Sharing … at a Safe Distance

It’s been quiet here in some ways – and definitely not in others! Whilst we have all been minimizing our in-person contact with friends and colleagues (well ok, with EVERYONE!) for the last few weeks, there’s been a flurry of activity behind the scenes regarding advocacy and support initiatives of various sorts. It’s been confusing at times, and much has happened very quickly – so it’s been challenging to keep up and understand what is relevant to my profession as an independent visual artist, and to the sector as a whole.

Happily, CARFAC Alberta and CARFAC National have been doing a fantastic job of compiling and distilling information as it becomes available, and advocating for appropriate support for our sector. I have never been more grateful for the work these organizations do to support artists and advocate on their behalf. As a board member in both, I continue to offer my time and effort to help them help all of us.

If you want to chat about what’s available, what you are facing, and what CARFAC is doing, I’ll be part of an online session on MAY 2, from 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm MDT

Join CARFAC Alberta for a SATURDAY ZOOM ENGAGEMENT…
What CARFAC is doing for Visual Artists during COVID -19
Hosted by Chris W. Carson: Executive Director, CARFAC Alberta and guest Sydney Lancaster: CARFAC National Board Member and Alberta Representative on the CARFAC National Board.

The ZOOM coordinates are here:

Join Zoom Meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87871667746
Meeting ID: 878 7166 7746

I hope to see & hear from you then!

Being Resourceful

We are all hunkering down – making the best of social distancing, of being at home (the privilege of those of us that can work from home … or find themselves now out of work).

We are reading, making art, caring for and educating children, caring for friends and others at a distance, going for walks, venturing out as little as possible otherwise … life, in silos.

Those of us facing down this strange time in human history by removing ourselves from the community (or being removed through unemployment) are where we need to be right now, for the protection of everyone, not just ourselves.

So it’s a ‘social good’ – but the varying degrees of lockdown across the country also mean that people with precarious incomes – like artists – have seen the income from their practices all but disappear, and the gig work they do to make ends meet has evaporated.

It’s still not clear (to me at least) where people that had ‘potential’ income that has dried up will fit into federal and provincial relief programs … hopefully that information will be forthcoming soon.

So – WE HAVE TO BE PREPARED.

Yes, that’s right … just when you hoped to avoid paperwork for a a while, since the deadline for tax filing has been deferred … you need to keep track of ALL the income you have lost.

It’s ain’t sexy or glamorous – and might be a bit depressing – but it is SO NECESSARY right now. By tracking our losses, we can provide an accurate picture of the financial impact of the pandemic for workers who don’t “fit” into the regular systems of income-generation and accounting.

There are many of us – so it’s vital that we have the facts to hand, so the case can be made.

Here are some tools & other resources to help:

Stay safe, take care of your self and each other. And do your paperwork! :)

A Talk September 14th

Now that the dust has settled from the Opening of Boundary|time|Surface, I am happy to say that Dr. John Waldron and I will be presenting a talk on the project, and the ideas behind our collaboration!

This Saturday, September 14, at 2pm – if you’re in the area, please join us at the Art Gallery of St. Albert for our discussion:

“Boundary|Time|Surface:

Art and Geology in Dialogue”

Just a Few More hours …

Well.

Here we are – a few hours from the opening reception to Boundary|Time|Surface.

This still point in the process always feels a little surreal. So much goes into the making of an exhibition. In this case, 5 years from the original project to now; at least a solid year of research and work in the studio; lots of challenges, changes, and rewards along the way.

Am I nervous? Yes, to be honest. I feel far too close to the work to be able to assess its merits at this point … one tends to dwell on the things that only hindsight reveals. But here we are.

It’s all process anyway – every work and every exhibition speaks to what is next, and new ways of doing.

At any rate, if you are around in the area, please join us tonight. It would be lovely to see you.

New things coming …

It’s been a head-down, get-things-done time for several months now. Board work, projects in various stages of development requiring attention, travel,  … and soon, an exhibition of work.

