“The Art Gallery of Alberta invited artist Maria Hupfield to create a work of art in response to the historical landscapes in this exhibition. Hupfield’s From Pigment to Pantone and Back presents a layered space where landscapes are seen in both photographic realism and abstract colour. The conventions of Western landscape, and a non-western abstraction of land, form a dynamic relationship. The absence of Aboriginals in many Canadian landscapes is countered by Hupfield positioning herself – and her double – so that they loom large within the Gallery space.
The four stripes of colour, which lay over the photograph, refer to the four directions and the layers of all living life forms: skyworld, water, earth and forest. By painting these four colours on top of the photograph, Aboriginal perspective is given privilege. The stripes of colour interrupt the flow and ‘reality effect’ of the photograph. They encourage the viewer to question the impact and role that landscapes have played historically and in contemporary culture.”
Text panel for “Reframing a Nation”, Art Gallery of Alberta (June 28, 2010 – January 31, 2011)