Nests! at TIX!

I am very happy to let you know that TIX on the Square in Edmonton, AB is carrying some of my limited-edition artist books!

NEST {types} is a collaborative work, with lovely poems written by Vancouver-based poet Catherine Owen, and hand carved linocut prints by me. Each print/poem pairing revolves around a particular type or shape of nest: cup, saucer, scrape, burrow, and so on.


I printed and bound only 50 books; the linocuts were printed on rice paper, and the text is printed on eco-friendly straw paper; cover stock is FSC-certified. Hand-bound with unbleached linen cord.



Get in touch with the lovely people at TIX if you’d like a copy – they are perfect gifts!

‘Tis the Season for Giving … local Art

Yes, this is shameless promotion time.

I have some things I’d like to share with you, that I hope you buy from me, to give as gifts to people in the next while.

First off, I have some lovely hand-bound poetry books that would like to have new homes.

... and the finished product! 10" x 8.5", text stock is 80% wheat straw; block prints are on rice paper; 65 lb FSC certified cover stock. 50 numbered copies.
… and the finished product! 10″ x 8.5″, text stock is 80% wheat straw; block prints are on rice paper; 65 lb FSC certified cover stock. 50 numbered copies.

Text by award-winning Vancouver poet Catherine Owen; 7 hand-pulled block print illustrations by me. I carved the blocks, printed the images on rice paper, the text on straw paper, and bound the books. Limited edition of 50.

Seven Limited Edition, hand carved and pulled block prints of Nests will be in the chapbook ...
Seven Limited Edition, hand carved and pulled block prints of Nests will be in the chapbook …

The poems are based on the seven basic building forms that birds use to build nests, and deal with love and the work of living and caring for one another in ways that are insightful, and always threaded through with a keen understanding of human relationships.

$50 each, shipping via Canada Post extra (if needed).




I also have a new series of photo-based work I’ve just put up at Credo on 104th Street in Edmonton AB. These are a selection urban/street based images I’ve been collecting for the last several years: quirky little moments from various cities in Canada.

Manipulated digital images printed on mylar and archival fine art photo paper, framed and ready to hang. These are non-editioned images, so if you want something in a different size, get in touch, and we can talk.

Prices range from $45 – $90, shipping via Canada Post extra (if needed).


But there is a point to me telling you about these things, beyond the possible sale …

Buying from the maker of the goods you choose gives both buyer and seller so much more than just the positive conclusion to a mutually agreeable monetary transaction.

You have the option to get to know the person who made the thing you like a little better – find out the story behind the item you like.

The thing you choose will be unique in some way; it’s not going to be one of several million items produced in a factory. It comes from a different kind of economy, and a different understanding of ‘value.’

You know that the money you spend is going to support the effort of someone trying to make a living from making. From self-employment in creative work. Local workers making local products.

Props to the many Maker’s Markets and Farmer’s Markets her and elsewhere that serve as venues for makers of all types … all those places where people gather to show and sell what they make – and make the cities they make in a little bit more awesome all the time.

(ok – my mini rant is over … and I hope you consider purchasing gifts for people  throughout the year from local artists and artisans. It matters!)


A Small Exhibition & Sale: Archives of Absence out in the world again

I am showing some of the work from the Archives of Absence project at Credo in Edmonton over the next while. The work went up this past Friday (February 22nd), and will be up for a few weeks.

It’s good to have this work out in the world again – it’s always good to revisit projects after a while away, I think, to see if they still ‘ring true’ for starters, but also to see what new things can be learned from them.

Berm: Epilogue
Berm: Epilogue

I certainly understand the importance of this project to my practice in a new way now. Archives of Absence really marked a shift in materials for me, and the dawning of my understanding of how crucial the specificity of place was to the way I make work. This project was also a very dynamic collaboration between me and (the very gifted) poet Catherine Owen, which brought my attention back to  the beauty of words and the joy of writing after a many-years distance. You can read more about the project, and all of its components here and here.

Berm: Further Liminalities
Berm: Further Liminalities

I really enjoy many of the images that came out of this project – and I hope the people who come and go at Credo enjoy them as well.

Berm: Fragments
Berm: Fragments

New Archives of Absence Video

My co-conspirator in the Archives of Absence project, Catherine Owen, recently passed on a link to some re-worked Berm video footage.

