Artist books, prints, drawings and complex collaborat​ive projects all part of Dept. of Art and Design Centennial Chair, Sean Caulfield'​s recent research activities

Professor Sean Caulfield has had several interdisciplinary, collaborative projects that have either recently been featured in Edmonton or will be doing so in the near future. He will also be holding a solo exhibition during the month of October at the Scott Gallery in Edmonton.

01 November 2012



Diagram for Reflecting Light ink
, acrylic and pencil on drafting film,
Courtesy of Scott Gallery, Edmonton

Professor Sean Caulfield has had several interdisciplinary, collaborative projects that have either recently been featured in Edmonton or will be doing so in the near future. He will also be holding a solo exhibition during the month of October at the Scott Gallery in Edmonton.

Darkfire and The Waiting Room, an exhibition of prints by Sean Caulfield with collaborators Jonathan Hart (poetry) and Sue Colberg (book design) recently closed at the Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati. Both exhibits were also featured in the University of Alberta's Bruce Peel Special Collections Library.

To initiate Darkfire and The Waiting Room, Caulfield, Hart and Colberg used themes and poetic images taken from Dante's Inferno and Purgatory as a common start for each of their image/text pairings (eventually working towards responding to all three volumes of Dante's famous work). They share an ongoing interest in the Divine Comedy, as well as with the long history of illustration associated with this work (Blake, Botticelli). These compelling images, often inspired by earlier classical and medieval myths, have a power that endures in contemporary society in the face of drastic cultural, social and environmental change.

Although the work looks to the past for inspiration, its merging of mechanistic and organic languages is intended to point viewers towards a contemporary context in which advancements in technology are rapidly changing our relationship to the natural world, biology, and our own bodies. In a broad sense, then, these artist's books are intended to encourage individuals to engage in reflection and dialogue about the changing environments of our daily lives. Further, by investigating the formal and conceptual dynamic of relations between text and image, Darkfire and The Waiting Room are a celebration of poetic language and imagery for its own sake, as well as artifacts that pay homage to the artist's book as an important part of contemporary culture.

Manifest Gallery

Perceptions of Promise: Biotechnology, Society and Art is an interdisciplinary project that brings together a group of internationally recognized artists and social commentators (philosophers, sociologists, legal scholars, scientists) to produce a body of original art work and research exploring the complex legal, ethical and social issues associated with advancements in life science technologies and stem cell research. The project resulted in a major exhibition at Calgary's Glenbow Museum in early 2011 as well as a publication featuring critical essays and images from the exhibition. Three University of Alberta professors of Art and Design, Sean Caulfield, Liz Ingram, and Daniela Schlüter, and one current contract instructor, Royden Mills, are featured in the exhibition.

Perceptions of Promise, having toured from Calgary's Gelnbow Museum to the Chelsea Art Museum in New York as well as Hamilton's McMaster Museum of Art, makes its final appearance at the University of Alberta's Enterprise Square from November 8, 2012 until January 5, 2013. An artist's talk will be held on November 9 at 12:15 pm, and again on November 30, 12:15 pm. Furthermore, a panel discussion will be held on November 24 at 2:00 pm.

Perceptions of Promise official website

Perceptions of Promise Opens in New York

Opening this month at the Scott Gallery in Edmonton, Diagrams for the Promised End explores themes of mutation, metamorphosis and biology/technology dichotomies. Caulfield's drawings and mezzotints create an imagined world through a strong influence from scientific illustrations, fictional science, and biological forms. Through these pieces Caulfield examines the impact from advances in technology and our rapidly changing relationship to the natural world and our own bodies. The exhibition runs until October 30, 2012.

Scott Gallery


Sean Caulfield is a Centennial Professor in the Department of Art and Design at the University of Alberta, and has exhibited his prints, drawings and artist's books extensively throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, and Japan. Caulfield has received numerous grants and awards for his work including: Triennial Prize at the 2nd Bangkok Triennial International Print and Drawing Exhibition, Bangkok, Thailand; SSHRC Fine Arts Creation Grant; Canada Council Travel Grant; and a Visual Arts Fellowship, Illinois Arts Council, Illinois, USA. His work is in various public and private collections including: Houghton Library, Harvard University, USA; Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, England; Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, USA, among others.


Related Link:

Darkfire and the Waiting Room at DePauw University