Generosity … and Many, Many Thanks

It’s been a remarkable time; the residency and performance, the talk, the exhibition … and now that it’s all done and packed up, a little time to reflect.

The first week was all about slowing down, getting reacquainted with the town and the land … shifting gears, not unlike the tides here do every 12 hours.

There’s a generosity to the pace of life in Parrsboro; in the Maritimes in general. There’s room enough and time enough to do what you need to do. It’s a precious thing. It’s also been really nice reconnecting with people I’d met last year, seeing friends who live in this part of the country, catching up on news, feeling welcomed. A good place to start getting myself sorted, to make work, gather ideas like I gathered materials … .

It’s been a summer notable too for the generosity of  several people that have left me feeling deeply grateful for the opportunity to be making work in this place.

So, this is a note of thanks, to many people, and on many counts:

To two lovely local visitors to my work space in the Nonesuch Centre for the Performing Arts (which was formerly Trinity United Church here in town).  Louis Heb came by to see what was happening, and shared stories about himself and his family’s connection to the church over the years: in particular a family member who was the church organist. Tom Hatfield came by too – he remembered attending Boy Scout meetings when he was a kid, in the same room I am working in now. He also remembered the organ, and the lovely acoustics. Both Louis and Tom were happy to see that the building was going to be saved, and taken care of, and used to bring people together again. It was a real gift to be offered these stories, and to see so directly the way in which the building still houses the memories of the community in an active way. It’s remarkable to be sharing the space with all of that history, and making work derived from the landscape and objects that come from the area.

Such an honour to be working in this beautiful place, and to be her at the start of a new chapter in its history

Things and places – like people – hold histories and memories of their own.

To Randy Corcoran, captain, amazing source of sea-and-boat-related stuff, and an artist in his own right. My hosts at Main & Station connected me to Randy after my residency last year, and he and I had been in touch over the winter about various materials and objects I was looking for to make sculptures. He’s a busy guy – doing charter boat tours and house painting in the summers – so I felt fortunate that he had a bit of time to spare to show me some of the things he’s gathered, and get his invaluable assistance in finding more materials and getting them to the studio.  It turned out that Randy had a great stash of things that were going to be really, really useful for this project, and he’d managed to get a lead on a key item I’d been searching for …

Captain Randy Corcoran, giving us an amazing tour of the Bay of Fundy! Such a fantastic experience!

Most of these buoys were donated to the performance of “Macromareal Prelude” by Randy. He and I are hoping to do more with them in the future!

Which brings me to thanking…

Donald McCully (the Fox) –  who really made my day by parting with an old hand sewn canvas sail that became a key part of the exhibition! I also got a look at the boat he built, and hear about the process of building it, and other stories besides.

An old canvas mainsail that now is part of the Macromareal story

To Judith & Harvey at Main and Station, who have been a vital part of this project since its very early days, and supported Scott and me by awarding us a research residency in 2016 and the residency & Fellowships this year to realize the project.

Harvey & Judith

To  Susan Clarke (curator) June Wagstaff (archivist),  and Lisa Miller (digital records/archives) at Ottawa House Museum. Thanks to you all for your support of this project!

Susan allowed Scott and I to do some field recordings at the Museum in 2016 that have made their way into the soundscape Scott created for our exhibition. She also allowed us to borrow a ship’s bell from the collection for the performance of “Macromareal Prelude” on August 5 & 6. June and Lisa have also been incredibly helpful to me in searching through the image archives and other holdings of the Museum.

The ship’s bell!

To Krista Wells, another local artist @ Artlab – for the scrap canvas I so desperately needed to repair the sail! AND for her excellent coffee and conversation over the month, and for being part of the “Macromareal Band” for our performance on August 6th!

To ALL the musicians, who made the premiere of “Macromareal Prelude” such a success: Kyle Dinaut  – tuba, Michael Fuller – baritone saxophone, Timi Levy – violin, Jamie Oatt – trumpet, Joel Robertson – clarinet, Bruce Robertson  – trumpet, Krista Wells – trombone

To Angela Glanzmann, friend and fellow artist, for documenting the performance, so that I could be an active participant.

To Nancy Agati and Sara McKarney – who were also on residencies this summer at Main & Station: thanks to you both for the great feedback and insight into the work, thanks for the laughs and the beach walks, and for being such great artists. You are both so inspiring.

Sara on an Beach Walk

Nancy and Scott on the day of our Bay of Fundy Boat Adventure

To Robert More at Parrsboro Creative & Tim Fedak at the Fundy Geological Museum for the support, encouragement, and feedback as this project evolved.

To Scott Smallwood, collaborator extraordinaire, colleague, and friend. Thank you for your hard work, generous sharing of ideas and knowledge, and for your faith in this project. It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with you … and I hope we can do more together SOON!

To John Waldron, inspirer and supporter of cross – disciplinary doing & making, partner, collaborator, teacher, and dearest of friends.

John

Couldn’t do any of this without you – thank you for showing me new ways to see and new ways to think about the world.

So – thank you all, again – and thanks to everyone else that has been a part of this adventure: friends new and old – some of whom came to town while we were there – Emily Jan & Marie-Eve Martel (!) …

Marie-Eve and me … looking a bit like the monster in the background!

Emily on our beach combing trek to Diligent River

 

… and to visitors to the exhibition who stayed to chat, and the community of Parrsboro for being our home for a bit.

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend!

2 Comments

  1. EMILY JAN says:

    Hahah awww! Thanks for the shout-out; it was sooooo awesome to get to hang out with you out there! And amazing to see the pictures of the process and the finished work; I feel privileged to have seen it in progress!

    How’s it been settling in to Antigonish?

    xoxo e

    >

    Like

    • sydney says:

      Thanks so much – it was lovely to be able to spend time with you as well, and to get your feedback on it!
      Starting to get settled, but getting ready to head out of town again next week (sheesh!) … to Halifax for a wedding and then Edmonton for CARFAc stuff (and getting sweaters for Fall to bring back). I owe you an email! xoxoxo s

      Like

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