New Solo Exhibition: CAVA Gallery, Espace Exploration, Edmonton, Alberta by John Graham


13 septembre - 25 octobre, 2019

Mes projets expérimentaux d'art ne sont pas destinés d'apaiser l'esprit conscient, mais le défier. Autrement dit, mes oeuvres d'art sont destinées à résonner avec le visionneur en touchant le visionneur avec émotion ou psychologiquement, et activer son imagination unique. Une de mes croyances artistiques les plus profondes est que l’art peut nous connecter au monde, l'un à l'autre, et à d'autres nous ne pouvons jamais connaitre ou savoir.


 September 13 - October 25, 2019 

My experimental art projects are not meant to appease the conscious mind, but challenge it. In other words, my works of art are meant to resonate with the viewer by touching the individual emotionally or psychologically, and to activate each person’s unique imagination. One of my deepest artistic beliefs is that art can connect us to the world, to each other, and to others we can never know.

FIERCELY OPEN (2018) solo exhibition Alberta Printmakers Main Space Gallery Calgary, Alberta by John Graham

Exhibitor: John Graham

Exhibition Dates: October 19 - November 30, 2018

Opening Reception and Artist Talk: October 27, 7:00PM - 9:00PM

Exhibition Essay by Shaun Crawford

The first word that comes to mind upon viewing John Graham’s series, Fiercely Open is “vulnerability.” His pieces contain such a potent vulnerability that simply viewing them is a vulnerable experience for the audience. A closer look at the pieces reveals a common theme - the occurrence of relationships in the content and the collages. A character with a tree. A pair of pagan-like figures engaging one another. And in these relationships, and in these prints, there is a longing for something. Connection. Discovery. Truth. Sometimes sought after playfully, and sometimes just yearned for in something like silence. And the fulfillment of that longing is available through the act of openness. And the opening of one’s self is a sensation that lives at the very core of vulnerability. Where most things worth having are found. And that is when it becomes clear that John Graham’s work is indeed printmaking poetry. And that his show could bare no fitter title than Fiercely Open.

John Graham describes himself as an “ever-diversifying” artist, and rightly so. His practise ranges from printmaking and painting to installation work and experimental independent films. Graham began his professional career in the world of architecture before transitioning into creating visual art. He matched his Bachelor of Environmental Studies and Master of Architecture from the University of Manitoba with a Bachelor of Fine Art from Concordia University and a Master of Fine Art from the University of Oregon. And since that shift into visual art, Graham has compiled a body of work that includes 7 short experimental films screened at over 120 international film festivals and group, duo, and solo shows exhibited around the world and too abundant to list. His work can be found in several public and private collections across Canada and the U.S. and he currently teaches Printmaking & Digital Media at the University of Saskatchewan.

Look too quickly at the pieces contained in Fiercely Open and it may merely recall imagery from the first season of True Detective, or serve as a reminder that humans are actually just a different species of animal. But as much as it seems like the human figures are wearing masks - this is actually humanity with the masks removed. Symbolic characters pulled from dreamscapes and mythology. For even upon a short viewing it is clear that John Graham’s work is not of this world. It is conjured by the imagination or rescued from the recesses of the subconscious, a realm so deep and convoluted that Jungians have been the only group brave enough to explore there since early humankind first pressed their palms to stone. Such bravery is required in the viewer. To accept the call. To open themselves to the underbelly of the psyche, a place that cannot help but be ruled by truth. And once that threshold is crossed, perhaps there is nothing to fear at all. Some of these figures almost look inviting, like a couple of people that would be a pleasure to spend time with - regardless of their animal heads. Because despite superficial first impressions, and the hidden depths from which they come, this is a body of work that is so innately human.

In his Artist Statement, Graham shares his hope, “that visitors will not try to deconstruct these visions with dismissive rationalizations.” I sincerely hope that this essay has not crossed that line. Not undermined the invitation to imagine. He explains that, “The experience of this work is not intended to appease the conscious mind but to challenge it.” And there is certainly no solace here. At least none that is easily found. It is an open offer to willingly explore a different world. Not a new world, but a hidden one. The one we carry deep within, and within, and within. A realm where humankind once wandered more freely, where interpretations were attempted to account for features of this world such as the existence of the wolf or the creation of the sun, and where we can still contemplate if we choose. In the end, Graham’s work is a challenge to make one of the most valuable discoveries that our experiences have to offer. What Graham very aptly identifies as, “the authentic self.”

