Welcome to the world of the Berm
In the Summer of 2006, poet Catherine Owen moved to a house in Millwoods, a suburb in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She thought it had a park at the back, but it turned out to be a berm – a hill designed to separate her neighbourhood from the sounds of the Whitemud Freeway. Both the word ‘berm’ and watching it, writing about it and eventually videotaping it became a daily obsession for her.
By late 2007, she began to collaborate on this project with visual artist Sydney Lancaster. Archives of Absence is the result: a meditation on landscape, the environment, notions of home/alienation and the transformations wrought through art.
This project was launched as a feature event of the Edmonton Poetry Festival in 2011 and included found object installation, gel transfer print works, video, and two handmade chapbooks of poems released by rednettle press: Berm, morning eclogues & Berm: a miscellany.
IMAGES from the Archives of Absence Project Launch.
This work – along with new additions to the project – was exhibited at the Naess Gallery in Edmonton in September 2012. Images of the work, below:
Catherine has produced a new series of video works for this project, viewable here.