Svea Ferguson is a Calgary-based sculptor with a BFA from the Alberta College of Art + Design.
Her work was included in the 2017 Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Alberta and the
Walter Phillips Gallery, and has been shown at Barbara Edwards Contemporary, Stride Gallery, Herringer Kiss Gallery
and the Esker Foundation in Alberta, and at Division Gallery and Justina M. Barnicke Gallery in Toronto. She was named
the provincial recipient for the 2015 BMO 1st Art! Prize. Her work is included in numerous private collections and the
permanent collections of the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and TD Canada Trust.
"Svea Ferguson’s show The Felt Works, on view at the Capital City Arts Initiative’s Courthouse Gallery, traffics in a form of sleight-of-hand—or perhaps sleight-of-eye. A line of spare sculptures along one wall, spaced like a span of introverts waiting quietly in a queue, makes you wonder what they’re made of. Are they fabric? Cloth? Metal? The sheen of one piece, “Golden Boy,” suggests a thin sheet of brass, bent and looped like a bow wound around a pleat of hair—though where the bow ends and the pleat begins, it’s impossible to say. On closer inspection, the “brass” admits it’s actually rubber—a strip of faux-gilt baseboard trim. Other pieces are made of industrial, synthetic materials: linoleum, vinyl, latex, Mactac. In terms of their surfaces, they fit comfortably within—if at a conceptual right angle to—the courthouse space, where square-patterned carpets lead out to folding tables, plastic chairs, water fountains, and glass-paneled offices. Particularly with the addition of a couple of larger-scale pieces—two big cubes assembled from interlocking floor mats, a grey “water feature” pieced together from marble-patterned linoleum, a slice of metal tubing, and sheets of clear shelf liner—the installation almost invokes an exceedingly adventurous flooring trade show expo. One where the exhibits, restless in their usual places, dreamily reimagined themselves as a minimalist sculpture garden. I had a chance to talk to her about her current show—and it quickly became apparent that, while she’s alive to the connotative qualities of her materials, it’s the physical qualities that draw her in. Her materials occupy a middle space between the hardness of metal and concrete on one hand, and the softness of textiles on the other. She uses clean lines, points of density and tension, points of release—examining the way gravity puts everything upright on the edge of a swoon. The works that nod toward classical drapery nod to the figure as well—suggesting bodies caught and traced in their adornments. " - Chris Lanier for Doublescoop.art , April 2019
Interview with Chris Lanier for Double Scoop
Interview with Amanda Parris for CBC Arts