Artist's Statement: Anne Ramsden

In my work I have explored the boundaries and relationships between the public and private spheres, the domestic realm and the institutional domain. These are social territories bearing symbolic and material signs of difference and the attached struggles around, gender, class and ethnicity. Although immersed in consumer culture, our domestic and institutional relationship to objects transcends consumerism in a manner that is not straightforward and is traversed by complicated experiences of memory, lust and longing.

The multiple manifestations of the need to collect and display objects in a personal, commercial or institutional context has held a particular interest for me. This aspect of my work embodies a consideration of the objects encountered in daily life, for example ceramics, and constitutes a reflection on the nature of our psychic and material investment in them. Increasingly I have focused on the collection, the archive and the museum, a move that extends my explorations of consumerism and methods of display in that it addresses selection, accumulation, acquisition, preservation and protection.

Working with photography, video, installation, sculpture and drawing, I wish to engage the spectator at both a conceptual and emotional level, employing social and cultural references that invoke a set of specific historical conditions while also creating a space for personal reflection. Originating from my years as an undergraduate student at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the mid-1970s, this multidisciplinary approach is rooted in Conceptual Art and my practice has primarily been driven by an exploration of ideas rather than the pursuit of a single artistic discipline. Drawing is an activity that enables me to consider ideas in a more intuitive manner and the results may have a tenuous relationship to ongoing projects or simply serve as a parallel exploration of current concerns.

Since moving to the Southern Gulf Islands in 2017 I have paid particular attention to the ways in which diverse places of preservation and protection specific to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, areas of fragile ecological significance, are embedded in the post-contact history of the region. Currently my work is focused on employing the Garry oak leaf as an emblem that alludes to the imposition of colonial culture on Vancouver Island and the subsequent environmental degradation, and dispossession of First Nations lands.