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Elvira Finnigan and Lisa Wood: Cafeteria

Exhibit dates: March 3 – April 9, 2016

Exhibit reception: Wednesday, March 30, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Gallery 1C03
Artists’ talks: Wednesday, March 30 at 6:00 p.m. in Room 2M70 at The University of Winnipeg

Elvira Finnigan and Lisa Woods' artists' talks and ensuing discussion are now available online here!


Cafeteria is an evolving site-specific art exhibition featuring new collaborative works by Winnipeg artists Elvira Finnigan and Lisa Wood. An experimental project that transforms the Gallery into a temporary eating place, lab, and artist’s studio, Cafeteria examines the culture of the University cafeteria through various artistic media.

Cafeteria begins with a relational happening on March 2 where volunteer University students and staff will eat a cafeteria lunch in a dining room set up in Gallery 1C03. The event will be photographed with several time-lapse cameras and the artists will edit the photographs into a video that will be presented in the Gallery to give visitors a glimpse into what occurred.

After the lunch hour event is over, Finnigan will return the collected detritus from the cafeteria meal to the tables and douse the dishes and leftovers with dense salt brine that is left to evaporate and crystallize over the six weeks that the exhibition is on display. The action of the salt will preserve the leftovers and slowly alter the appearance of the tables as it leaches out of the dishes and draws map-like patterns on the table. Finnigan will photograph the changes on a weekly basis as the exhibition progresses.

Wood will study, edit and manipulate the results of the telling and disjointed time-lapse documentation into photo collages, drawings and painted studies.  Wood’s visual responses will analyze the underlying social behaviours in the captured moments. Her artworks will be displayed on the gallery walls as they are completed over the duration of the exhibition, a process that will turn the gallery into a studio.

Finnigan and Wood are interested in the social framework of the cafeteria and compelled by the surprise, risk and experimentation inherent in community animation and artists’ response. They ask: “Will our work preserve a moment in time? Will we be able to catch a sense of the University as a place that is populated by people transitioning to adulthood? How do people interact within the space? With others in the room? How long do they stay? What do they leave behind? How can this information be transformed into artworks?”

Elvira Finnigan is a visual artist based in Winnipeg, Canada. Using time as a method and salt brine as a material, her work employs a salt brine crystallization process to create poetic large-scale installations, video animations, photos and small objects. Her current work with salt focuses on collective food experiences, and the alchemical transformation of the detritus from these events by salt brine poured over the remains. Finnigan’s work has been exhibited in Canada, the US, and Japan. Recent exhibitions include Salt Trade, 2015, RAW/almond pop-up restaurant on the frozen river at the Forks, Winnipeg; and Lateral Symmetry, 2014, Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba, Brandon.

Lisa Wood is a Winnipeg-based artist. She received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Manitoba in 2002, and studied painting at Yale University, obtaining her Master of Fine Arts degree in 2005. Lisa has been the recipient of many awards and scholarships. She exhibits her paintings and prints nationally and internationally, at venues including Actual Contemporary and Plug In ICA (Winnipeg); The Art Gallery of Southwestern Manitoba (Brandon); and Julie Saul Gallery (New York City). She is interested in creating messy, fun, honest depictions of people experiencing joy and celebration, or contemplation and anxiety.

Gallery 1C03 hours: Monday – Friday: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m., Saturday: 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. Closed Good Friday.

Admission is always free and everyone is welcome. Wheelchair accessible.

For more information contact:
Jennifer Gibson, Director/Curator, Gallery 1C03
1st floor, Centennial Hall, The University of Winnipeg
515 Portage Ave, Winnipeg MB R3B 2E9
Phone: 204-786-9253