Hazel May Eckert – Soft Focus
Christina Parker Gallery is pleased to announce Soft Focus, an exhibition of new photographs by Hazel May Eckert. This marks Hazel’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. The exhibition opens with the artist reception on Friday, November 8 from 5:30 – 8:00 and continues until November 30th.
Hazel May Eckert’s Soft Focus are images she encounters in the fluid surface of her iPhone. Using screenshots she captures the blurry, unresolved images that emerge, when wifi is low, or when the signal is stuck. Eckert scrambles to capture the mirage before it is fully loaded. As these images surface people, places, and moments gel into contemplative and ghostly washes of colour, sometimes with only a felt presence — an obscure trace — of intended content. These studies of light, colour and texture point the viewer in the direction of energy and aura.
She calls these images “time lags” because they are out of sync with the rendering of reality in high res and high-speed. Caused by an interrupted or overloaded signal, time lags are fleeting visualizations of time, place, and impermanence. What can be viewed as cloudy data in an awkward stage of becoming — blown out abstractions or mutating colour-fields — is for Eckert an object of beauty and contradiction; something to be paused, peered at, printed out, reflected upon, and preserved to be seen.
The artist’s sensitivity to her screen allows the viewer to see the iPhone as fickle co-creator. This collection of dreamy, fragile images prompts us to consider what value if any, time lags carry as blind compositions of time.
Hazel May Eckert is an artist and designer based in St. John’s NL from Toronto, ON. She received a BFA in printmaking from OCAD University (2008) and a diploma in graphic design from the College of the North Atlantic (2017). Eckert’s work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions across Canada and she has been the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and residencies from the Ontario Arts Council, ArtsNL, Open Studio and The Rooms. She is also the creator of Nothing New, an independent publishing project focused on the production of small-scale artist editions and contemporary print-based works.