New things coming …

It’s been a head-down, get-things-done time for several months now. Board work, projects in various stages of development requiring attention, travel,  … and soon, an exhibition of work.

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity to return to the Boundary|Time|Surface project over the last several months – digging back into the images and video, thinking through the ideas again, making new work.

And soon, the results of that revisiting will be on exhibition at the Art Gallery of St. Albert! 

The exhibition opens on September 5 2019, at 6:00 pm. – and continues until November 2 2019.

It has been a really interesting process to look at this body of work with the fresh eyes of time and distance, and to consider the ways in which my perceptions of the place and the thoughts it provoked have both changed, and stayed the same. Interesting too, that many of the concerns I had that were brought to bear on the first iteration of work for gallery presentation have only become more urgent – closer to the bone for me.

Every time I look at the photos and video I took in 2014 during my residency in Gros Morne National Park, I learn something more. About myself and what I value as a human being, as much about the nuances in the place itself. It was good and difficult work to go back into the material, push harder with research and art-making both, and consider the implications of bringing this work (in essence) almost all the way across the country for a second showing.

A good friend and fellow artist asked me once “when do you know the work is finished?” For this body of work … I don’t know that I will ever be “finished” – at the least, not with the ideas inherent in the project. But I am, overall, happy with the results of reading and writing and running down rabbit holes of ideas that has been going on for the past year.

SO – this exhibition with feature a good bit of brand-new work, and those pieces from 2016 that ‘made the cut’ will have new conversations and readings in relation to what I’ve been working on/through.  This is also the first time this work (in any iteration) had been shown west of Newfoundland … so even “old” work feels new in this context.

I hope those of you reading this in the Edmonton, Alberta, Canada region will join me at the opening (more exciting news on that to follow soon!) …  hope to see you there.

Opening Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivé

Had a lovely time at the Opening Reception for Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivé this past Friday night.

A HUGE Thank You to everyone that came out on a busy evening, with less than ideal weather!

We all had a busy night; lots of lovely conversations, and thoughtful comments. The best way to launch new work into the world.

I was also really happy that the lovely humans that have supported this project from the outset – and on whose land the original living installation sits – were able to attend and see this first foray into taking the MAKE=BELIEVE project into a different context! looking forward to lots of chats and feedback from them on this exhibition!

For those of you who weren’t able to be there last Friday: Archived Terrain – Terrain Archivé is up until 5pm September 29th. Regular hours are NOON – 5pm, Saturdays and Sundays – other times by appointment.

I will be gallery sitting on Sunday, September 23rd, NOON – 5pm, if you want to visit!

Some images of my installation/room below:

Sherds Shards Shorelines

Some simple, beautiful work here. A thoughtful dialogue with the land, and our impact upon it as part of an ongoing process of creation …. and destruction. Here, as in all things, we truly do reap what we sow. Nice to know that occasionally that the product can also be beauty.

And the Tide Turns

I’ve been hunkered down and quiet the last while, for a number of reasons.

Travel – back west and then back east – for the AGM of Visual Arts Alberta – CARFAC, and for a memorial service in Calgary.

Work – finishing up some experiments in cyanotype (!), and writing a grant report.

Taking a little time to catch up on all the reading I’ve been wanting to do for months now, and doing some thinking about new projection the horizon.

And (finally), doing an update on a portfolio page on my website.


Now that all of that is sorted, here’s the (long overdue) update – the “How I Spent My Summer” edition (click the pic!):


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!


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.


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.





Upcoming Residency and Workshop

I will be heading out to the East Coast soon!

I’ve been  accepted to a 2 week Research and Development Residency for a new project in Nova Scotia.

I’ll be in Parrsboro, on the shores of the Bay of Fundy for a couple of weeks – excited to be spending some time on this beautiful shore again, and looking forward to getting up to Joggins as well, to visit the Fossil Cliffs and The Fossil Centre there too!

While I’m out there, I will be conducting a 2-session workshop on Gel Transfer Printmaking at Main & Station, who are the lovely folks who offer the Residency program I will be attending.

Gel Transfer Workshop Poster DRAFT 2.pages

Looking forward to getting started on this new project, and to facilitating the workshop.

If you’re going to be in the Parrsboro area July 13 – 15, I hope you can join us at Main & Station!