Lovely to have the visuals combined with the pleasure of hearing the writing performed.

There are other ‘Berm’ Videos up on Catherine’s Youtube channel … have a peek.

Exhibition is installed … Opening Tomorrow!

I’ve had a great week in Toronto so far.

The exhibition installation has gone really smoothly, and Rochelle and Jessica have been so great to work with! It’s been delightful getting to know them, and working in the gallery.
It’s a really nice space, and it’s been really exciting to see the show take shape.
SO! Tomorrow’s the big day …
21st Century Nesting Practices opens Friday, February 1, at 7 pm.
I thought I’d give everyone a little sneak peek – I know there are some people out in the wide world that wanted to see the work, but weren’t able to make the trek to Toronto to do it …
a view of some of the work in the gallery ...
a view of some of the work in the gallery …
some of the photographs: digital prints, archival, on 100% cotton paper
Installation view of the video projection …
It’s a diverse show: photographs, gel transfers on birch panel, drawings, sculpture, video, and some of the limited-edition chapbooks that Catherine Owen and I created, called NEST {types} … showing some newly-made work here too … part of the ongoing development of this project that had its start during my residency at Harcourt House. Good to see this body of work grow and shift; I still learn something new from it every day … and find out a more about what I want to say too. The adventure continues …
Hope to see some of you tomorrow!

A word or two from Catalysts …

A video clip (courtesy Wolsak & Wynn) of our reading from Catalysts in Toronto this past spring.



Nice to be able to see this from the ‘other side’ … and to remember how great it felt to be bringing the Archives of Absence project out into the world in yet another way.

If anyone’s interested in having these words on their very own bookshelves, contact me … .


Artist Books, Bound for Glory …

I’ve had a lovely invitation.

There’s an exhibition of handmade, artists’, and altered books opening next week at the Nina Haggerty Centre here in Edmonton, and NEST {types} will be part of the show.

I’m really delighted that the book will be in this exhibition!

… I have a serious weak spot for work of this nature, and always have. There’s something so satisfying about the sensual experiencing of books as objects; it’s all about the small things that make them so special. The feel and smell of a particular paper, the textures and colours of the materials used to bind it and ornament it. Altered and artists’ books are even more fascinating to me: individual rabbit holes of making and re-visioning an object that has (up until recently) been a large & fundamental part of our lives.

And perhaps that’s the other thing that makes work like this – and working like this, in this form in particular – so interesting and satisfying to me. The idea of the book, and it’s reality as a ‘given thing’ in our world is much less ‘given’ than it was even 10 years ago, particularly in Canada. Small independent presses are closing, independent bookstores are closing … and with them, places where works like this that explore conveying ideas in some unique way can have a platform.  But – and this is an important ‘but’ – there are still many place and people who appreciate the artistry that goes into books of all kinds.

And that, to me, is a happy thing!

Books make us stop for a moment – slow down – foster sensory input in different ways. Books are tactile, olfactory, visual … sensual delights that reward us over and over again if we take but a moment to unplug and slow down, just a little.

So, if you’re in the Edmonton, Alberta area – pop by the Nina Haggerty Centre (a great organization that does great things for the community in Edmonton) to see Bound for Glory, and NEST {types} … and enjoy a moment or two with all the books in the exhibition.

Books! Printed, Collated and Bound!

I’ve always been a sucker for paper, pens, letterpress … all the delightful things that keep reading and writing an immediate and tactile experience. I’m a bit of a Luddite or a throwback I guess, but there is something utterly irreplaceable and so very delicious about hand writing a letter with a fountain pen … holding and reading a real book, and smelling the fresh ink-and-paper smell when it’s opened for the first time.

So really, it should be no surprise at all for me to discover that I adore bookbinding.

I have had the honour and pleasure to collaborate with poet Catherine Owen for several years now (her blog is here – and well worth a read!); this latest incarnation of our work together is a chapbook, revolving around – you guessed it – nests. Catherine has written some beautiful nest poems over the last year; her wondrous words and my images (based on the nest forms she used in the poems) come together here.

This little volume with be available for purchase October 18th, at the Opening Reception of NEST, my Residency exhibition at Harcourt House. I was going to wait a bit to show the world  – but I’m really pleased and excited by the results, so it’s Preview Time!

