Spring, becoming Summer

Stunning work by Jenine Shereos. I am struck by the sensitivity & delicacy of this work. To me it speaks to a deep understanding of the materials, and the ephemeral nature of beauty.

Of All Things. I am looking forward to the book she is publishing on this body of work!

All images below, © Jenine Shereos.

Thinking about Bodies & Control

I am looking toward the Opening of Chaotic Bodies this Thursday at Mile Zero Dance – and not surprisingly, I am thinking a great deal about relationship, space, and how our bodies convey information.

What we communicate with gesture and movement is so vital to our understanding – to meaning-making – but also to the way and amount of space we occupy.

All this to say: one of the things I wanted to consider in the creation of Chaotic Bodies was how bodies communicate ideas of control, balance, containment, connection, release … .

And then I came across the amazing work of artist/metalsmith Jennifer Crupi.

Ornamental Hands: Figure One (Shown worn) sterling silver, 15″ x 8.5″ x 5.5″ Permanent Collection, Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum ©Jennifer Crupi

So much food for thought here: the controlled gesture. The canonization of particular movements that render them significant, understood as physical language that conveys information through relationship to other, to space.

Power Gesture
aluminum, steel, acrylic, laser print, vellum,
8″ x 8″ x 6″
Power Gesture is an implement that requires the user to assume the authoritative “steepled fingers” gesture. This position exudes confidence and is often used by one who has the upper hand in a situation. Psychologists believe assuming a posture or gesture will make one feel as they would if they did the gesture naturally. So for a confidence boost, Power Gesture is the implement of choice. © Jennifer Crupi

I find the language here telling too. The Power Gesture object requires the user to assume a particular position, as do all of these sculptural objects:  (con)forming to set positions to send a message.

Pondering further: if we wish to convey information bodily, how do we control or contain that which we wish to remain hidden? What if we can’t? What if our actions in space and in relationship express or reflect what we see around us, rather than what we feel? Or conversely: what if we cannot help but express the uncontrollable within us?

These thoughts & questions, amongst others, have informed the work in Chaotic Bodies. I have no fixed answers – but am enjoying the journey through the questions.

Old Boats Recycled Into Sheds

After working this summer in Parrsboro with Scott Smallwood on a project
that explores the interconnections between the tide, the land, and the human history of the area (which included shipbuilding), these beautiful structures speak volumes to me – about change, and resilience, and different ways of looking at the idea of abundance.

I am also a total sucker for the ways in which these boat-houses help to retain the many generations of work and relationship to the sea in these coastal places.

My thanks to eMorphes for bringing these structures to our collective attention!

I Took My Father for a Drive Today

A lovely piece on history, time, change – and sense of place. What place means when it is rendered in the first person, and intimately connected to the sights and sounds in a landscape? We are each responsible for the reality we inhabit, in all ways.

Have a good weekend, everyone.

My father was born and raised in Montreal in the first half of the last century. He served in the RCAF (briefly) and the Royal Canadian Navy (less briefly) during World War II. In the ’60s he…

Source: I Took My Father for a Drive Today

Creating a RUCKUS, update!

I wrote last month about a dance/choreography project I am involved in – RUCKUS – and wanted to offer an update on Anastasia’s progress for funding this phase of the work.

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The GoFundMe campaign has raised$1200 so far – which is exciting – HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that has supported this so far!

That $1200 is about 70% of the goal for the project – so, it’s doing well – but it’s getting down to the wire to make the last 30%, so that everyone involved can be paid properly for their work to make this project a reality.

This is a really exciting chapter in my practice, I would really love to be able to continue to work with these fine dancers and choreographers.

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If you would like to help support this work, there’s still time to contribute (even the price of a coffee out will make a difference) –  our collective, RUCKUS-filled thanks.

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IMAGE CREDIT: All Images,  Ernest at Studio E Photography

Maelstrom – Wave Photography by Luke Shadbolt

I have been silent for a while here.

Left speechless and heartsick by world events. Exhausted by hate, lies, and willful ignorance which seems de rigueur.

I need to write about these things – speak what I need to speak – but thus far, I find myself stumbling over words, at odds with logic and sentences and written or verbal expression. Words do, indeed, fail.

So, it is to images I turn, and in that way of things that brings one what is needed in the moment, I came across the gloriously violent images of Luke Shadbolt, reblogged from eMORPHES here.

My thanks to Luke Shadbolt and eMORPHES for the painful beauty that says so much in the closing days of a difficult year.

A thought or two on Idealism

My first full day in Nova Scotia – overnighted at the airport hotel, and will be heading to Day 1 of my residency at Main & Station in Parrsboro shortly!

Excited to get there, get settled, and get to work … .

Planning and researching, in order to make work that bridges disciplines and methods of articulating ideas: through sound, in sculpture, talking with and about scientific explorations, drawing as a meditation and as a performance … and all of this engaged to one degree or another with the public realm.

Both in and of the community. Rooted in landscape as place and as source of natural phenomena.

All kinds of conversations here, but they are at base conversations between things and people.

And coincidentally, what should come to my inbox, but an article about Christo’s piers, and all the complicated things about this kind of work.

IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet
IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet

Food for thought …

You can find the full article here.

IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet
IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet

I was particularly struck by Hoy’s observations on the idealism of the work – particularly as it pertains to the recent Brexit, mobility, and migration (bodies in space) – and how this idealism comes up against the reality of work in public space, and that asks for public engagement directly.

(as a sidenote: I also find it interesting that Hoy mentions her Canadian roots, and the relative isolation of our huge country in relation to borders, boundaries, and movement … more food for thought here … does this explain my fascination with edges/boundaries, and with breaking them down or exposing them? is that a “terribly Canadian” thing I do?).

Hoy notes:

I doubt Brexit was on the minds of any of the thousands of people experiencing Christo’s magnanimous installation that Thursday. We were all too busy frolicking across the water, marveling at the scenery, and snapping selfies. And I’m sure any such symbolism was the furthest thing from the artist’s intentions—he and his late wife Jeanne-Claude first hatched the idea for the piers in the 1970s. “All the artwork Jeanne-Claude and I do is work of joy and beauty. They don’t serve anything except to be a work of art,” he said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in April.

and that

By a coincidence of timing, Christo’s Floating Piers became a symbol of how art can (quite literally) bring people together, but also how these connections are fraught. Soon, the piers will disappear and life on Lake Iseo will go back to normal. The EU will go back to normal, too, though we already know it won’t quite be the same.

At the risk of stating the obvious: context, scale, location … and fame … are markers that thoroughly differentiate my plans from this work entirely!

That being said: what has struck a chord for me is Hoy’s insights about both the impulse behind the work, and the potential for its lasting impact. I make work to speak about things in ways that (for me) defy the use of words exclusively; there are ideas I try to embody in the act of making and in the presentation of finished work that I hope people respond to viscerally.

A building, and a tearing down, simultaneously. Not without complications. A process that changes everyone involved and (hopefully) allows us all to see and experience things in the world  – and ourselves – a little differently.

Idealistic, yes. Unabashedly so – there’s more than enough in this world, including Brexit, to make us jaded and cynical.