Born in Québec City in 1973, Samuel Roy-Bois is a multimedia artist who has exhibited internationally. He is an assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan and is Director of the Research Studio for Spaces and Things in Kelowna.
Samuel Roy-Bois’ artwork is a response to The Polygon Gallery lobby as a transparent architectural space surrounded by panoramic views. The screens and benches partially block the vista and break through the windows to intervene in viewing conditions, and by doing so, reflect on the function of an art gallery. As suggested by the title, the act of looking is subject to power dynamics. Roy-Bois invokes the history of logging on the North Shore by using wood that has been rejected as lumber products, and allowing these materials to be scarred by natural and industrial processes. The cedar blinds and fir benches contrast distinctly with the clean steel-and-glass building.
Reward Friends, Punish Enemies is the third in a 10-year commissioning program of new public artworks installed at The Polygon Gallery in collaboration with the Burrard Arts Foundation.