Chair, Department of Visual Art & Art History
BFA (NSCAD), MFA (Victoria)
Brandon Vickerd is a sculptor whose exhibited projects are diverse in form and content, including site specific interventions, public performances and object based sculpture. Projects such as Dance of the Cranes (Toronto, 2009) and Dance of the Cranes – Brooklyn (2012) seek to transform the cityscape into a stage for performance through choreographed dances executed by high-rise construction cranes perched upon condos developments while viewers watch from the street below. Public works such as Northern Satellite (Dawson City, 2009) and Satellite (Kitchener 2009) are attempts to engage the viewer in a discourse centred on our conflicting ways of understanding landscape by creating a narrative where a Global Positioning Satellite that has apparently collided with the earth. In gallery exhibitions he engages the audience through employing the language of monumental figurative sculpture subverting dominant cultural narratives by creating monuments to popular culture characters (Dead Astronaut, Chrome Ghost).
Purposely diverse, Vickerd’s work straddles the line between high and low culture, acting as a catalyst for critical thought and enriching the audience’s engagement with the physical world. Professor Vickerd’s research has won support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the Toronto Arts Council and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). In 2005 Vickerd was awarded a major grant by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation to create the Digital Sculpture Laboratory [see story] in the Department of Visual Arts at York. The first of its kind in Canada and one of only a handful worldwide, the laboratory is dedicated to studying the convergence of the digital and the physical in art through the translation of digital code into physical reality. This cutting-edge research facility will adds an exciting new dimension to York’s sculpture program, opening up new possibilities for teaching, learning and creative work.
Prior to his appointment at York University , Professor Vickerd taught at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and the University of Victoria, and served as head research/sculptor at Heavy Industries in Calgary (AB), where he assisted in the creation of CNC technologies and 3D scanning systems for use in fine arts production. He joined the faculty in York’s Visual Arts Department in2004.
Recent and upcoming exhibitions include Chopper at Art MUR Gallery (Montreal), Dance of the Cranes presented by Franklin Furnace Archives (Brooklyn NY), Tales to Astonish at Hallwalls Contemporary Art Centre (Buffalo NY), Clutch at the University of Waterloo Art Gallery (Waterloo, ON) and Monuments to a Perfect Future at the Rooms Provincial Gallery (St Johns NFLD).