February 3 to March 19, 2022
Floating islands of plants, fungus and insects are suspended in a void, the only remnants of a once rich world. Whiffs of seeds or puffs of spores disperse into the darkness. Julya Hajnoczky’s work evokes a sense of future nostalgia; a tender longing sadness in light of what we know is yet to come.
Refugium presents photographs and installations that visualise the consequences of industrial human civilization: catastrophic habitat fragmentation and species loss.
At once lonely and wondrous, Hajnoczky’s photographs direct our gaze to the overlooked life found at our feet. Spending time immersed in Western Canadian ecosystems, she gets to know the tiny charismatic flora and fauna found in these familiar environments. Printed on a human scale, Hajnoczky centers these beautiful communities of life, making them impossible to ignore.
Small photographic lightboxes pop up in clusters on the gallery floor, showing groups of tenacious lichens growing on rocky surfaces. Separate and isolated from its neighbours, they mirror the increasing fragmentation of our natural world.
On an island of their own stand a series of sculptural, semi-anthropomorphic magnifying glasses. Each holds a natural specimen covered with an ultra-matte black paint. They appear as a hole in space; an emptiness left by a once living being.
“I want to inspire wonder at the small, often overlooked details of the natural world… to encourage the viewer to consider their roles and responsibilities as members of the ecosystem that sustains us.” – Julya Hajnoczky, 2021
Image credit: Julya Hajnoczky, Cladonia chlorophaea, archival pigment print on Hahnemuhle Photo Rag 308gsm, 30×36”, 2020.