“In the Time Of…”

“Between the idea
And the reality…
Between the potency
And the existence
Between the essence
And the descent
Falls the Shadow
– T.S. Eliot, The Hollow Men

The video installation “In the Time of…” grew out of the experience of the Covid pandemic as well as subsequent global environmental disasters, social unrest, and wars of aggression. Living through challenging times evokes a desire for connection with nature, and for more affirmative alternatives. The title is intentionally ambiguous: how viewers might complete the thought could be either positive or negative, reflecting the often conflicting reactions to one’s social or personal context. The subtitle An Alchemical Allegory invokes an otherworldly space where the terrain of the imagination as well as the role of the artist may be explored.

The Alberta prairies, foothills and mountains where Sandra Vida grew up is her chosen setting for this project. Six seasonal residencies in the Homestead House at The Coutts Centre for Western Canadian Heritage near Nanton shaped the original concept as well as providing the location for production of video, photos, collages, drawings and paintings. Vida was also inspired by dreams on site to perform as several archetypes– The Artist, The Watcher, The Healer, and other mysterious characters– in the house, gardens and fields.

Sandra Vida is grateful to project consultants and associates: Emily Promise Allison, Vicki Van Chau, Erin Saunders, Ronnie Joy Leah and Nathaniel Sutton. Thanks also to Coutts Centre staff: Sharon Stevens, Shawn Matthews, John Stoll, and Kara Matthews. Funding support is appreciated from Alberta Foundation for the Arts.




“In the Time of…” will premiere at the Coutts Centre during their annual Arts Festival on July 21, 2024.
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