Gallery Exhibition: CATFISH: Images of Deceit and Misrepresentation

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2015

CATFISH: Images of Deceit and Misrepresentation

New Westminster, B.C.—The Arts Council of New Westminster is proud to present Catfish: Images of Deceit and Misrepresentation, a solo exhibition by Bill Edmonds from September 15 to October 7, 2015 at The Gallery at Queen’s Park.

Bill Edmonds has been painting in British Columbia for more than 35 years. His first series of shows captured candid moments through the lens of his camera. For the past two years, Edmonds has been exploring the anonymity of the internet and the relationships formed by strangers online.

According to the Urban Dictionary, a catfish is someone who pretends to be someone they’re not on social media to create false identities. Edmonds experienced this phenomenon first hand while searching for portrait subjects online. He made contact with random individuals through internet chat rooms, asking the strangers to send him a photo and he would paint their portrait in return. In many cases, Edmonds suspected the image was not their own and he soon discovered there was an agenda attached to that photograph.

“The criteria for the start of the conversation was a common interest in art,” said Edmonds. “In the vast majority of contacts, it became apparent this was not the case, and if I did get sent a photo it was usually an unlikely match with the preceding texts.”

Edmonds used that deceit to drive him to produce the series of paintings on display at the gallery. He sketched, then painted the images on Plexiglas panels, often adding scraps of texts sent to him along with the original photo. The paintings were then photographed and printed on rag paper. The entire process is extremely labour intensive, but the result is captivating.

The opening reception for Catfish: Images of Deceit and Misrepresentation is Sunday, September 20 is open to all members of the public. Edmonds will also be hosting an artist talk on Sunday, September 27 as part of Culture Days, a Canada-wide initiative empowering citizens, businesses, and government to collectively lead development through arts and culture.

For full details, please visit: artscouncilnewwest.org.

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About the Artist:
Bill Edmonds is heavily influenced by the St Ives and Newlyn Schools, two famous artist colonies located near Cornwall, UK where he grew up. Much of Edmonds work over the past 35 years has been produced here in B.C., mainly in the Thompson Okanagan and North Vancouver. In addition to exhibiting his talents across the province, Edmonds has also participated in group shows in New York City, Los Angeles and Almaty City, Kazakhstan. Edmonds is now based in Hope, where he has been painting for the past five years.

About The Arts Council of New Westminster:
Founded in 1967, The Arts Council of New Westminster is an umbrella organization with numerous member groups and individual members, who all share an interest in various artistic endeavors, from the visual and performing arts to the literary arts and community activities. Its main goals are to advocate for the arts at all levels of government, and foster support for artistic and cultural endeavors in the community.

CATFISH: Images of Deceit and Misrepresentation

Exhibit Information:

Date: September 15 – October 7, 2015
1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday

Opening Reception: Sunday, September 20, 2015
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Artist Talk: Sunday, September 27, 2015
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Media Contact:

Dana Kelly
Communications Coordinator

The Arts Council of New Westminster
media@artscouncilnewwest.org
778-840-3262

Stephen O’Shea
Executive Director

The Arts Council of New Westminster
info@artscouncilnewwest.org
604-525-3244