A Talk, Upcoming

Very happy to say that I will be presenting a talk with John Waldron about our cross-disciplinary work on the Boundary|Time|Surface project next week.

If you are in the Wolfville, Nova Scotia area, the talk is being presented at Acadia University – details in the image above.

Looking forward to sharing this project with students from both Visual Arts and Earth Science!

This String of Moments

I’ve been thinking a good bit over the last few months about self-care, and in particular the need for conscious self-care on the part of artists.

In part these thoughts come from my own understanding of what I need – starting with saying ‘no’ more often – and honouring the fact that I need LOTS of recharge time on my own to be good to and for others and for the community I wish to support and serve. That means fewer opportunities sometimes – which has its own sort of stress. But for me right now, that’s necessary. These thoughts also stem from many conversations (truth to tell, too many) with other artists over the last couple of years about the reality of their lives, and about exhaustion and burnout.

How incredibly focussed and dedicated my colleagues are – and how tired. Juggling jobs (two? three? more???) some of them, to keep head above water in a gig economy. OR, finally landing “THE job” – the one that pays enough to forego the side gigs – just to see time and energy eaten week after week by the needs and demands of the work at hand, because there aren’t enough hands to do the work, or hours in the day … and they are responsible people, who care about their colleagues and the work they do.

And these bright, talented people ask themselves (and have admitted to me): “I wonder if I am still an artist? Can I even call myself that anymore?

That’s a hard thing to hear, especially given that it’s evident how much talent they have and how much they have to offer the world and their community, on all kinds of levels.

SO – why on earth am I talking about this, and interspersing these observations with pictures of autumn leaves, and glancing sunlight, and panorama photos of coastlines and sky?

Because I have the privilege of being able to take some time for myself just now; I have joked that I have “run away” temporarily … but I haven’t really. Not at all.

If anything, I have gone away to be more totally present. I had the opportunity to get away from my home city and all that is familiar, and to spend some time in another part of the country. I jumped at it. I knew I needed the break very badly, and was (and continue to be) incredibly grateful for the good fortune that has allowed me to do this.

To just be for a little while.

To figure a little bit more out – what next, why, what are the limits, how far and hard to push, and in what direction.

What is healthy (for me) … what is healthy for each of us? It can’t be the grind that I see so many people inside, in all walks of life. Is it any wonder so many of us are angry? Sad? Feeling desperate?

Do I have the solutions or answers or tools to help? I have no idea. But I do know that not having the opportunity to just STOP for a little bit, every so often, absolutely precludes the opportunity to consider these questions – and to seek the answers that are right for oneself.

May the world shift in favour of more humane ways of being for all of us.

Tomorrow is another day, and perhaps it will be a good one, for more of us.

Off Again …

Just about to leave for Vancouver for the CARFAC National Conference and AGM!

Looking forward to seeing my colleagues from right across the country, and sharing ideas and practical tools to assist artists.

I am particularly happy that there will be a panel on Indigenous Intellectual & Cultural Property Rights. This is an area of artists’ rights I need and want to learn more about!

I am also really excited to hear updates on two different projects to help artists protect their copyright and earn more for their creative work:

The Prescient Blockchain Project, and the Image Bank and Licensing Platform from Copyright Visual Arts!

It’s going to be a busy few days … but it’s going to be really informative and fun too!

A time of Gratitude

It has been a quiet, gentle day. No hubbub.

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A day to watch snow fall. Play some music. Make food and eat it.

Tomorrow will be busier; family coming over for a shared meal, gifts exchanged – a different kind of energy, no less delightful for all of that.

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And tonight – a chance to pause again, and wish everyone a safe, happy, and peaceful night, filled with laughter and love. Be gentle with each other, and with yourself. The light is coming back, and now is the time to nurture new ideas and projects, to welcome change and the turn of the wheel for another year.

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My thanks to those who read my posts here, on whatever platform. I am grateful for the privilege of being able to share my thoughts with you.

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I wish each of you the Very Best this Season has to offer, however you may enjoy it.

Be well and take care of one another.

Branching Out …

A good way to celebrate the Season and start toward a New Year:

I am very happy to announce that a selection of my work  is now available for sale or rental through the Art Gallery of Alberta!

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I think this is a great program from the AGA – renting work is a very cost-effective way to live with art you love, and – if you can’t live without it – a portion of your rental fees for the first 6 months of a rental can go toward a purchase!

And Art Rental and Sales at the AGA showcases the work of more than 150 Alberta artists working in a wide range of media and styles – so it feels especially good to be in such good company, and working with an organization that supports local creators.

A nice start to the week!

Speechless.

Just back from an amazing, life-and-practice affirming few days on Lethbridge at IAST 2018. More on that later, when I aim more grounded and in a better space.

Being immersed in such a creative and positive environment made the return to ‘the news of the day’ perhaps more jarring & disheartening, I don’t know.

What I do know is that what is going on globally, and most certainly to the immediate south of Canada is deeply disturbing, more so by the day. And it is mirrored elsewhere in the world, including in my home province (to a lesser degree, to be sure – for now).

But I wonder increasingly about the entire notion of ‘humanity’ and ‘civil society’ in a time in which we are witness to fewer and fewer examples of both.

So, for the moment, I must sit with this reality, in order to move forward in a positive way.

Wishing you all peace and safety.

*feature image for this post from the work of Micheal Pederson)

Macromareal at University of Lethbridge

Happy to say that I have been busy sorting and packing work, and helping to write a presentation for the last while …

Scott Smallwood and I will be presenting a talk and our collaborative work Macromareal: a rising tide lifts all boats at Crossing Boundaries/IAST 2018 symposium, October 25 – 27th!

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If you would like more background on this project, see the blog posts here>, here>, here>, and here> – and the project page HERE>

It’s going to be a really interesting few days, and I am looking forward to meeting the other participants and talking with them about discipline-bridging work. I’ve long held the belief that the ‘divide’ between art & science as disciplines is false and limiting – which is not to say that there aren’t real challenges to be faced when working this way.

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But there are so many rich opportunities to be had for artists to stretch themselves and learn to ‘speak science’ a bit better, and pay attention to the precision in research & practice in that discipline  – just as there are for scientists to learn how to ‘speak art’ a bit better and open up the potential for co-creation, and approaching their work with fresh eyes (and ears!)

 

Slippages – video of the performance

Back in Edmonton now, doing some post-performance and post-Thanksgiving work: the “get yer ducks in a row” for the next work to be done.

Much to be thankful for, as always – being able to make work with talented collaborators, the opportunity to share ideas and approaches here and in person, the tremendous support I receive from my family and friends (without whom none of this would be possible).

So – a brief moment to take stock, and to share a link to the video of the performance shot for Livestream on October 5th.

Click on the IMAGE BELOW to go to the UBC School of Music’s video:

Exhibition Walk Through: MAKE=BELIEVE, in Archived Land – Terrain Archivé

There’s one more week to see Archived Land – Terrain Archivé at Jackson Power Gallery in Edmonton.

The show closes 5pm September 29th.  Gallery hours are by appointment (780-499-7635) during the week, and Noon – 5 pm on Saturday.

For those of you who can’t make it in person, here’s a short video walk-through of my installation, MAKE=BELIEVE. Hope you enjoy it. (turn ON your sound!)