Kristoff Steinruck: Crystal Cave 1

August 4 to September 16, 2012

Canadian artist Kristoff Steinruck became fascinated with an unusual underground cave in Naica, Mexico, after reading about it on the internet. He decided to build his own fanciful version of this cave, using brown paper for its walls, and cut and glued polystyrene forms standing in as the huge selenite crystals that have naturally formed in the real cave. For him, the structure called into question our normal definitions of notions such as time, reality, science, and perception.

Steinruck’s Crystal Cave 1 was first constructed in the Okanagan in 2011, and used as a set for a video that the artist is still working on. But he decided to give it a second incarnation as a stand-alone installation at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Visitors will encounter Crystal Cave 1 only by looking through a hole that will have been punched into a temporary drywall barrier. This is a piece that must be seen in real life to be truly experienced, as the other-worldly feeling of the cave is amazingly and effectively recreated by the artist’s precise construction methods using just everyday materials.

Steinruck grew up in the Kootenays and studied at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, then received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Guelph in Ontario in 2009. In the 2010-11 year he taught studio courses in Kelowna at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

Artist’s Talk
Thursday, September 13, 2012
7 pm at the Kelowna Art Gallery
This is a free event, open to the public.

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