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Lighthouse recreated inside Confederation Centre gallery

October 7, 2011

A Halifax artist's life-sized latex cast of a decommissioned lighthouse in Borden-Carleton, P.E.I. will soon dominate the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Kim Morgan's Range Light is a 60 foot long latex casting supported by wood framing and a rope rigging structure.

For Morgan, the dilapidated range light that used to guide passenger ferries into the harbour before the "fixed link" is more than a memory of times past.

"This iconic structure is symbolic of what the community of Borden-Carleton was for so many years-a thriving terminus for the PEI ferry, and a beacon to the island," she says. The Confederation Bridge has transformed the town's economy and the transition has been difficult. Morgan's temporary memorial embodies the experience of change and the process of transformation.

Morgan teaches sculpture at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) in Halifax. Using latex rubber reinforced with mosquito netting, she and a crew of helpers cast imprints of the exterior and interior surfaces of the range light. Embedded in the rubber are flakes of loose paint and faint impressions of graffiti which preserve a haunting trace of the building's descent from utility into neglect.

Sewn together, the interior and exterior sections incorporate more than 2,000 square feet of latex. Rubber has special properties which enabled the artist to realize her concept: "The material acts like a flexible skin which allows me to gather information from the original structure and reconfigure it into a new, unified whole. It not only captures every minute surface detail, it also pulls off all the vulnerable material...Paint, wood, dirt, even the smell from the original structure become part of the new form."

"Mounting this exhibition will be particularly challenging, as we will be hanging the piece from a coffered ceiling that spans an open space a few storeys high. The effect will be dramatic since a 1:1 scaled range light model is not an object one normally encounters indoors," says Pan Wendt, gallery curator.

"The exhibition is of topical interest for Islanders, as it presents a cast taken from a structure with a strong charge: the Borden-Carleton range light is associated with changes to the Island way of life," Wendt says.

Kim Morgan: Range Light is organized and circulated by Mount St. Vincent University Art Gallery and curated by Ingrid Jenkner. It is on display at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery October 15 to December 11. The exhibition will tour next to Quebec and Massachusetts.

Image: Kim Morgan, Range Light, Borden-Carleton, PEI, 2010
latex with wood framing and rope rigging
60 ft. long
(photo: Steve Farmer)


Media contact: Dan Wall, publicist, Confederation Centre of the Arts, phone (902) 628-6135
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