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to return to the Boundary|Time|Surface project over the last several months – digging back into the images and video, thinking through the ideas again, making new work.

And soon, the results of that revisiting will be on exhibition at the Art Gallery of St. Albert! 

The exhibition opens on September 5 2019, at 6:00 pm. – and continues until November 2 2019.

It has been a really interesting process to look at this body of work with the fresh eyes of time and distance, and to consider the ways in which my perceptions of the place and the thoughts it provoked have both changed, and stayed the same. Interesting too, that many of the concerns I had that were brought to bear on the first iteration of work for gallery presentation have only become more urgent – closer to the bone for me.

Every time I look at the photos and video I took in 2014 during my residency in Gros Morne National Park, I learn something more. About myself and what I value as a human being, as much about the nuances in the place itself. It was good and difficult work to go back into the material, push harder with research and art-making both, and consider the implications of bringing this work (in essence) almost all the way across the country for a second showing.

A good friend and fellow artist asked me once “when do you know the work is finished?” For this body of work … I don’t know that I will ever be “finished” – at the least, not with the ideas inherent in the project. But I am, overall, happy with the results of reading and writing and running down rabbit holes of ideas that has been going on for the past year.

SO – this exhibition with feature a good bit of brand-new work, and those pieces from 2016 that ‘made the cut’ will have new conversations and readings in relation to what I’ve been working on/through.  This is also the first time this work (in any iteration) had been shown west of Newfoundland … so even “old” work feels new in this context.

I hope those of you reading this in the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada region will join me at the opening (more exciting news on that to follow soon!) …  hope to see you there.

Macromareal (redux) – some images

After a whirlwind – and lovely – trip to Vancouver to install Macromareal(redux) at ECUAD, Scott and I are back in Edmonton and digging into all the other work we have to do.

Part of that for me has been editing the first batch of documentation from this exhibition, so I can share it with you.

So – without further hoopla:

macromareal redux walk thru from Sydney Lancaster on Vimeo.

And here are a few stills, for good measure!

Talking, Tomorrow …

Just back from a whirlwind trip to Vancouver with my friend & collaborator Scott Smallwood – we installed Macromareal(redux) at Emily Carr for a month-long exhibition, and spoke to some of the students there.

Not sure I’ve caught my breath – but tomorrow (February 28) I will be speaking again, with another collaborator, about another project – this time, at the University of Alberta.

At 6pm, Dr. John Waldron and I will be speaking about our project, Boundary|Time|Surface, as part of the LASERAlberta series of talks on art/science collaborations.

 

I am really grateful & excited to have this opportunity to share this project with the wider community here – and I’m really looking forward to the feedback and discussion!

You can find more info about the talk & the project here … .

If you are in the neighbourhood, please join us!

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!

Digging in Again … B|T|S

Been a busy busy Autumn – two exhibitions. travel to Lethbridge & Nova Scotia, Board work with CARFAC and Copyright Visual Arts

http://www.carcc.ca/en/mainhttps://www.carfac.cahttps://www.carfacalberta.com

… and now, I get to seriously “dig in” in the studio in the coming months, and revisit Boundary|Time|Surface! Very excited to be looking at this body of work again with fresh eyes, and to being to create new work for it, in anticipation of exhibition in the Fall of 2019 at the Art Gallery of St Albert.

I was also surfing through the EGU website today – the call for new abstracts for 2019 just hit my inbox.

This prompted the surf, and a bit of a walk on memory lane: John and I presented on Boundary|Time|Surface at the European Geosciences Union in Vienna a few years ago, and it was a wonderful experience.

In browsing the EGU site, I also came across this – a lovely blog post about the session convenor’s response to our project. It brought back the very lively discussions we had with so many people at our poster – about scientific discourse, about place and memory, about the ways in which human definitions and descriptions of things and places  can create (and erase!!) different kinds of understanding. Different ways of seeing.

Looking forward to investigating this gloriously complicated place and all my ideas about it.

Off to the studio!