Some thoughts on leaving and coming back

I am preparing to fly West this afternoon, after a busy and very productive several months in various spots in Nova Scotia. A great residency with Scott Smallwood, and new work launched in Parrsboro, at Main & Station. The start of some new and exciting collaborations with Deborah Carruthers and with Susan Tooke.  Time to experiment with cyanotype processes, work on video and audio projects.  Time to hike, to make photographs, to think, to further the long-term process of healing my body (thank you Acupuncture and Massage Therapy!)

It feels like much more time has passed since I was last on ‘home turf’ – or rather, that the tempo and scale of time as I experience it has shifted in a fundamental way – and now I have to find my way back to something more familiar. Not quite there – and I think that’s a very good thing. VERY.

It was a good place and time to be reminded of the diverse (and often very difficult, painful) histories of any given place. How easy it is not to see that – how easy to get lost in the vast beauty of the place – any place – and look but not see. The beauty is part of those histories; it’s woven into the different scales of time inherent in that locale to be sure. Geologic time. Tidal Time. Seasonal Time. Mythic time. Colonial Time (a very slippery fish, this one). Settlement Time. Expulsion Time. Industrial Time. And on and  on … but make no mistake, there’s nothing linear about this.

The ‘present’ as we fashion it in any given moment is its own rabbit hole; a crucial vantage point (and obviously the only one available in a pragmatic sense), but it’s also a very troubled and troubling place from which to assess the relative value of most things and actions and ideas … . The popular narratives that tend to overwhelm all other chatter are still those that yoke the present to doing cartwheels toward the ‘somehow-better-future’. Because, of course  ‘things’ will be ‘improved.’ This is the wish, the hope, and the outcome to be willed into being, somehow.

And under it all, the land remains—a page upon which this story is “written, erased, rewritten,” as author Teju Cole put it. Only memory and history can interrupt this cycle of revision we commonly refer to as progress. And those interruptions are vital, absolutely necessary, if we are to navigate some way toward a better way of existence for ourselves (on all levels), and co-existence with all beings.

Remains to be seen how well I am able to carry these glimmers of understanding forward as I return to the familiar places and routines – but the intent (and hope) is there.  Patience, process, compassion.

Tomorrow!

The CARFAC National Conference and AGM is tomorrow – Saturday, June 3rd!

It’s going to be a good weekend, and it’s exciting to know that here will be visual artists from all over the country here this weekend, discussing issues  and advocacy initiatives pertinent to artists’ careers.

There’s also going to be programming Saturday Evening and Sunday afternoon – so it’s not ‘all work and no play.’

I’m looking forward very much to hearing from other parts of the country, and to reconnecting with artists I haven’t seen for far too long.

Information below – there’s still time to register and join us:

Building your career - Batir votre carrière conference poster final-1Building your career 2- Batir votre carrière conference poster final-2

Bursaries for Artists!

The CARFAC National Conference is coming up soon in Edmonton!

Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC wants to help artists attend, so they are offering bursaries to help with conference costs:

Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC is offering up to six bursaries of $200.00 each to Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC members living outside of the Greater Edmonton area who will be attending the CARFAC National Conference in Edmonton on the weekend of June 2nd to 4th.

These bursaries are based on need.

Applicants need to write an up-to-one page letter describing why a bursary would help. Applications must be in by Thursday May 18th  at 4:00pm. Send the letter to chris@visualartsalberta.com.

They will notify the winners by Saturday, May 20th at 4:00pm.

PLEASE pass this on to any visual artists who may want to attend, but would find the costs of travel a hinderance.

Deadline approaching … a Call of Submissions

I posted about this a while ago – but I know how busy everyone is, so I thought it might be a good idea to post again, before the deadline is upon us all.

Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC is partnering with Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture to present an art-and-activism themed exhibition in June 2017.

This exhibition will coincide with the CARFAC National Conference, which we are hosting in Edmonton this year, on June 3rd.

The goal is to present Alberta – Based Artists who address political issues/advocacy/representation of under-represented voices.

Here’s an image of the Call (and a PDF).

Feel free to pass on to any Alberta Visual Artists that you feel would be interested!

Get the PDF HERE:  Call-for-Submissions-Trumpet