Art Windsor-Essex respectfully acknowledges that we are located on Anishinaabe Territory – the traditional territory of the Three Fires Confederacy of First Nations, comprised of the Ojibway, the Odawa, and the Potawatomi. Today the Anishinaabe of the Three Fires Confederacy are represented by Bkejwanong. We want to state our respect for the ancestral and ongoing authority of Walpole Island First Nation over its Territory.
Elaine Ling: Abandoned Namib Desert
October 8, 2020 - January 17, 2021
Elaine Ling, Abandoned, Namib Desert XXIII, 1997, gelatin silver print from Polaroid type-55 negative, 2/28, 45.0 cm x 58.0 cm, Gift of the artist, 2003
The black and white photographs of Elaine Ling’s Abandoned: NamibDesert feature the interiors of an abandoned community of workers’ houses in Africa. Reclaimed by the desert, Ling used her camera to frame the sand overtaking a diamond-mining ghost town.
In Ling’s words: “When I arrived, I found rows of utilitarian houses, sleeping in their bed of time. Once left to the unhindered advances of the enormous linear sand dunes rolling back from the sea, the rooms began filling up with sand and the very familiar objects of daily living took on a surreal affect. This place speaks of the intimate relationship between the forces of Nature and the man-made. Abandoned by man, these spaces have been reclaimed by the wind and the sand, reuniting the exterior and the interior once more. In this place’s unrelenting sunlight and howling silence, I found somewhere that proclaims Nature as the final winner. Man’s absence is only acknowledged by the endless pulse of the moving dunes.” From an article by Elaine Ling published in LensCulture.
Born in Hong Kong, Elaine Ling moved to Canada at the age of nine. After receiving her medical degree from the University of Toronto, she practiced family medicine in Canada’s North, the Pacific Northwest, Abu Dhabi and Nepal. Ling’s photographs, widely exhibited and published, are in the permanent collections of numerous museum and private collections. Elaine passed away due to lung cancer on August 1, 2016. We thank Elaine Ling for her generous donation of artworks, and her brother, Edward Pong, for his assistance with this exhibition.