FEARNEST

This piece was an ephemeral public art project created for the “Fires of Fear” sculpture exhibition at the Silver Skate Winter Festival in Edmonton in February 2013.  Several local artists participated in this event, which was a component of the cultural programming for the week-long festival. Each artist was given a set package of materials to work with, and had to complete a sculpture in roughly 8 hours – which was then burned that night, at a public event.

The “Fires of Fear” sculptures were thematically connected to a storytelling/folktale/theatrical performance event which culminated in the burning of effigies we had created – each of which was to depict something we “villagers” feared and sought to banish from our home, the “Village of Comfort”.

While far less tied to the specific site than EGG or Make:Believe, the Fear Nest did connect directly to them both in a variety of ways: the materials, the general form of the work, the connection to transformation and ritual, the references to enclosure/security/nurturance.  This piece was also a direct offshoot to the body of work I created in 2012 as Artist in Residence at Harcourt House Artist-Run Centre.

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It was a fun and challenging weekend of making – dealing with time limits and limited materials really forced us all to consider each step in the execution of these pieces carefully.

WORDWALL

This work was created the following year, for the “Fires of Knowall” sculpture exhibition at the Silver Skate Winter Festival in Edmonton in February 2014.  Four teams of local artists participated in this event, which was a component of the cultural programming for the week-long festival. Each team of artists was featured on one weekend day; my partner and I created WordWall on Sunday February 16th. We had from 9 am to roughly 7:30 pm complete the work – which was then burned that night, at a public event.

The “Fires of Knowall”  sculptures were thematically connected to a storytelling/folktale/theatrical performance event which culminated in the burning of effigies we had created. The story for 2014 revolved around the idea of breaking down barriers to understanding, and finding freedom and positive change through that process.

WordWall focussed on puns and wordplay: the exterior of the wall depicted the word kNOw, as a graphic representation of the negativity and limitations that can come with being rigid in one’s thinking.  Hidden within the kNOw wall was another panel of text, bearing the simple affirmation YES.  This word could only be seen/released by the fire that consumed the kNOw wall and caused it to fall away.

The slideshow below shows the life cycle of the WordWall, from construction of its components on site, to the storytellers procession, the ritual burning of the sculpture, and the ashes that remained at the end of the night. Caption provides photo credit.

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You can read more about the construction of WordWall here and here.