Jonathan Kaiser


Born in 1982 in Winnipeg, Jonathan went on to study at the University of Alberta, where he achieved a BFA with Distinction in 2005. Jonathan has held a number of exhibitions across Canada, including the recent Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2007. The landscape around the distillery and the heritage of Glenfiddich has been a major influence during his residency along with the mysticism – both established and newly imagined.

"During my stay at the Glenfiddich Distillery I have been impressed by its picturesque Highland setting and the proud family history it was built on. I also appreciate the romantic images associated with the brand like the iconic Glenfiddich stag and, being a bit of a Christmas fanatic, the fact that the first drop of spirit ran from the stills on Christmas Day 1887. With these influences in mind I found my point of departure after a trip to the Company archives uncovered the story of the Grant girl's ordeal on New Year's Eve, less than a week after the distillery began producing. Eager to prove himself, young Charlie Grant took on the challenging task of switching but after several exhausting hours the switcher got away from him in the froth. Terrified this mistake would spoil the brew (don't worry, it doesn't) his sisters, Ella and Meta, ran a full, panic-stricken mile home at midnight to summon their father, William. The fairytale elements of this story along with the lush Scottish landscape and wildlife inspired a series of tall tale storybook environments realized as overgrown impossible pop-ups. To help cut out hundreds of delicate pine boughs I took early Glenfiddich methods to heart and I imagine that even William Grant would be impressed with the small army of Canadian labourers I mobilised - my wonderful, large family of course." Jonathan Kaiser 2/7/07