Campus Life

Lasting Images - Eldon Garnet

Eldon Garnet is an internationally acclaimed Canadian artist known for a multidisciplinary approach to his work. Garnet's photographs in the University of Lethbridge Art Collection explore the ideas of life and death in a sincere and surprising manner.

While some artists prefer to address mortality indirectly, Garnet embraces the idea and makes it a focal point of his work. He creates series of photographs that are aesthetically pleasing for their composition and form but contain images that read to be disturbing. The viewer becomes so drawn into the design aspects of Garnet's images that the content then becomes an unanticipated aftershock.

Garnet is fully aware of this effect and sees his images as an opportunity to, "give everyone what they want while quietly pushing them over an unexpected edge of aesthetic and social expectation."

Once the viewer addresses the content of the work, it is hard not to relate its meaning to the self or the immediate environment.

These works from Garnet's No series use elements – air, water, fire – while others in the same series use animals and the human body to portray meaning. The elements that are seen here can have many meanings attributed to them, some negative and some positive. What they all have in common is that they exist on a fine line between necessity and destruction, bringing the viewer to an interesting, and yet personal, dichotomy.

Garnet is also an accomplished writer, sculptor and filmmaker. He was the publisher and editor of Impulse magazine from the mid 1970s to the 1990s.

Garnet is currently teaching photography, public art and sculpture at the Ontario College of Art & Design.

Roz Jeffery is a Museum Studies Intern in the University's Department of Art