Friday, February 29, 2008

Jennifer Pickering, “Unpacked,” Harcourt House Gallery, February 28 - April 5, 2008

Lighting and atmosphere have taken over Harcourt House Gallery. With Lynn Richardson’s “Business as Usual” overflowing Harcourt’s main space, the pairing of Richardson with Pickering has been one of the best complimentary showings in a long time.

Based in Kelowna, Pickering creates leaning towers of travel with column after column of original hardshell suitcases hollowed out through their centers. Looking down each column, you feel the urge to tumble down the tunnels, but it is unclear what remains at the end. Although they are all created from travel suitcases, there is the obvious lack of tags, stickers and other mementos found on packages-in-transition. What is obvious is their hollowness, the emptiness that connects each suitcase, and the nostalgia of an era when these clunky, heavy old suitcases equaled the uneasy preciousness of mass mobility.
Pickering’s comment on this one facet of globalism makes a solid entry point to Richardson’s multimedia sculpture installation about excavating oil from the north.

Image credit: Jennifer Pickering, 2008

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