Macromareal (a rising tide lists all boats) approaches the tidal range of the Bay of Fundy and its documentation in tide tables and real data through a series of interrelated works that explore ways of understanding natural processes, and our relationship to those processes as perceived from different vantage points and through different scales of time. The history of human interaction with the Bay, including tide-related industries and oceanographic research in the Parrsboro area offered unique opportunities to create a body of work that explores the relationships between human actions, the coastal landscape, and tidal patterns and processes. Parrsboro’s proximity to the Fundy Geological Museum, the FORCE tidal power research station, the Ottawa House Museum, and Maritime Museum of the Atlantic presented further opportunities to investigate & incorporate both historical documents and current scientific research into our creative process. Moreover, the Bay and its tides also figure prominently in Mi’kmaw legend and story; this oral tradition situates geological history and processes firmly in the living memory of the Mi’kmaw, as known and understood history, independent of Western scientific ‘authority’ on the subject.
This is a collaborative project with composer and sound artist Scott Smallwood. MACROMAREAL developed over the course of two residencies (2016 & 2017) at Main & Station in Parrsboro, NS. Through the lens of the Fundy tides and their impact on a specific place (Parrsboro, NS), MACROMAREAL offers an opportunity to consider the different scales of time and memory we each experience (geological, tidal/celestial, transgenerational, diurnal, the brevity of a human lifespan), and the processes of change, loss, and transformation inherent in each of them.
By extension, MACROMAREAL draws attention to the intersection of human activities, time and the tidal environment, particularly the cyclic, durational aspects of living systems, human life, and work on or near tidal waters. Humans have sought to understand and harness the power of the world’s tides historically, and in the present; now more than ever, it is vital to understand our relationship to (and impact on) this immensely powerful natural phenomenon.
For 2017, we were both recipients of Nonesuch Fellowships: Scott Smallwood has received the 2017 Henning Bauer Fellowship for Music & Sound Art, and I have received the 2017 Esther Hageman Fellowship for Sculpture & Land Art.
We are grateful to Main & Station, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the University of Alberta for their financial support of this work, to The Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, especially Roger Marsters, PhD, Curator of Marine History, for their generous in-kind support, and the Parrsboro Community for encouragement and in-kind assistance: Judith Bauer, Harvey Lev, Randy Corcoran, Mary McPhee, and John Waldron for their assistance in the realization of this project; Susan Clarke and Lisa Miller at Ottawa House Museum, for their generosity with their time and collections, and for the in-kind support, and to the generous and adventurous local musicians who made “Macromareal Prelude: In Fog and Storm and Sunshine” a reality: Kyle Dinaut, Michael Fuller, Timi Levy, Jamie Oatt, Bruce Robertson, Joel Robertson, and Krista Wells.
The first exhibition of work from this project was presented at Main & Station Gallery in Parrsboro NS, summer of 2017, at the end of our second residency. In addition to the gallery exhibition, we presented a live performance of a score Scott wrote for the project.
Gallery 1: Rehearsal for “Macromareal Prelude: In Fog and Storm and Sunshine” at First Beach, Parrsboro NS, 5 August 2017
Gallery 2: Debut Performance, “Macromareal Prelude”, Nonesuch Centre for the Performing Arts, Parrsboro NS, 6 August 2017
Gallery 3: Exhibition Stills, Main & Station Parrsboro NS, 2017
Exhibition Walk-Through Video from Main & Station:
Video from Tidal Time Projection/ Installation from Main & Station:
The 2020 iteration of the project – presented at SNAP GALLERY in Edmonton AB – has evolved from additional research and subsequent presentations at the IAST (Interactive Art, Science, and Technology) Crossing Boundaries Symposium at University of Lethbridge (2018) and at Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2019). The resulting work combines new print work (principally cyanotype), found-object sculptural elements, video, and sound works to create a multi-layered environment that allows viewers to consider the interactions between human-built spaces and things, intertidal environments, and ocean ecosystems globally. Crucial to this exploration of place is the incorporation of different ways of knowing and understanding natural phenomena, and allowing space for connections between those types of knowledge to be come more apparent. We hope to create an opportunity for multiple truths to rub up against one another.
A short video walk through of macromareal (redux) at ~Diffuser Gallery, EUCAD, 2019.
Below, A gallery of work on exhibition at SNAP Gallery September 11 – October 10 2020.
The Artists Gratefully Acknowledge the Financial and In-kind support of: