Shannon Leah Collis
Kiewa, March 2019
This March, Grizzly Grizzly premieres Kiewa by Shannon Collis, an immersive audiovisual projection scaled for Grizzly Grizzly’s intimate space. Kiewa takes its name from the Aboriginal word meaning sweet water, and also the eponymous river in the Alpine region of Victoria, Australia.
During her recent two-week residency at the Bogong Centre for Sound Culture in Australia, Collis walked daily in order to listen deeply to her surroundings before gathering field recordings with digital equipment. She also learned of the intermittent construction of the Kiewa Valley hydro-electric project, which continues to shape the character of the surrounding environment and local community. Once a remote fishing and farming village, Kiewa Valley is now a winter resort destination and, with the completion of the last power station, the largest producer of electricity in Australia.
The footage collected on-site, her experience hearing and seeing in Kiewa Valley, combined with her perception of the human-made imprint on the region, is the source material for her installation. Of her attempts to document visual and acoustic phenomena Collis states, “Every day has been different; each of the sites I visited featured a unique temporal complexity (with differences in temperature, light, sound, air, weather, etc.). This framework allowed for an unscripted process of listening/recording and reacting to the variable conditions as they occurred.”
Using video mapping to collapse the distance between the physical environment and the digital projection, Collis invites audiences who may otherwise be unable to see or hear the story of the Australian Alpine region to enter and investigate the constructed sensory space.
Shannon Leah Collis is an interdisciplinary artist whose studio practice focuses on creating installations and interactive environments that explore various ways in which digital technologies can transform one’s perception of audio and visual stimuli. Her work has been exhibited widely across North America as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia and Brazil. Collis is a 2005 graduate of the Master of Fine Arts program at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and has completed post-graduate research at Concordia University in Montreal in the area of Digital Media and Computation Arts. She is also a 2015/18 recipient of a Visual Artist Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. Collis is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Maryland, where she teaches digital media and sound.
This project was supported in part by The Velocity Fund administered by Temple Contemporary with generous funding from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts. Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien.