Deadline approaching … a Call of Submissions

I posted about this a while ago – but I know how busy everyone is, so I thought it might be a good idea to post again, before the deadline is upon us all.

Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC is partnering with Latitude 53 Contemporary Visual Culture to present an art-and-activism themed exhibition in June 2017.

This exhibition will coincide with the CARFAC National Conference, which we are hosting in Edmonton this year, on June 3rd.

The goal is to present Alberta – Based Artists who address political issues/advocacy/representation of under-represented voices.

Here’s an image of the Call (and a PDF).

Feel free to pass on to any Alberta Visual Artists that you feel would be interested!

Get the PDF HERE:  Call-for-Submissions-Trumpet

Creating a RUCKUS, update!

I wrote last month about a dance/choreography project I am involved in – RUCKUS – and wanted to offer an update on Anastasia’s progress for funding this phase of the work.


The GoFundMe campaign has raised$1200 so far – which is exciting – HUGE THANK YOU to everyone that has supported this so far!

That $1200 is about 70% of the goal for the project – so, it’s doing well – but it’s getting down to the wire to make the last 30%, so that everyone involved can be paid properly for their work to make this project a reality.

This is a really exciting chapter in my practice, I would really love to be able to continue to work with these fine dancers and choreographers.


If you would like to help support this work, there’s still time to contribute (even the price of a coffee out will make a difference) –  our collective, RUCKUS-filled thanks.


IMAGE CREDIT: All Images,  Ernest at Studio E Photography

Me, Talking about Things

I’ve been invited to speak on my work as part of the Visiting Artist series at MacEwan University.  My thanks to MacEwan for hosting me, and to Bruce Montcombroux for the kind invitation!

Make:Believe, in four seasons

I’ll be discussing some of the ideas that have informed recent work, and (some) of the many questions I ponder in presenting work in various locales (galleries, ‘natural’ environments, domesticated landscapes), and how those works and spaces connect (or don’t).

Looking forward very much to hearing what the students have to say, and discussing their questions & ideas with them!


Helping to Create a RUCKUS!


I had the pleasure earlier this fall of working with Anastasia Maywood, Krista Posyniak, and Alison Kause (and a group of amazing dancers!) on a new dance work-in-progress called RUCKUS.


Anastasia has been given a residency by the Good Women Dance Collective in Edmonton to develop the work further, and has launched a GoFundMe Campaign to support the residency work, so that we can bring RUCKUS to life  as a more fully-developed work.


I am so excited by this collaborative process, and being able to create sculptural work specifically for people (dancers) to interact with has been both challenging and a whole lot of fun. What this work is teaching me about sculpture and space is invaluable, and I am working with some wonderful, intelligent and talented women in making this idea a reality.


If you would like to support this project, you can help Create a RUCKUS here!


IMAGE CREDIT: All Images,  Ernest at Studio E Photography

Going Away to Come Home

Like many people,  this past weekend I found myself more acutely aware of the many sorts of bounty that surround me, the many things for which abiding gratitude is necessary.


I spent a ‘working weekend’ surrounded by great company and sparsely beautiful countryside … and did a serious recharge in the process. (the amazing food shared by everyone out there this past weekend contributed to health, contentment, and gratefulness, to be sure)


I was sad to be away from home for Thanksgiving, but was very grateful for a final opportunity to work on my more local site-specific projects one last time before winter sets in, in earnest.


I had three goals in mind  for my time out at ‘The Farm’: to take stock of  what the last year has brought me & where things are going creatively, get on the far side of a nasty cold that threatened to eat my sinuses and brain, and at least get close to finishing a new sculptural work – Dervish Reach – I had started on site last month (more on that work soon) … .

As it turns out, I got an added bonus: I was finally able to see Make:Believe in snow! (A bit early for my liking, but at least the weather wasn’t very cold, and it was rather lovely)






Make:Believe has always had a stillness about it –  walking through the work, one becomes conscious of the way any activity in the surrounding landscape seems to fall away. I had wanted it to be a place that invited visitors of all species to pause – rest, play, wander – as they chose. As the work has grown over the years, this stillness has become more and more established, but the snow seemed to set it apart entirely.

I became deeply aware of this work as a space for quiet to be held and nurtured – a living reminder of how necessary it is to stop and be still now and again in order to appreciate more fully the gifts this life offers.

A productive weekend, in many ways.


How to Start


I attended a terrific panel discussion yesterday called “Draw More Income” as part of the AGM programming for Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC. We had a great range of speakers: Derek Besant, Lee Deranger, Brittney Tough, and Kari Woo. Each of them addressed the practicalities of how they made a ‘go of it’ as artists, and what obstacles and setbacks they faced.

A common thread in the discussion was lack of confidence and fear – these being negative mindsets that held them and other artists back from achieving the success they wanted in their careers.  So it seemed incredibly fitting that I should find this in my inbox this morning:

To survive in this high-pressured, crazy world, most of us have to become highly adept at self-criticism. We learn how to tell ourselves off for our failures, and for not working hard or smart enough. But so good are we at this that we’re sometimes in danger of falling prey to an excessive version of self-criticism … we need to carve out time for an emotional state of which many of us are profoundly suspicious: self-compassion. We’re suspicious because this sounds horribly close to self-pity. But because depression and self-hatred are serious enemies of a good life, we need to appreciate the role of self-care in a good, ambitious, and fruitful life.


