Donna Akrey


HAVENWOODPOINTEGREENTERRACE-INC - Mass-production of small houses out of scrap materials from building sites around Calgary, 2003 Donna Akrey

My work reflects my interest in the urban environment, language and communication, body and mind and the power of the habitual on our dreams and realities. I am interested in the parts that make up a 'whole'. I see my job as somewhat of a 'wrangler', combining parts and fragments, aware of the futility of the 'ultimate' and the contradictions and idiosyncrasies therein. I use an interdisciplinary approach to articulate ideas to create large installations and sculptural objects, single channel video, video installation and book works. 

I am interested in how we build our environments, intentionally or by default. I try to use humour as a way to present problematic issues by drawing the viewer in while also using a playful handmade aesthetic that people seem to relate to. This method of disarming the viewer allows me to touch on serious issues and ask questions; imagining the absurd as real, because sometimes the real is so absurd.

Many of my exhibitions have been performance installations that are a direct response to a particular community. In the installation Palindrome (2000) materials found during the July 1st moving weekend in Montreal were used to create a huge coliseum like structure out of discarded furniture inside a space while wooden pallets found on the street, were reassigned as furniture and left in situ. In another performative installation, HAVENWOODPOINTEGREENTERRACE-INC (2003) at Truck Gallery in Calgary, I utilized scrap materials from the building sites of the rapidly growing suburbs surrounding the city core. Small houses were then mass-produced with these materials. SHOWROOM which was last exhibited at AKA Gallery in Saskatoon (2007) invited visitors to donate objects or materials into a 6’x6’ cube where I would make composite sculptural objects to be then installed in an otherwise empty gallery space.

I believe knowledge is relative and fallible rather than absolute and certain and I endeavour to discover the richness in between intention and result. Utilizing common, surplus and discarded materials such as foam, concrete, found objects, junk mail, wood, rubber and household products etc., I create both large installations and sculptural objects. I think of some of my sculptures and installations as gigantic understatements, ruminations on the spectacle of the unspectacular.


Contact informatie

  • Donna Akrey