Deadhead, the Bomfords
Deadhead, the Bomfords
A co-presentation with Presentation House Gallery
In the summer of 2012, Vancouver-based artist Cedric Bomford in collaboration with his father Jim Bomford (a retired engineer), and brother Nathan Bomford (an artist and builder), began construction on a large-scale installation in a purpose-built studio located on the False Creek Flats. Conceived as a structure to be mounted on a barge, towed by tug, and moored at different locations, Deadhead interprets the ecological, architectural, and industrial histories of Vancouver’s regional waterways. Intended to be boarded and explored, this floating sculpture is designed to function as a multipurpose social space, which through its evolving activities, will be accessible to a diversity of publics. In the spring of 2013, the piece will be transported to, installed, and launched in the Burrard Inlet to begin an undetermined duration of life on the water – a floating future dependent upon the curiousity and vision of host coastal communities.
Each of the Bomfords’ individual experiences, understandings, and deep interests in the rich and often unknown histories, cultures, and legends of this Province drove the summer’s period of intense production. Inspiration for Deadhead came from the family’s research trips up the east coast of Vancouver Island, Malcolm Island and Alert Bay. Their sculptural vocabulary was formed from the vernacular and provisional architectural expressions evident from the resource-based economies and rural communities of the British Columbia coast.
For this work, as with some of their past collaborative projects, the Bomford team employed a methodology of ‘thinking through building’, an approach that forgoes preliminary plans and 3D renderings to move directly into a process of construction and response. Working within a model of familial cooperation, they tested ideas, building, dismantling and re-building to present a structure for behavior consisting of overlapping and intersecting sections — some of which are fitted with a tailored suit of printed photographic scrim. Portals and platforms for viewing the surrounding land and seascapes were built to coexist with a more internal focus, directing attention to a hierarchy of power – making distinctions between pulpit and lectern, crows nest and diving board. Whether experienced on board or as a phenomenon viewed from shore, the piece challenges perceptions of what is known and understood while conjuring ties to this region’s past.
Deadhead was curated by Barbara Cole and Helga Pakasaar.
Cedric Bomford is a Vancouver based visual artist whose practice is gaining international recognition. He recently participated in a Creative Residency at The Banff Centre for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts residency program in Berlin, Germany. He received an MFA from the Malmö Art Academy, Lund University, Malmö, Sweden in 2007, and a BFA with a major in Photography from the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in 2003. He has exhibited internationally, including solo shows in Canada, Germany, Sweden, and Australia, and group shows in Germany, Sweden, Iran, Australia, Taiwan, and Canada. Several of the Canadian installation projects have been realized in collaboration with his brother Nathan Bomford including the architectural enivironment that was part of the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition How Soon is Now and Bamberton: The Contested Landscape at Open Space in Victoria. Nathan Bomford has an MFA from the University of Victoria and a BFA from the Nova Scotia Art and Design. He has exhibited across Canada and internationally.
Born in Duncan BC, Jim Bomford received his Bachelor of Applied Science (Civil Engineering) from UBC in 1971 and practiced as a civil, structural and environmental engineer in British Columbia until his retirement from Professional Engineering in 2010. He has contributed his engineering expertise on a number of large-scale sculptural installations as part of the Bomford collaborative team.
Conversations at the Bomford Studio took place throughout the summer as part of Other Sights’ Future is Floating programming. Please see “Events” for more information.
The Games Are Open [K & K]
False Creek [T & T]