Writer Biography

Shaun Crawford is an award winner writer and filmmaker based out of Calgary, Alberta. He studied screenwriting at the Vancouver Film School and holds a Bachelors of Education from the University of Alberta. His work has aired on CBC, HBO, The Movie Network, has been distributed worldwide by Sony, and has screened at festivals in Canada and the US. Shaun has most recently worked as an augmented reality and virtual reality content creator. He is a passionate supporter of dream chasers and believes in the capacity of the arts to explore the human experience.


Alberta Printmakers (A/P) is a non-profit, artist-run centre founded in 1989 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The organization’s goals are to increase public awareness of print media, to engage a diverse audience, to provide resources for the artistic community and production facilities for printmaking. A/P has an open membership, and is governed by a board of directors. Management and administration of A/P’s activities are the responsibilities of its Directors, who reach out to volunteers in accomplishing A/P’s goals. A/P also hosts residency and summer student program

BEING by John Graham

(2018) short experimental film

“It is fantastical, psychedelic and a magical film.” Timea Gulisio (Budapest, Hungary)

“It is beautiful!” Marti Sipos (BARTR, Budapest, Hungary)

“Very poetic and sensitive!” Philip Gagnon (Montreal, Canada)

Thanks so much for sending the link. I really enjoyed watching this, the textures and sensibilities are really magical. I also really like how it ties into the last mirrored dance inspired video you made. The composer also did a terrific job matching the visual quality. The colour shifts between “acts” is working very well. I hope that you find lots of success with this short film. Let me know when you secure your first screenings.” Lisa Birke (Saskatoon, Canada)

“Alone, Entranced, and A Prayer are very interesting choices. Not your run of the mill go-to emotions and sensations in life. As much as anything I'm intrigued by that. The visuals were so cool. Looks like you made a little go a long way. The whole visual effect and colour grade played nicely in that regard. The dancers were so non-corporeal. I loved the transitions and how a human figure emanated out of nowhere or how what I thought at first to be a butterfly was actually mirrored hands at prayer. In the Alone sequence, some of the visuals were almost like living organs. I think it's part of my particular inclination but whenever I see anything visually abstract or ambiguous, I immediately scan my brain for likenesses. Regardless, they were still great to behold. The entire colour palette worked really for me too. I had one crystallized thought by the end. There was a moment in the A Prayer sequence where the tone seemed to shift slightly, and I found myself asking, is this still just, "A Prayer," or is this now a prayer answered. Not a question I actually need answered, just my favourite part of the experience.” Shaun Crawford (Calgary, Canada)


Harcourt House Gallery, Edmonton, Alberta
Saskatchewan visual and multimedia artist John Graham’s current exhibit at Harcourt House is almost unimaginable. “Museum of Dreams” is a collection of 30 bizarre found object sculptures of ambiguous dream-like states, covered in a vibrant colour palette.”
Stephan Boissonneault  Vue Weekly (Edmonton)


Hello and HNY! 

I would like to invite you to view MY new exhibition IN THE MAIN GALLERY AT Harcourt House in Edmonton until Jan. 21, 2017.

"I have never seen anything like it!       STEPHAN BOISSONEAULT, VUE WEEKLY

JOHN GRAHAM: Museum of Dreams

Main Gallery

In this multi-media installation, John Graham – a nationally and internationally renowned visual artist, filmmaker, architect, and a Professor of Art at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon – presents an imaginary museum collection of objects from his own dreams. 30 sculptures have been assembled into a bizarre collection of oddities, hybrid protagonists, magical lyricism and ambiguous storytelling. Conceived as a poetic laboratory, this project interrelates metaphorical visualizations from both the consciousness and subconscious realms. Each piece in this exhibition evolved into being like a dream. Each presents surreal symbolic messaging from inner worlds. Each is individually imbued with an enigmatic narrative. Each embodies its own strange inner logic. All of these qualities are intended to resonate with the authentic self.  The experience of this ensemble is not intended to appease the conscious mind, but to challenge it. Like Surrealists, this installation embodies unpredictable juxtapositions and symbolic narratives that shape themselves around varying psychological tone.


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Edmonton, AB T5K 1M7
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