Svea Ferguson


Svea Ferguson (she/her) is a sculptor from Mohkínstsis/Calgary. Her work was commissioned for the 2017 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art and has been shown across North America and abroad. Notable exhibitions include the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Glenbow Museum, Esker Foundation, Division Gallery Toronto, Holland Project NV and Art Athina in Athens, Greece. She received the BMO 1st Art Prize for Alberta in 2015. Her work is included in numerous private collections and the permanent collections of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and TD Canada Trust.

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My work explores the physical and relational boundaries of industrial textiles: linoleum and vinyl flooring, and various rubber and flexible plastic products. These ultra-synthetic materials are often created and designed to be installed in domestic and industrial spaces, and are made to withstand aggressive physical interaction in their daily lives. I am interested in taking these materials out of their usual context — the flatness of the ground — to explore their relationship with the spaces they inhabit and the human body. As an artist, I am interested in ideas of material agency, particularly in the ability of commonplace materials to express human affect and reflect our physicality. The sculptures often become anthropomorphized as characters interacting with the installation space, the viewer, and each other. Formal sculptural concerns of weight, surface, and scale remain central to my practice, as well as maintaining a truth to the materials. The material itself is never altered beyond recognition and its physical inclinations are always maintained and respected. My most recent work focuses on the interaction between physical and mental states of being in relation to material; from flat to formed, passive to active, still to living.