Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography
401 Richmond St West Suite 120 Toronto Ontario M5V 3A8

Eryn Foster and John van der Woude

October 23 – November 28, 2009


From the first aerial photograph made by Nadar in 1858 to the first fully illuminated view of planet Earth taken by the crew of Apollo 17 in 1972 to the release of Google Earth 3.0 in 2005, our access to views of the Earth has increased exponentially. In their exhibition at Gallery 44, Eryn Foster and John van der Woude demonstrate what can be done with the visual information made publicly available today by Google Earth.

In Eryn Foster’s animation, Flight Simulation, aerial perspectives of the landscape coalesce into the abstract renderings and discontinuous movements of computer-generated images. Flight Simulation thus brings to our attention the sociological distance we have traversed from being airplanes passengers to being “virtual navigators”—as Foster refers to the users of Google Earth—and how this “developed” perspective affects our relationship to the Earth.

John van der Woude’s series of photographs, Airports—composites of satellite images downloaded from Google Earth—show us in astonishing detail the nine busiest airports in the world. Van der Woude refers to the airport as “a metaphor for the ultimate strength and weakness of contemporary life”. Beyond their formal beauty, his images immediately bring to mind issues of accessibility in an age when populous locations are prime terrorist targets.

Eryn Foster is an interdisciplinary artist who currently lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Guelph. She has participated in residencies at the Banff Art Centre, the MacDowell Art Colony in New Hampshire and the Vermont Studio Centre. From 2005 to 2009 she was the director of the artist-run Eyelevel Gallery in Halifax and has also worked as an instructor in the Foundation Studies program at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University.

John van der Woude is a photography and new media artist, based in Montreal, who initially studied art and design at Camosun College in Victoria, British Columbia and later received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2007, focusing on photography and graphic design. He has won multiple awards, including the Magenta Foundation’s Flash Forward 2008 award and the BMO Financial Group’s 1st Art! Competition. His work has been shown in galleries across Canada and has been featured on many media outlets, including CTV and CBC, both locally and nationally.

A catalog essay by Marco Avolio accompanying the exhibition is available at


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