I’ve been busy with some home/nesting projects the last little while – putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls at the place in Halifax. People who know me know I really enjoy this kind of work – the physicality of it, and the satisfaction of coming to the end of a day and seeing immediately the products of one’s efforts. I posted to social media recently that ‘happiness is a good sash brush’ … it’s true. The tools can often make or break the quality of the work, no matter what that work might be.
It’s been a good break in many ways – from exhibition proposals, thinking about and writing grant applications, and pondering next steps in the studio soon to come.
And yesterday, I got a break of another sort: getting back out to the Bay of Fundy. A lovely couple of hours hiking the shoreline at Cheverie, and an ideal opportunity to check in on the site of Fault/Line, and see if any traces of the work remained.
It was much as I expected it … there wasn’t much of anything left of the work. There’s nothing quite like the power and reach of the Fundy tides to alter the landscape and to move rocks. If anything, I was surprised by how closely aligned the rocks still were in some areas.
A few shots here, showing what I found:
I’m really happy that this is all that’s left of the work. That fact – the reality of its return to being part of the jumble of rocks on the shore – is a liberating thing. The work is freed from its role as static artifact, from its ‘thingness’, from being an object that someone could potentially possess.
Instead, it becomes entirely a function or aspect of making, and is much less about any ‘authority’ I have as an artist/creator than it is about my engagement in a dialogue with the place and what I found … . I am a collaborator with the ocean and the land here, and their voices are integral to the work as it was made and as it has been (and continues to be) unmade … or remade, if you will.
The work is a moment in a continuum: all process.
The ‘product of the effort varies, depending on the moment at which the viewer engages with the place.