Peggy Taylor Reid: UnContained

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Creamers, Archival Pigment Print, 2022. Image provided by artist.

UnContained
Peggy Taylor Reid

November 9 – 26, 2022
Reception: November 12, 2022 from 2-5pm. Artist will be present.
Artist will be present all three Saturdays of exhibition.

The Red Head Gallery is pleased to present UnContained by Red Head Member Peggy Taylor Reid.

Len’s based artist Peggy Taylor Reid takes the viewer through a visual journey examining humanity’s relationship to objects and the environment. Conveniently packaged goods make up the bulk of food items we find in our grocery baskets and homes. Yet, few of us think about their purposes beyond visual stimulation. In Taylor Reid’s exhibition Uncontained, vessels used for packaging and storing food are emptied, flattened, encased in ice, attached to the walls like barnacles. All the containers are emptied. The milk bottles are encased in ice. Their intended purpose has been reversed. Instead of containing they are being contained. The boxes are flattened, and their purpose of containing has been inverted. The plastic containers, attached to the wall, as if growing from it, create an eerie and beautiful shadow, a metaphor for the way plastics now haunt our environment. Altering these containers, she challenges audiences to look beyond the surface of the containers to consider the effects of consumerism, recycling, and waste.

A work in the show, Tome, a new three-dimension mixed media work created from recycled moulded paper pulp, synthesizes the artist’s decade long investigation of objects as traces and shadows of our physical world. Bound as a book, Tome takes packaging, commonly used as a protective casing for various consumer products and reconceptualises it into a unique handmade object. Experimenting with book binding techniques, the artist makes the invisible visible through the process of mirroring.

Product Insert (unknown), archival pigment print, 2022. Image provided by artist.

Taylor Reid often weaves together a conceptual visual investigation of the ubiquity of post-consumer waste, sustainability, food insecurity and habits of consumption in her work. With a focus on containers, as an extension of the body and our subjective experiences, she seamlessly explores the life cycles of these objects, and invites viewers to consider their own relationships to them in our current culture of convenience and obsolescence

Climate change, is one of the defining crises of our time, causing us to rethink everyday items like clothing, food, electronics, construction, and packaging. Taylor Reid reflects on the ubiquity of consumer waste and its effect on the environment. During the pandemic, consumer behavior was forced to adapt, resulting in large amounts of waste from online shopping, amazon boxes, and takeaway food containers, and this mindset has persisted.

In disassembling, encasing jars in ice and adorning the wall with clear plastic containers, the artist invites us to reflect on their social and political implications, and their connections with waste, abundance, and expediency. Her exploration of the traces and shadows of objects within our physical and material environment reveal images and ideas that are poetic in their reflection of the hidden complexities of ways of managing consumption and waste as well as our relationship to objects.

Peggy Taylor Reid is a photographer using both a traditional and an alternative lens. Her work encompasses constructed photographs, concepts, and the natural world in a decades-long investigation of objects as traces and shadows of our physical world. She weaves together an investigation of the ubiquity of post-consumer waste, sustainability, food insecurity and habits of consumption. With a focus on containers, as an extension of the body and our subjective experiences, Taylor Reid explores the life cycles of these objects, and invites viewers to consider their own relationships to them in our current culture of convenience and obsolescence.

Peggy Taylor Reid would like to thank the Ontario Arts Council for their generous support of her practice and this exhibition.

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