By Michael Grondin
CALGARY — In the heart of Calgary’s Mission, a small collective of artists have transformed the basement of a century old house into a bright, shadowless, DIY gallery space, intended for artists of all media to share their work. It is called The Lily.
“The space itself is not about one person. It was designed for the community. We wanted it to be a place for writers, curators and artists to come together,” says Lily.
An experiment in what can be done with a space and community of artists, the space itself has white walls, white floors and a plethora of fluorescent lights creating a blinding and immersive room where art hangs as if floating. Replete with outdoor fire, DJs and small party at each opening.
The Lily has hosted three shows since its inception in the summer of 2017, and is currently showing the artwork of Eureka, California based visual artist Stephen Nacthigall, who has exhibited his work in Canada, the United States, Scotland and Germany.
Titled lost in the meshes, Nachtigall’s work is an exploration of the relationship between technology and the natural world.
Using computer software, video and sculptures to alter and manipulate images of plant life, he creates “growing pictures, translated and repackaged but still reaching to express an environment, a changing climate, a continual emergence. Pictures weaving in and out, reaching across to touch vertices and edges.”
Adding, “The imagery in this show reflects the merging of those two in some way. It’s interesting that this computer software is trying to emulate these natural images, in the colours and textures,” says Nachtigall. “There’s always a push and pull between nature and technology. If we look at serious issues with more of a hybridity of the two, it may be a more healthy way to find solutions.” Going forward, The Lily will be continually looking for new submissions and collaborations.
“There’s value in an idea,” says Lily. “This can be a space for anyone from established to emerging artists.”
Adding that such DIY spaces create new cultures in Calgary’s art community.
“I think a lot of these DIY, artist-run spaces haven’t been around for a quite some time. It brings a new form of history back into the city. Our space can be a reminder that art is fun, and doesn’t necessarily have to be commercial.”
To contact The Lily, reach out to the firstname.lastname@example.org and for information on showings visit @the.lily_ on Instagram.DIY, lost in the meshes, Mission, The Lily