Gerry Straathof is a artist working with several kinds of media including photography, printing, 3D scanning, video and interactive technologies. He has an MFA and an MSc in Computing Science. This background allows him to build some of the unique tools needed to create elements of the artwork he produces. His creative research examines the core of a concept through creative exploration to find the main topic for consideration. The final work from a body of research is rarely the initial idea.
The body of work Gerry creates on a topic examines the underlying concerns of that topic. When considering homesteads and abandoned properties, he examines how he feels within these spaces as opposed to the spaces themselves. With photogrpahy the mass of images becomes the main focus of his research, not the individual photographs themselves. Resolving the kernel of these topics to an idea comes through creative research, exploring elements through experimentation to find what each element really means.
The research for the body of work developed for abandoned and forgotten locations began with examining the identity of the people within these spaces, and progressed to imagining memory and experience lived within these locations as a liquid medium and ultimately how these locations affected himself while exploring. His imagination of a rebuilt space through the exploration of the location became the distillation of these earlier artistic explorations.
Gerry's exploration through photography developed into the idea that the archive of images, the now-digital weight of a personal or family photographic collection, bears examination as a concept. How does the accumulated visual narrative change through a growing collection. When does the shoebox as an entity become more interesting than the photographs and negatives it contains. Can the same be said of a hard drive, whether the images are accessible or not. Can these become tokens of a life's experiences.
Gerry has used alternative spaces for the display of his work, including a recently cleared store for one show, and developing a pop-up gallery in another empty store in a high-traffic area on the University of Calgary campus.
2019 MFA Masters of Fine Arts from UofC
2015 MSc Masters of Computing Science in Computational Media Design from UofC
2012 BFA BFA in Media Arts and Digital Technologies from ACAD (now AUArts)
2014 Director of Gallery FM, a pop-up gallery intended to last for two weeks which was extended to three years for the Computational Media Design department.