22 JUNE – 02 AUGUST 2024

weight lifted

Accompanying exhibition text by Diana Sherlock

It is through our relationships with material things, including our bodies, that we come to know the world and our place within it. weight lifted, an exhibition of sculptures and digital prints by Calgary artist Svea Ferguson, contemplates material agency—the potential of material things to act upon and affect their environments regardless of human intervention. A sculptor, Ferguson’s identity as an artist is reciprocally defined in relation to her materials and the identity of the art object, which she comes to know through its material transformation and display.

Ferguson’s new sculptures and installation combine altered found objects with cut and draped rolls of synthetic linoleum and vinyl sheet flooring. She looks to the material to tell her how to intervene, keen to maintain the material’s integrity and object’s identity and allow them to act in ways that are true to their nature. Even taken out of context, Ferguson pays particular attention to the life of the materials and everyday objects with which she works—how they were made and by whom, their intended and actual use, where they ended up and why—and it is her subtle manipulation and combination of elements that create the conceptual connections that expand the meanings of these things beyond themselves.


Svea holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in drawing from the Alberta University of the Arts (formerly Alberta College of Art and Design) (2015). She was a recipient of the BMO 1st Art! Student Prize (2015) and the Horizon Alumni Award from AUArts (formerly ACAD) in 2017. Her work had shown in numerous exhibitions including The Holland Project, Reno, NV; Division Gallery, Toronto, ON; Arts Commons, Calgary, AB; The Esker Foundation, Calgary, AB; and most recently a solo exhibition at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (SAAG) in Lethbridge, AB.  Her work is held in the collections of The Banff Centre for Art and Creativity, TD Canada Trust and numerous private collections.

Diana Sherlock is an independent curator, visual arts writer, and curatorial consultant with CMCK Public Art in Calgary. She has published over eighty texts in gallery catalogues and contemporary art journals internationally and is the editor of the artist monographs Rita McKeough: Works and Larissa Fassler: Viewshed.

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