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Christine Fitzgerald

Christine Fitzgerald is a photo-based artist who grew up in the Eastern Townships in Québec and now lives and works in Ottawa, Canada. She sees photography as a medium for creating unique physical objects. This growing conviction is the basis of her current artistic practice, as she explores the possibilities of using antiquated methods of image and photographic printmaking as a means of expression. 

A graduate of the School of the Photographic Arts: Ottawa, and Acadia and Dalhousie Universities, Christine completed an artist residency at the Ottawa School of Art, was an invited artist in residence in print media at York University, and was one of fifteen visual artists selected for the historic Canada C3 Expedition on Canada’s 150th anniversary. Christine has received grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts, and numerous awards, including the 2016 International Fine Art Photographer of the Year from the Lucie Foundation in New York City. Christine’s work is held in various public and private collections and has been featured by CBC, The Washington Post, and National Geographic. 

 

Christine Fitzgerald is the 2023 Karsh Award Laureate. 

Requiem presents new work by 2023 Karsh Award Laureate, photo-based artist Christine Fitzgerald. Shaped by her long-standing fascination with historical catalogues and natural history specimen collections, Requiem is based on Fitzgerald’s artist residencies at the Geological Survey of Canada (2022), the Canadian Museum of Nature (Winter/Spring, 2023), and the Natural History Museum in England (September 2023). Collecting plant and animal specimens as a scientific practice was common from the 1700s to the early 20th century, with disparate objects often displayed in cabinets of curiosities—precursors to modern-day natural history museums. The zeal for collecting specimens corresponded with the age of exploration and colonial exploitation of natural resources and of photography’s first decades as an aesthetic and scientific medium. Indigenous people were sparsely recognized for their important role in collecting and preserving specimens and sharing knowledge. Fitzgerald worked with museum staff to select and photograph specimens in situ, as well as to conduct research based on collectors’ archives (scientific notes, diaries, and letters) and museum records (reports, provenance histories, classification records and historical photographs). In this work, which integrated historical and contemporary photographic methods, Fitzgerald activates an evocative elegy addressing our present moment of ecological precarity. These photobased artworks of long-preserved yet newly examined specimens occupy a space between living and deceased, presence and absence, suturing our current time with the deep time of evolutionary history and with the entwined practices of early photography and natural history collection.

requiem is now on view at the Karsh-Masson Gallery at the Ottawa City Hall. The exhibition runs until July 21. 

 

Click here to request a catalogue of all the available artwork.

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