It seems ridiculously obvious, but I do wonder how many of us in creative fields fall prey to exactly this type of thinking, and just how much it holds us back from all kinds of things.

Good food for thought.

Making Believe, Once Again

After a two-year hiatus due to numerous scheduling conflicts, I was at last able to revisit an ongoing project this weekend – one that is dear to my heart.

Spent an all-too-brief 24 hours out near Smoky Lake on “The Farm,” working on getting reacquainted with Make:Believe. I’ve written about this project several times, as it’s developed: 2011,  a  and several times in 2013 (1) (2) (3) … and every time I have the opportunity to work on this installation, I learn more.

It was fascinating to come back to this work, to begin the dialogue with it again. I had so many questions – I didn’t know what I would find, or even how to gauge the “success” of the work after being away from it for two years. We also spent some time on Friday night revisiting the original proposal and ideas around the work, to see if the still rung true.

A tremendously rich process.


The work was at least partially as I expected it – but it did need some serious attention. After so long, some of the branches had ‘sprung’ from their places the weaving, as they were held in place with linen cord, which had rotted away in place.  So I had some weaving to do!



Fortunately, the tunnels between the spaces were in pretty good shape, so there wasn’t too much that had to be done there ….



But I also wanted to add to the work on this trip, so I started in on a new tunnel and a couple of new spaces.




It was amazing to see the new height on much of the caragana after the time away – which made some of the new construction really quite easy. The extra reach afforded by the new growth allowed me to quickly connect and weave branches that I wasn’t able to before, without the need of cord to hold them. Remains to be seen if this is a more effective method of working than tying things together, but it felt really satisfying to be able to just work with the branches with no cord at all.



It had been so damp from the rain, there were mushrooms and fungus of all sorts everywhere in the stand! Made me think I was working in a Fairy Ring!




I was really happy with the results of the work out there, and I’m hopeful that I will be able to get out to the site a couple of times this autumn to continue expanding the project. I also set up a motion-triggered camera in the installation, which I am hoping will begin to capture the movements of animals though the spaces. When people aren’t around, it’s apparent that they use the spaces and tunnels between them to move from one part of the farm to another – so with a little luck, I’ll have a record of these travellers, just as they have something of a record of me in the place.

It’s good to pick up the conversation here. A quiet and productive time in a place that feels like it remembers me.


A thought or two on Idealism

My first full day in Nova Scotia – overnighted at the airport hotel, and will be heading to Day 1 of my residency at Main & Station in Parrsboro shortly!

Excited to get there, get settled, and get to work … .

Planning and researching, in order to make work that bridges disciplines and methods of articulating ideas: through sound, in sculpture, talking with and about scientific explorations, drawing as a meditation and as a performance … and all of this engaged to one degree or another with the public realm.

Both in and of the community. Rooted in landscape as place and as source of natural phenomena.

All kinds of conversations here, but they are at base conversations between things and people.

And coincidentally, what should come to my inbox, but an article about Christo’s piers, and all the complicated things about this kind of work.

IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet
IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet

Food for thought …

You can find the full article here.

IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet
IMAGE CREDIT: Hilda Hoy, as found on Artnet

I was particularly struck by Hoy’s observations on the idealism of the work – particularly as it pertains to the recent Brexit, mobility, and migration (bodies in space) – and how this idealism comes up against the reality of work in public space, and that asks for public engagement directly.

(as a sidenote: I also find it interesting that Hoy mentions her Canadian roots, and the relative isolation of our huge country in relation to borders, boundaries, and movement … more food for thought here … does this explain my fascination with edges/boundaries, and with breaking them down or exposing them? is that a “terribly Canadian” thing I do?).

Hoy notes:

I doubt Brexit was on the minds of any of the thousands of people experiencing Christo’s magnanimous installation that Thursday. We were all too busy frolicking across the water, marveling at the scenery, and snapping selfies. And I’m sure any such symbolism was the furthest thing from the artist’s intentions—he and his late wife Jeanne-Claude first hatched the idea for the piers in the 1970s. “All the artwork Jeanne-Claude and I do is work of joy and beauty. They don’t serve anything except to be a work of art,” he said in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera in April.

and that

By a coincidence of timing, Christo’s Floating Piers became a symbol of how art can (quite literally) bring people together, but also how these connections are fraught. Soon, the piers will disappear and life on Lake Iseo will go back to normal. The EU will go back to normal, too, though we already know it won’t quite be the same.

At the risk of stating the obvious: context, scale, location … and fame … are markers that thoroughly differentiate my plans from this work entirely!

That being said: what has struck a chord for me is Hoy’s insights about both the impulse behind the work, and the potential for its lasting impact. I make work to speak about things in ways that (for me) defy the use of words exclusively; there are ideas I try to embody in the act of making and in the presentation of finished work that I hope people respond to viscerally.

A building, and a tearing down, simultaneously. Not without complications. A process that changes everyone involved and (hopefully) allows us all to see and experience things in the world  – and ourselves – a little differently.

Idealistic, yes. Unabashedly so – there’s more than enough in this world, including Brexit, to make us jaded and cynical.