Sir Elton John’s response to seeing Kristopher Karklin’s work was, ‘I’ll take three.’ The adjudicators’ response to his work: “Innovative, entirely original, assured work, pushing technical boundaries.” Karklin balances a studio practice between Fort McMurray and Calgary. His current series, Camp Life, explores the culture and displacement surrounding industry work camps.
He begins his labour-intensive work by building miniature models, balancing colour, composition, and relation of objects, perspective and size. He photographs the completed model. Then photographs human models and super-imposes them into the photo of the miniature setting, emphasizing the contrast between figure and space. The completed work is presented as a large-scale photograph.
Karklin graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design with a BFA with distinction in 2007. His works have been exhibited in Kyoto, Japan, Alberta and Ontario and are found within the collection of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts as well as private collections.
In exploring the relationship between living space and its occupant, there is an exchange that is intimate and secure, says Karklin. “Due to the sparseness of the environments, the viewer is drawn into the space and interprets the piece in relation to their own past experiences.”