Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Support quality journalism
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24weeks
The Globe and Mail
Support quality journalism
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Globe and Mail website displayed on various devices
Just$1.99
per week
for the first 24weeks

var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){console.log("scroll");var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1);

Kelowna-born Erin Shirreff, 38, is winner of the 2013 Aimia/AGO Photography Prize. Shirreff’s contribution to the AGO exhibition consists of two hypnotic long-duration videos, Moon, from 2010, and Lake, from 2012. Each is constructed from hundreds of photographs of, in the first instance, the moon in various phases of luminosity.

A Canadian artist living in Brooklyn has prevailed over three other finalists from Mexico, the United States and Japan to take the 2013 Aimia/AGO Photography Prize, at $50,000 one of Canada's biggest art awards with an international reach.

Kelowna-born Erin Shirreff, 38, was named the prize-winner Thursday evening at a ceremony in Toronto at the Art Gallery of Ontario. The Aimia/AGO, previously known as the Grange Prize, is believed to be the only major international art honour selected by public vote. This year, more than 25,000 votes, a prize record, were cast online or at the AGO where works by Shirreff and her fellow finalists – LaToya Ruby Frazier, Edgardo Aragon and Chino Otsuka – have been displayed since August. The four were chosen by a three-member jury, headed by former AGO curatorial director Elizabeth Smith, from a long list of 14. Each runner-up receives $5,000.

Shirreff's contribution to the AGO exhibition consists of two hypnotic long-duration videos, Moon, from 2010, and Lake, from 2012. Each is constructed from hundreds of photographs of, in the first instance, the moon in various phases of luminosity, in the second, of a full-colour image of an Okanagan Valley lake originally published in a tourist magazine or brochure from the early 1980s. Both works extend and explore the act of looking while collapsing time and place in their fluctuations between natural and artificial effects, motion and stillness.

Story continues below advertisement

Shirreff, who has a BFA from the University of Victoria and an MFA from Yale, has had several prominent solo exhibitions and her work is now in the permanent collections of the Centre Pompidou, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Guggenheim and Metropolitan museums in New York. Her first video work, 2006's Sculpture Park (Tony Smith), looked like sculptures by the famous U.S. minimalist slowly being revealed by falling snow when, in fact, it was a montage of photographs of table-top-sized cardboard maquettes dusted with flecks of Styrofoam. Five years later, when Shirreff received a commission to erect a sculpture in a Brooklyn park, she used Smith's 1968 work, Amarylis, as a model.

The Aimia/AGO Prize, honouring excellence in contemporary photography, started in 2008 as the Grange Prize, its name taken from the 19th-century Georgian manor house, just south of the AGO, that served as the first home of the Art Museum of Toronto beginning in 1910. The annual prize always has had an international cast but previously the finalists were split between two photographers from Canada and two from a partner country. (Previous partner nations have been China, Mexico, India, the U.S. and the U.K.) For 2013 the partner concept was ditched in favour of letting an eight-person panel pick a long list of artists from around the world – this was done by mid-July – but on the understanding that from this, one of the four finalists would be Canadian.

The Aimia/AGO Photography Prize 2013 Exhibition continues at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto through Jan. 5.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies