Alma Louise Visscher is an installation artist whose actions and built environments are inserted into the landscape. Her work is influenced by traditional dye methods, notions of vastness and intermediary spaces, and surface architecture. After receiving her MFA from the University of Alberta in 2012 she has exhibited in malls, abandoned schools, and city parks. Her latest temporary art installation, “ a circle in a square” was installed in Churchill Square, Edmonton AB. Other recent projects include being a lead artist for the 2016 Wood Buffalo Artist in Residency program and a solo show at the Art Gallery of Alberta.
My work puts forwards questions regarding paradigms of belief, perception, and gender; I re-phrase images, re-tell myths, and re-perform experiences within an intersectional feminist and open framework to create agency and transformation. I am interested in the layers of places, and the folds of materials and time: The stories that are told in the construction netting and tarps covering half-built buildings, the blankets covering the Rhône Glacier to slow their melt, swirling clouds moving like fabric through a Rococo painting, the hospital curtain dividers in my friend’s long-term care unit, faded advertising flags on the side of the road, and the folds of pillow in the couch on which I am sitting.
Even though I work with a variety of media (sculpture, video, drawing, installation, and performance), the use of textiles is a unifying factor in my practice. The material of fabric can contain a multitude of meanings: it is used in domestic spaces for aesthetic and utilitarian purposes, for religious and liturgical purposes, it can suggest mystery, add illusions, and can conceal certain things. Similarly, to fabric’s semiotic ability, I am interested in creating work that plays with the slippages of time, space, and the boundary of meaning and belonging.
Part of my current research considers surface architecture (the interaction between the structure and the skin of a building) as a metaphor for looking at the relationship between the body and form, and comfort and safety. I am interested in the examining the point of contact and connection between buildings/ forms and the surrounding environment. Using this as a point of departure for my work, I am focused on engaging with sculpture, installation, and drawings that change the boundary between individual spaces, shift the physical space, create a malleable understanding of form and surface, and suggest a flexible parameter of being without limiting it to the Platonic notions inside/outside, or structure/ ornament.