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Courtesy Sandra Vida

Pass Through Portal at Calgary’s EMMEDIA Gallery

By Hayden McBennett, May 12 2016 —

Two-time Governor General Visual and Media Arts award nominee Sandra Vida will bring her interactive installment Portal to EMMEDIA Gallery from May 19 until June 18, with an artist talk on May 28.

Vida has created multimedia video installations for over 30 years, mastering the seamless integration of different media.

Her latest work allows the audience to literally pass through a video projection.

“What I like about producing work through the use of technology is you sometimes get to create magic,” Vida says. “And it’s the magic I’m interested in — the technique itself or the technology that allows me to do that. I don’t want the audience to see the layers that went into producing that. It’s up to me to figure out the mastery.”

Portal explores the transition from one phase of life to another through themes of mortality and aging. Vida hopes it will resonate with those of all ages.

“Even though I’m entering the twilight of my life, so to speak, there’s still a lot that I want to talk about, a lot I want to experience. I still feel a very strong creative force in my life,” Vida says. “Through my lifetime of experience, [a younger person] might gain something about the commonality of times of transition in any phase of life.”

Vida studied english, psychology and art at the University of Calgary. Her work often incorporates social commentary with her personal narrative. She followed this trend while creating Portal and reminiscing about her past.

“When I went to the university, I was very interested in what makes people tick and why people are the way they are and how they are in groups and why they get themselves into such messes,” Vida says. “I’ve found that there are lots of clues in literature. I really like that part of the creative process — kind of taking all of this broad research and honing it in to fit the message you’re trying to portray.”

Vida is solidifying her position as a community advocate of the arts. She believes artists play an important role in society.

“For too long artists have been seen as separate from the rest of society, slaving away somewhere, but I really think artists are recognizing — and so are the public — that we need to be more integrated and bring the arts into every phase of life,” Vida says.

Portal will show at EMMEDIA gallery until June 28. Admission is free.

For more information on Portal and Sandra Vida’s work, visit emmedia.com

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