Barbara Zeigler’s artistic practice is structured around an extended inquiry into ever-shifting relations between ecosystems and human, cultural structures. Working in printmaking, photography, drawing, installation, video, and collaborative public art projects, Zeigler’s artwork seeks to prompt questions as to the character and consequences of our existing cultural paradigms.
Cognizant of the way in which visual and linguistic materials construct non-human animals as particular types of subjects/non-subjects, one of Zeigler’s current research projects seeks to understand the character and origins of these representations, with particular interest in the language used to represent British Columbia’s fish populations and marine ecosystems. During the past two years, visual and written representations of salmon generated by the mass media, the scientific community, tourism, government, private industry, and First Nations and environmental advocacy groups have been being reviewed and analyzed. Critical and speculative methodologies are now being employed in the translation of this academic research into a material art installation conceived to offer phenomenological or affective engagement with the topic. The art installation forming the core of this project will be in a modular-print format (comprised of etchings, screen and digital prints), accompanied by video, sound, and sculptural components.
Another project which she continues work on looks closely at small daily rituals we institute: their formation, the purposes they serve as they evolve over time, and the ways they may both comfort and signal the need for change. Works related to this inquiry are being completed in video, intaglio and digital print works, and sculpture. In a time of rapid change coupled with an increasingly precarious environmental situation, these works are viewed as serving as a reflection on time, transformation, and the role of ritual in our lives, linking aspects of daily ritual to personal and societal change.
Zeigler received her BFA in Painting and her MFA in Printmaking from the University of Illinois. Additionally, she studied in Munich, Germany at the Akademie der bildenden Künste and the Universität München. She has taught at the University of Alberta, Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Queen’s University, and at the University of Illinois. Her work has been shown extensively in Canada and internationally and is in numerous collections such as the Dalarnas Museum, Falun, Sweden; Washington State Art Consortium, Seattle; Edmonton Art Gallery, Edmonton, Alta.; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Ont.; Artbank, Ottawa, Ont.; and the Museum of Contemporary Art Skopje, Macedonia. Recent group exhibitions include the World Plate and Print Art Exhibition, Gyeongsangnam-do, Korea; Intersections and Counterpoints, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia; Interfaces-Istanbul, International Print Triennial Krakow-Istanbul, Turkey; in.print.out: Grafik in/auswendig, Vienna , Austria; and the International Print Exhibition: Canada and Japan, Kyoto, Japan. Recent solo exhibitions have been mounted at the Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK; the Richmond Art Gallery, in Richmond, BC; and at the Renke Art Gallery, Hangzhou, China.