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.
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.
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.
I wish each of you the Very Best this Season has to offer, however you may enjoy it.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!)
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:
A HUGE Thank You to everyone that came out on a busy evening, with less than ideal weather!
We all had a busy night; lots of lovely conversations, and thoughtful comments. The best way to launch new work into the world.
I was also really happy that the lovely humans that have supported this project from the outset – and on whose land the original living installation sits – were able to attend and see this first foray into taking the MAKE=BELIEVE project into a different context! looking forward to lots of chats and feedback from them on this exhibition!
For those of you who weren’t able to be there last Friday: Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivéis up until 5pm September 29th. Regular hours are NOON – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays – other times by appointment.
I will be gallery sitting on Sunday, September 23rd, NOON – 5pm, if you want to visit!
Some images of my installation/room below:
photo montage of animals in the installation on the farm
tail of an old windmill from the farm; what we do to bend the land to our purposes never lasts
a sun and compass from found objects
the windmill tail again
digitally manipulated photo and found object installation … the immigrant/homestead experience is part of this work
3 digitally manipulated photographs; human use of raw materials becomes camouflage
I am very happy to say that I will be presenting some brand-new work in a group show coming up very soon!
Details below – I look forward to seeing anyone in the area who cam make it to the Opening Reception.
Exhibition hours after the Opening are listed in the invitation, or by appointment.
Some information about the exhibition:
ARCHIVED LAND : TERRAIN ARCHIVÉ at Jackson Power Gallery, Edmonton September 15 to 29
2ndfl, 9744 60 Ave, Edmonton, AB
Opening reception 7pm, September 14, 2018
Exhibit hours: Noon to 5pm
Saturdays and Sundays, September 15 to 29
Or by appointment: 780-499-7635
Jackson Power Gallery presents Archived Land : Terrain Archivé, the final exhibit before the gallery closes its doors.
Land holds memory: layered, fragmented, buried, or strongly etched. It represents identity and connection to our own history and to those who came before us; a narrative landscape that intersects human experience and the natural world.
The gallery’s layout of separate but interconnected rooms forms an environment for individual artist’s interpretation of the theme, providing the visitor with the perception of movement through time and place.
Une initiative par collaborateurs/a collaborative initiative by:
Patrick Arès-Pilon & Conor McNally
BELLE//MONDO vous invite à rentrer dans un assemblage de photographie tirée de vrai pellicule diapo Ektachrome datant de 1997. Cette oeuvre place un regard sur les environnements naturels et bâtis captée sur le territoire du traité numéro 6 incluant à Edmonton, Spruce Grove et La Sapinière en 2018.
BELLE//MONDO welcomes you to enter an immersive photography installation using vintage 35mm Ektachrome slide film (frozen since 1997). This collaborative work features layered sights of natural and built environments captured on Treaty 6 land in and around Edmonton, Spruce Grove & La Sapinière in 2018.
Paddy considers himself to be a Canadian, Irish, Ulster Scots, Quaker, Huguenot, Celtic, Proto-Indo-European citizen of the world. His painting, drawing, and installation work acknowledges the role of landscape as a repository for our history, culture and collective memory, exploring the imprint of society on nature and how we form deep and lasting attachments to the land. His work is also a form of self-examination – a search for alternatives that continue to define his ‘sense of place’.
Sydney’s multidisciplinary practice explores the complicated position the individual inhabits in relation to ideas of place, land & ownership, and the ways in which both people and spaces are ‘written upon’ by larger social-political-cultural narratives over time. She is interested in the realities exposed by branches that only bend so far and how newer growth offers much more flexibility, but less strength for supporting weight.
Ultimately, her work is about how we understand and make sense of the land and the space between us.
As a long-time archivist and now Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, Marlena Wyman’s art practice is informed by history, and her rural Alberta upbringing provides her with a deep connection to land.
We interpret our memories and identities in part through traces of past lives, whether of our ancestors or others. A haunting photograph or a handwritten passage in the diary or a letter of a long dead stranger can create a profound personal connection.
I am not usually one to share ‘inspirational’ talks or pithy quotes. To be honest, most of that kind of thing leaves me flat – sorry if that seems cynical or jaded, but there’s a tendency toward the superficial ‘instafix’ in this culture that is served by this material.
However – I have also been thinking a great deal about the power of art & creativity to open doors to new ways of thinking and being. Especially pertinent to my mind, given the propensity toward tribalism and divisive language and action in the world today.
And then I came across this:
This little talk by Graham Shaw is all about breaking down patterns of thinking – about understanding better the limitations we impose upon ourselves (and others).
It is gentle and fun – and if you are in the tl;dr world – skip to the end if you must – but I do recommend the 15 minutes it takes to view the whole thing.
Amazing how fast the month has gone by – I’ve been too buried in the never-ending-cold-that-should-be-spring here to actually grasp that time is really passing quite quickly, and we are over 1/4 of the way through the year.
It has been a great experience re-working this project for static exhibition – being able to look at it again with fresh eyes, dig back into the ideas simmering inside it – and see what potential there was in the conversations between media.
My sincere thanks to Mile Zero Dance for the opportunity to show this work!! And my thanks to everyone involved in the RUCKUS dance project for allowing me to develop this project further, and to use the footage from rehearsals and performance in the video work!
SO: if you want to check out Chaotic Bodies before it disappears into storage again, you have until SUNDAY April 8th. I am striking the show on Monday!
If you have the opportunity, see the work both in the daytime and at night: I have a video work rear-projected in the window that is best seen after dark, and the installation and drawings are available for viewing during opening hours daytime at Mile Zero, and of course in advance of evening events.
If you get over there – drop me a line and let me know your thoughts! I’d like to hear from you.