Some images of  the chapbook, NEST {types} :

Seven Limited Edition, hand carved and pulled block prints of Nests will be in the chapbook …
… how I spent my Sunday … collating pages before binding the book. Good thing we’ve got a large dining table!
… and the finished product! 10″ x 8.5″, text stock is 80% wheat straw; block prints are on rice paper; 65 lb FSC certified cover stock. Bound with unbleached linen cord. 50 numbered copies.

I’m happy with the way the entire project turned out – and looking forward to doing more in this vein over the coming years.

This particular project has been both a fitting close and an opening out: I am a little less than a month away from the exhibition of NEST and the end of that year-long process. That reality also marks  an entry into the next phase in the project (nope it’s not over yet!!), in which I will develop more visual work, but also turn my attention to writing, and to working with Catherine further to see what evolves in this body of work.

Looking forward, always, to the adventure …

Archives … exhibition reception this Saturday

In amongst all the other things going on just now, I have a small exhibition up in the Naess Gallery at the Paint Spot. It’s a nice little space, and an ideal size to show the Archives of Absence work as it has evolved since its initial birthing into the world at the Edmonton Poetry Festival in 2011.

Some new work in the mix, and I’m really happy with how they are hanging together with the original pieces in the series.

So, if you’re looking for a way to spend a little time this Saturday (September 15), and you’re in Edmonton, drop by the reception for Archives of Absence at the Naess Gallery – 10032 – 81 Avenue. I’ll be there from 2 – 4 pm, and there will be coffee, tea, and nibblies.


Much Afoot …

Well, it’s been very  – very – busy in the studio lately!

Seems as though I’m actually making some headway though, so that’s a good thing … the last push before the exhibition in October continues, with some interesting related-but-slightly-tangential-to-the-moment projects along the way, for good measure (just in case I felt like I needed more work to keep me busy … sheesh).

The sculptural pieces I want to include in the Residency exhibition in October are nearing completion (phew~!!), and I am really quite happy with the results as they stand just now. Some tweaking and fine tuning to still do, but overall, things have worked out as I wanted and expected them to (no small sigh of relief there).

I have also been writing, and working on writing-related things … since October 3, 2011, I have been collaborating with Catherine Owen on a sustained project related directly to the work I’ve been doing in the studio: we have been co-writing a poem … and we just finished it! The piece is 50o lines long … yup, TWO zeroes there … 250 lines each, alternating, for almost a year. The idea for this project came from Catherine’s discovery that it can take up to 500 trips for a bird to find the material it needs to complete a nest. So, from this “500 lines about Childhood –  or  – It Can Take One Bird Up to 500 Trips to Complete a Nest” was born. It is by turns funny, quirky, eccentric, painful … all the things childhood is and can be – and has been – for both of us. An incredibly powerful experience to write this with Cath, and I am very grateful to her for suggesting it – and for being such a great support and inspiration throughout.  The work in its entirety will be incorporated into a sculpture I am presenting next month.  Images to follow … just not yet!

I’ve also been working with Catherine on another poetry project that will see the light of day at the October exhibition of NEST – we are producing a chapbook of Catherine’s poems and my block prints! NEST {types} is the title of this little book, and it includes a selection of nest poems written by Catherine Owen, and a limited edition series of hand carved block prints of different nest types created by yours truly. I am really excited about this chapbook – both  the writing and the prints – and am having a delightful time putting it all together.

Some pictures  – not the best – but to give you a hint of what’s in store when it all comes together:

The cover of the Chapbook, featuring a block print of a magpie nest, created and photographed for the book
The set of seven block prints that will accompany the nest poems. The nests you see represented here are the following Birds: Eagle, Blackbird, Grosbeak, Marsh Wren, European Bee Eater, and Weaver.


Carving the blocks for this project was a wondrous experience for me – a lovely combination of the things I love best: drawing, sculpture, and printing (which I haven’t done in any concerted way since printshop class in high school – which I loved!). And to be honest, I just love working with my hands – the making of doing this was so incredibly satisfying. And at the end of the day, being able to see this set of 350 prints (7 prints, 50 copies of the chapbook being created), finished and ready to be bound into the chapbook, was one of the most satisfying moments I think I’ve ever had.

More to come … soon!