of reawakening imagination and collaboration in public space. We support this reawakening through a decentralized platform based on augmented reality, making gps-anchored artifacts accessible to everyone, both at home and abroad. Our museum’s ‘building’ is expanded through participation of the public, inscribed anywhere and without boundaries, making art virtually tangible and accessible, conveying the permanent transformation of art and society by technology.