Elspeth Pratt’s sculptures demonstrate her interest in architecture and social spaces. She uses a variety of prosaic materials, from plywood to beverage containers, to comment on how architecture structures our lives. Throughout her career, she has shown an interest in public spaces such as shopping malls, gardens and train stations, as well as “pseudo-escapist” spaces such as spas, casinos and resorts. She has also explored airports and is interested in how they control our actions as we navigate them.
Her most recent sculptures, made of common building and impoverished materials, are precariously perched, sometimes leaning on a wall for support. These collage-like constructions include the space that surrounds them. Through a physical and involved working process, Pratt balances materials, ideas and space to formulate her work through a constant flow and accumulation of ideas. In addition, her use of common and readily available materials is contrasted with the permanence that is traditionally associated with sculpture. In this way, Pratt challenges assumptions about the inherent nature of her medium.
Vancouver-based Elspeth Pratt has exhibited nationally and internationally. She has had numerous solo-shows including Nonetheless at Charles H Scott Gallery in Vancouver, Bluff at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, and shows at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, as well as YYZ in Toronto. Selected group exhibitions include Not Sheep: New Urban Enclosures and Commons at Artspeak in Vancouver; the travelling exhibition archetypes in Vancouver, Tokyo, and Sydney; and Weak Thought at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Pratt currently teaches at Simon Fraser University.