The Mac: A Tribute to Dr. D. L. MacLaurin

Ruth MacLaurin, Father
Ruth MacLaurin, Father

August 25 – September 30, 2007

Maltwood Legacy (at Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)

In this display, Ruth MacLaurin pays tribute to the educational contributions made to UVic by her late uncle, Dr. Donald L. MacLaurin, and uses his namesake building on the university campus as the focal point for her installation. Using manipulated photographs, sound collage, video and sculptural elements, Ruth has created a tribute piece to her uncle, who was a well respected member of the University community. As an art professor, Ruth has been inspired by her uncle’s legacy and has creatively reinterpreted his celebrated teaching career. Ruth MacLaurin is Associate Professor of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan.

The tribute centres on the English Grammar Grade 8 text he co-authored (with H.L. Campbell), Elementary English Grammar. The exhibit involved a slide presentation, large scale stencilled text, and a sound component: all placed in a starkly lit environment. The dim lighting created a visual stripping in order to centre on the free standing blackboard.  A chalked section of this blackboard received the slide images of her uncle and excerpts from the grammar book. The slides were reconstructed through drawing, colouring and scratching the black-in-white negative print film. Large scale stencilled text that referenced the grammar book were arranged on the walls. A sound collage of student children with an overlay of the “rules” of grammar from the text book played on a continuous loop. The repetition of the sounds and images was a key element in the daily classroom structure.