Geoffrey Farmer was born on Eagle Island, British Columbia in 1967 and is based in Vancouver. He attended the San Francisco Institute of Art (1991–1992) and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design (BFA 1993). He has developed a rigorous practice with a strong interest in process, transformation and theatricality, including storytelling, staging, improvisation, and the fabrication of reality. His research- and process-based approach to art making results in elaborate sculptures, installations and photographs that revolve around a narrative and subsequently transform and activate both the gallery space and its visitors. Simultaneously rational and chaotic, undeniably concrete and yet shaped by the imagination, Farmer’s works manifest a state of flux or becoming. Many, including the elaborate installation Pale Fire Freedom Machine at Toronto’s Power Plant (2005), have their origin in a literary or pop-cultural reference, found objects, memory or dream; he is particularly interested in investigating an ideal of humanity through the transformation of objects into characters that have their own histories.
Since 1997, Farmer’s career has risen meteorically and he has participated in some 55 group shows at galleries across Canada and internationally including Nomads (2009) and Caught in the Act (2008) presented at the National Gallery of Canada. Other venues include the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2010), Museo de la Ciudad de Mexico (2009), Biennale of Sydney (2008), Brussels Biennial (2008) and the Tate Modern, London, UK (2007). Since the year 2000, he has been the subject of 15 solo shows presented in Canada, the United States, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. His work is held in the collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the National Gallery of Canada.
Geoffrey Farmer has also received prestigious awards including the Shadbolt VIVA AWARD in 2003, given to encourage emerging visual artists in British Columbia, and the Victor Martin Lynch Staunton Award by the Canada Council in December 2008 in recognition of outstanding mid-career artists.