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A year without summer leads Mary Shelley to Frankenstein


In the year 1816, young Mary Shelley found herself locked up in a summer house along Lake Geneva. Far from sunning herself on the shore, Shelley and her erstwhile companions found themselves in a tempest of meteorological drama.

Unbeknownst to the writers trapped in their cottage, and many others who fell victim to sour weather conditions that year, summer disappeared as a result of the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia.

Looking back through her artist’s lens, Elise Rasmussen journeyed to Lake Geneva and Mount Tambora to unearth the environmental anomaly that may have led to the creation of Frankenstein.

Ms. Rasmussen’s latest work on exhibition is on now at Latitude 53, and will soon be part of borderLINE, the AGA’s Biennial of Contemporary Art. Tony King spoke with the artist about what inspired her latest pieces:

This native Edmontonian, who landed in Toronto, Chicago, New York and now L.A. sees her work cycle around to land home. “A Year Without A Summer” opened at Latitude 53 on September 4th, and borderLINE: 2020 Biennial of Contemporary Art opens at the AGA September 24th.