Canadian artist Alexandra Haeseker, RCA, explores the relationships between living beings in a common environment. Her imagery ranges from contemplative dog walks from the dogs’ point of view to books of ash, earth, ice and parchment displaying creatures in a narrative form; from dozens of fish and marine life forms washing up on the West Coast to 300 houseflies the size of one’s hand. Colourful museum installations exploring how groups contain individuals are based on the ideas of collective thought, swarm theory, and morphic resonance. Haeseker also examines the isolation of the human figure within a crowd or empty landscape: 150 women, fallen civilians in a Polish city, survivors amidst the rubble.
From a childhood in the Netherlands and Indonesia, Haeseker moved to Canada, graduating from the University of Calgary with a BA (1966) and MA (1972) in Fine Arts. She is currently a Lecturer Emeritus at ACAD, where she taught for three decades (1973-2003), and an elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.
Recent international exhibitions include: The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Liège, Belgium (2015); The Centro de Arte Moderno in Madrid, Spain (2014); MODEM Museum of Contemporary Art in Debrecen, Hungary (2013); The Centre for Book Arts, New York City, USA (2013); Warsaw City Museum, Poland (2011); Akademija Centre for Art Research in Belgrade, Serbia (2010); and Shanghai Art Museum, China (2008).
Haeseker’s investigation of group behavioural patterns and individuals within groups have resulted in large commissions for: The Calgary International Airport, Canada; Shanghai Art Museum, China; Edmonton Arts Council, Canada; and the Douro International Biennial in Portugal. Her latest museum installations transform interior spaces into encounters: The Phobia Project: New Work on Beauty & Repulsion in Portugal (2016); and The Menace of The Invisible for The International Biennial Trois-Rivières in Quebec (2017).