Inspired by Anna Atkins (considered the first female photographer), artist Mireille Perron contributes to a reactivation of meaning for Altaglass.

Opening Reception: Thursday 31 January, 5:00 – 8:00pm.



Organized by Nickle Galleries, curated by Christine Sowiak with catalogue essay by Julia Kruger. Mireille Perron acknowledges her collaboration with Medalta, Historical Society of Medicine Hat and District, Corning Museum of Glass, and all the known and anonymous AltaGlass makers.

Mireille Perron’s practice and research projects (typically under the auspices of the Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics, founded by Perron) are conceived at the crossroads of scientific, sensual/sensorial material, social, personal and collective imaginaries. The Anatomy of a Glass Menagerie | AltaGlasscontinues these explorations with a focus on specific glass histories as well as her concern with how humanity – driven by a wide range of motives – has brought so many animals into our intimidate acquaintance, both domestic and agrarian. Perron simultaneously explore histories of glass art from the collections of both the Corning Museum of Glass and Medalta, and the use of photomechanical means of scientific illustration by producing cyanotype images, in the footsteps of Anna Atkins (1799 – 1871).

The Anatomy of a Glass Menagerie: AltaGlass exists within a category of exhibitions created by artists through their work with existing collections. Historically, artists have drawn inspiration from museums and their diverse collections – archaeological, ethnographic, material and popular culture, medical, botanical and zoological – as a base for research and finished works. More recently, renewed models of collaborations have opened up a wealth of new meanings for and interpretations of objects beyond their traditional museological presentation. Through The Anatomy of a Glass Menagerie: AltaGlassPerron contributes to a reactivation of meanings and examinations for AltaGlass by presenting 113 selected objects from the collection alongside cyanotypes.

Mireille Perron was born in Montréal, Québec. Since 1982, her installations have appeared in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Europe and the United States. She is the founder of the Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics. LFP promotes social experiments that masquerade as artworks/events. She has also written and published on a variety of subjects related to representation. Most recent examples of the range of her work include, The Laboratory of Feminist Pataphysics presents Ateliers of the Near Future, a collaborative exhibition, Stride Gallery, Calgary, 2010, Utopic Impulses: Contemporary Ceramics Practice, Ronsdale Press, 2008, an anthology co-edited with Ruth Chambers and Amy Gogarty and Medical Tabulae: Visual Arts and Medical Representation, co-edited with Dr. Allister Neher,a thematic issue for RACAR vol.XXXlll,1-2,2008. She now lives and works in an old converted dépanneur (grocery store) in Calgary, Alberta, where she recently retired from teaching at the Alberta College of Art + Design.

Mireille Perron, Bears, cyanotype, 20cm x 25.5cm, 2015, photo credit: the artist


Mireille Perron, Calf, cyanotype, 20cm x 25.5cm, 2015, photo credit: the artist
Mireille Perron, Poodle, cyanotype, 8″ x 10″, 2015