Sylvia Galbraith: What Time is This Place?

Sylvia Galbraith, Loretta’s Place, 2019, camera obscura, pigment print, 60″ x 90″

Sylvia Galbraith: What Time is This Place?

May 16 – June 27, 2024
Opening Reception: Thursday, May 16, 5:00 – 9:00 pm
Guided Tour with Sylvia Galbraith: Saturday, June 15, 1:00 pm | RSVP
Smokestack Gallery, Hamilton

Curated by Tara Westermann

Drawing the exhibition title from a book of the same name by Kevin Lynch, with this exhibition Sylvia Galbraith introduces a new body of work begun during residencies in Newfoundland over the past few years. Her photographs examine deep-rooted connections between people and their places of origin, within the context of displacement, resettlement, and renewal. While emphasizing the relationships between buildings and people as part of an ever-changing and necessary historical process, her work considers their physical locations within the landscape – why were they placed just so? Why was one view chosen over another? – and their evolution through time as shaped by their inhabitants.

Combining a fascination with early photographic processes and interest in temporal relationships between buildings and people, Galbraith uses camera obscura and pinhole techniques in historic outport buildings to interweave the contemporary state of these built environments with exterior views of the surrounding coastal landscapes which have remained constant over time.

Sylvia Galbraith, Holy Martyr’s Church, Living Room Wall, 2021, camera obscura, pigment print, 24″ x 36″

Outside scenes appear inside rooms and wander across walls; the sun rising over the sea reflects onto a bookshelf; adjacent buildings are duplicated inside neighbouring structures. By recording these views over extended periods of time – throughout the day, and in varying weather and lighting conditions – Galbraith conceptualizes the notion of within/without, terms that are inseparable in the minds of those who depend on the land and sea for sustenance.

Sylvia Galbraith, Four Sunsets, Catalina (Through A Pinhole), 2022, pigment print, 16″ x 16″

About the Artist

Sylvia Galbraith is a visual artist working with contemporary photographic methods, video, and analogue and alternative processes. Her practice demonstrates a deep connection with the landscapes and people found in some of Canada’s loneliest places. Galbraith has participated in residencies in Newfoundland, Banff, Northern Ontario and internationally, and has exhibited her work in solo shows as well as in many group exhibitions. She has photographs in corporate, public, and private collections throughout Canada and internationally, and has received many grants and bursaries for her work. In addition to her art practice, Galbraith works as an independent curator and teaches photography to all age groups from her studio in Fergus, ON, and as a guest instructor at arts venues across Canada.

Sylvia Galbraith – Contact info
Instagram @sylviagalbraith
Facebook @silvercreekphoto

Smokestack Gallery
270 Sherman Avenue North
Hamilton, ON

Hours: Tuesday – Friday, 10am – 4pm, or weekends by appointment.
Accessibility: Building is accessible with assistance.

The artist wishes to thank the Canada Council for the Arts, The Ontario Arts Council, and the Government of Ontario for their generous support of this project.