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!)


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!

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.

Phew! NEST has opened, and I think I’m starting to decompress a bit ….

I feel a bit like I’m lost in a haze just now …

NEST  opened last night at Harcourt House. I also presented an artist talk on the work and the residency – which I understand from others was reasonably coherent – I don’t really know, it was a bit of a blur to be honest!

Icarus Car also opened last night in the Front Room gallery at Harcourt – a really great collection of video work – I recommend it highly! Check out Evann Siebens‘ website or Keith Doyle‘s website for more of their work.

It was a long three days installing Monday through Wednesday of this week, but the work went steadily, and generally without any horrendous hitches. I had some fantastic help from friends, so that made the work and any issues we did have much easier in so many ways. All in all, I’m really happy with the show … so exciting to see the work in a proper gallery setting for the first time! One of those truly happy moments – when I was able to look at all the work, installed, and see it look very much like I anticipated it would. Who knew – it worked out the way I’d hoped after all!

For those of you farther afield who might be interested – some photos I took today, of the work in situ:

I had a sample of the chapbook on display as well, and the response has been great so far! So happy to see that project take flight, and have positive feedback about the book on all counts: design, the prints, and of course Catherine’s beautiful poems.
I also had a number of inquiries about sales –  both for the book and for work in the exhibition – so I thought I would post a note about all of that here too, so anyone that was interested could follow up on the contact page here … to wit:
The chapbooks are $40.00 CAD each, for the duration of the exhibition (October 18 – November 24 2012). After that, the price goes up (assuming any of the books are left!)

All of the work in the gallery is also for sale.

If you are interested in purchasing a book or some work, contact me DIRECTLY, and we can make arrangements. As an artist-run space, Harcourt House doesn’t deal with any of the commercial aspects of exhibiting art … so, that part of things happens one-on-one with me.

I’m looking forward to taking a day or two off  – time to sleep, regroup a bit … catch up on all the glamorous things in life (like laundry!), and look towards the next set of things to be done (some neat new project coming down the pipe … more on that later!). First things first though: my next art-related task is emptying and cleaning the A.I.R. studio! I have NO idea how I’m going to fit everything into my little space (having more than double the studio space for a year has really got me spoiled – and working LARGER than ever before!) But, those are really questions for another day.

Just now, it’s time to sleep.

Just a few days … !!

Started installing NEST today at Harcourt House. Exciting!

So, far, things are going smoothly … still a fair bit to do over the next couple of days, but overall I’m happy with the progress so far.

Also had a quick visit from Catherine Owen this past weekend – she was in town for the launch of her latest book, Trobairitz. The added bonus to Cath’s visit (aside form a stellar reading at the Edmonton Launch of her book!) is that she was able to sign all 50 copies of the limited edition chapbook NEST{types} that we have produced together.


So … the book will be available through me directly, starting October 18th at the Opening Reception of NEST. You can contact me directly here if you’d like a copy too!


The books will be at a special launch-only price of $40 on October 18th.

… and now, I must get back to the talk I need to get into shape before Thursday night! EEP!

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 …

time of a different order of magnitude …

Obviously, any hope I had of updating here on a regular basis proved fruitless.

Still, the last few months have been immensely productive on a number of levels, so it’s really all good in the long run.

A number of things coming down the pipe:

–  It looks as though the chapbook for the Archives of Absence project I am working on with Catherine Owen will be coming together (literally, physically!) in the next little while. Had a marvelous meeting with Catherine and our publisher, Trisia Eddy (the genius behind Red Nettle Press) back in May – and things are shaping up well. We’ve picked paper, figured out binding options, got the final layout sorted … so now the birthing begins in earnest for Trisia!  I am so very excited by this project, and can’t wait to see the final result. I think it is going to be really beautiful as an object, and as a book.  It is so rewarding to work with people from totally different areas of creative activity, and be able to share ideas and and create something larger than the sum of its parts.

– The second (and third) parts of Archives of Absence are coming together very well also. I have finished over 30 gel transfer works on board for the gallery-based portion of this work, and am slowly wrapping my head around the arcane workings of Final Cut Express to get the video portion of the beast together. Have some more photographic work to do when I get back to Edmonton, and reacquaint myself with the Berm in all its vacant oddness, and need to resolve, once and for all, the best way to deal with the collection of objects, and what the archive will itself look like.  It’s coming together, and I’m looking forward to finishing all the components and seeing it as a coherent whole.

 – I have collected a vast array of wonderful bits in my time in Halifax: bones, bird wings, rusty metal things (many, many rusty things!), all of which will be returning to the Prairie with me all too soon. They will be fuel for the fire on the creation of a new body of work coming out of this year away.

– Plans are afoot and sample works have been created for a collaborative project with visual artist and art historian Kristen Hutchinson. This installation-based work is titled In Living Memory, and will deal with the way in which memory is presented publically – as memorialization – in graveyards, and what happens when there’s no one left to remember those passages.

– I will be traveling to Toronto next week to plan, plot, scheme, and generally hammer out another collaborative project for exhibition with my friend David Young.  This work (as yet unnamed) is going to be a process-based installation, exploring some ideas we have around parallel narratives and the conjunction of physical change, memory, and narrative processes … the constant becoming of all these things. It will be exceedingly interesting for both of us, I think, to work through our ideas in relation to our different (but related) methods of working.

 – Received some very happy news when I was back in Edmonton in May: my exhibition proposal for Profiles Gallery in St. Albert has been accepted for December 2011 – January 2012. SO … I know I have a good bit to think about and plan (and execute!!) over the next couple of years.

 – Had a piece accepted for the next Edmonton Timeraiser.  A great opportunity, and a very worthy project! 

– have been working on various grants, residency applications, exhibition proposals, and so on. Crossing fingers (and toes and anything else I can!) that some of these bear fruit.

Hmm … I guess I understand why I haven’t been keeping this updated regularly.