This is a past event.

Peter Coffman: Anglicana Tales: Stories of the Nova Scotian Church, Shown and Told Last Chance

When: May 21-July 4 2010
With a talk from Peter Coffman Thu Jun 10, 8pm. "I don't want to give the impression that this is just for people who go to church," says architectural historian and photographer Peter Coffman, who's currently finishing a Killam Postdoctoral Fellow in Dalhousie's department of history. "This is about history and stories and the social and cultural history of Nova Scotia." Looking at Coffman's photos of gothic-inspired doorways and small community churches nestled amongst gravestones, it's easy to understand where he's coming from. Drawn to Nova Scotia's built heritage after a couple of visits to the province, Coffman applied for the Killam Fellowship three years ago so that he could research the Anglican churches' histories by both recording them and creating narratives from their stories. His show at the Dalhousie Art Gallery is what he calls the culmination of his project, linking photos of select churches to short panels of text that "evoke the story, rather than telling it." The gallery timed the show for the 300th anniversary of the first Anglican service in mainland Canada, though that isn't what inspired Coffman's research. "The reason I study churches is because...they are very self-concioiusly built with values and ideas built into them. So much of our cultural genetic code can be extracted from these buildings." That genetic code is disappearing: Coffman adds that one church photographed in his exhibition is gone, one is abandoned and one's about to be deconsecrated. Religious or not, that is something to be concerned about. –Holly Gordon


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