Artist showcases ‘Liquid Landscapes’ of Surrey parks, beaches and rivers

Nicolas Sassoon's digital work at UrbanScreen starting Sept. 21

The “Liquid Landscapes” of Surrey’s parks, beaches and rivers are featured in the latest showcase at the city’s UrbanScreen.

Nicolas Sassoon’s digital artwork will be showcased on the west wall of Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre starting Friday (Sept. 21), until Jan. 6.

Set to activate daily, half an hour after sunset, the images capture “the essence of local geography through pixel animations.”

Sassoon’s work is inspired by photographs of seven key geographic sites around Surrey, including Redwood Park, Nicomekl River and Serpentine Fen.

“Changing every night, the animations invoke rippling reflections, flowing waves, and the growth and decay of foliage,” says an event post.

The Vancouver-based Sassoon renders the scenes “in limited but vibrant colours informed by each location as well as by the retro, pixelated look of early web design,” curators suggest.

“He condenses each location into a series of colours and shapes,” raves a post on the gallery’s website. “This abstract treatment gives an impression of Surrey’s natural environment. It also alludes to how digital images shape our experience of the world. We often see nature through a lens, whether holding our own cameras in front of our face or scrolling through friends’ pictures on social media. ‘Liquid Landscapes’ illustrates how data visualization methods represent real places and alter them.”

At Surrey Art Gallery (13750 88th Ave.), Sassoon will talk about his work during an hour-long forum on Friday, Sept. 28, starting at 7 p.m. After that, from 8 to 9 p.m. at the UrbanScreen site (13458 107A Ave.), an event will showcase digital artworks created by young artists, including residents in the gallery’s Indigenous Contemporary Art Intensive (ICAI) and those from Chuck Bailey’s skate park and gym programs, the City’s Community Art Program and the gallery’s Art Together.

“Nicolas Sassoon has been producing large-scale public artworks for many years now, and we are delighted to bring his work to Canada’s premiere venue for outdoor digital art,” stated Rhys Edwards, Surrey Art Gallery’s assistant curator. “In addition to celebrating the tremendous geographic diversity throughout Surrey, ‘Liquid Landscapes’ challenges us to think about our complicated relationship with nature and technology.”

The exhibition is accompanied by an essay by Rhys Edwards, as part of the Surrey Art Gallery Presents publication series, available for free download from the gallery’s website, surrey.ca/artgallery.

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