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.

Slippages – video of the performance

Back in Edmonton now, doing some post-performance and post-Thanksgiving work: the “get yer ducks in a row” for the next work to be done.

Much to be thankful for, as always – being able to make work with talented collaborators, the opportunity to share ideas and approaches here and in person, the tremendous support I receive from my family and friends (without whom none of this would be possible).

So – a brief moment to take stock, and to share a link to the video of the performance shot for Livestream on October 5th.

Click on the IMAGE BELOW to go to the UBC School of Music’s video:

The Present is the Key to the Past: Glaciers, Scores, & Sound

Here’s a great little interview with Jonathan Girard and Deborah Carruthers about Slippages,and some of the thinking behind the work! Getting very very excited to see this all come together tomorrow. Enjoy!

Seeing Sound … and getting ready for Slippages

I’m in Vancouver now, and working on the last edits for the video work I am creating to accompany the world premiere of Slippages on October 5th.

image © 2018 Deborah Carruthers, used with permission

 

I am delighted to share UBC Orchestra Director Jonathan Girard‘s take on what we are doing:

“Deborah’s gorgeous score presents a thrilling challenge. How do we, as musicians, interpret visual art?” explained Girard.

“We want the music to speak to the cool beauty of the work, but also the ideas behind it: of flux, of change, of loss. Just as the natural world has a life of its own, a kind of agency apart from human influence, we want the music, through improvisation, to have a life of its own that goes above and beyond the performers.”

image © 2018 Deborah Carruthers, used with permission

 

For those of you not able to attend in person – the performance will be LIVE STREAMED – so I hope you have a chance to check it out!!

Getting very excited …

Exhibition Walk Through: MAKE=BELIEVE, in Archived Land – Terrain Archivé

There’s one more week to see Archived Land – Terrain Archivé at Jackson Power Gallery in Edmonton.

The show closes 5pm September 29th.  Gallery hours are by appointment (780-499-7635) during the week, and Noon – 5 pm on Saturday.

For those of you who can’t make it in person, here’s a short video walk-through of my installation, MAKE=BELIEVE. Hope you enjoy it. (turn ON your sound!)

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:

Archived Land – Terrain Archivé

I am very happy to say that I will be presenting some brand-new work in a group show coming up very soon!

Details below – I look forward to seeing anyone in the area who cam make it to the Opening Reception.

Exhibition hours after the Opening are listed in the invitation, or by appointment.


Exhibit image (altered): Provincial Archives of Alberta #GR1983.0421

Some information about the exhibition:

ARCHIVED LAND : TERRAIN ARCHIVÉ   at Jackson Power Gallery, Edmonton September 15 to 29

2ndfl, 9744 60 Ave, Edmonton, AB

Opening reception 7pm, September 14, 2018

Exhibit hours: Noon to 5pm

Saturdays and Sundays, September 15 to 29

Or by appointment: 780-499-7635

 

Jackson Power Gallery presents Archived Land : Terrain Archivé, the final exhibit before the gallery closes its doors.

Land holds memory: layered, fragmented, buried, or strongly etched.  It represents identity and connection to our own history and to those who came before us; a narrative landscape that intersects human experience and the natural world.

The gallery’s layout of separate but interconnected rooms forms an environment for individual artist’s interpretation of the theme, providing the visitor with the perception of movement through time and place.

Exhibiting artists:

BELLE//MONDO

Une initiative par collaborateurs/a collaborative initiative by:

Patrick Arès-Pilon & Conor McNally

BELLE//MONDO vous invite à rentrer dans un assemblage de photographie tirée de vrai pellicule diapo Ektachrome datant de 1997.  Cette oeuvre place un regard sur les environnements naturels et bâtis captée sur le territoire du traité numéro 6 incluant à Edmonton, Spruce Grove et La Sapinière en 2018.

BELLE//MONDO welcomes you to enter an immersive photography installation using vintage 35mm Ektachrome slide film (frozen since 1997). This collaborative work features layered sights of natural and built environments captured on Treaty 6 land in and around Edmonton, Spruce Grove & La Sapinière in 2018.

 

Paddy Lamb

Paddy considers himself to be a Canadian, Irish, Ulster Scots, Quaker, Huguenot, Celtic, Proto-Indo-European citizen of the world. His painting, drawing, and installation work acknowledges the role of landscape as a repository for our history, culture and collective memory, exploring the imprint of society on nature and how we form deep and lasting attachments to the land. His work is also a form of self-examination – a search for alternatives that continue to define his ‘sense of place’.

 

Sydney Lancaster

Sydney’s multidisciplinary practice explores the complicated position the individual inhabits in relation to ideas of place, land & ownership, and the ways in which both people and spaces are ‘written upon’ by larger social-political-cultural narratives over time. She is interested in the realities exposed by branches that only bend so far and how newer growth offers much more flexibility, but less strength for supporting weight.

Ultimately, her work is about how we understand and make sense of the land and the space between us.

 

Marlena Wyman

As a long-time archivist and now Edmonton’s Historian Laureate, Marlena Wyman’s art practice is informed by history, and her rural Alberta upbringing provides her with a deep connection to land.

We interpret our memories and identities in part through traces of past lives, whether of our ancestors or others. A haunting photograph or a handwritten passage in the diary or a letter of a long dead stranger can create a profound personal connection.

Some thoughts on leaving and coming back

I am preparing to fly West this afternoon, after a busy and very productive several months in various spots in Nova Scotia. A great residency with Scott Smallwood, and new work launched in Parrsboro, at Main & Station. The start of some new and exciting collaborations with Deborah Carruthers and with Susan Tooke.  Time to experiment with cyanotype processes, work on video and audio projects.  Time to hike, to make photographs, to think, to further the long-term process of healing my body (thank you Acupuncture and Massage Therapy!)

It feels like much more time has passed since I was last on ‘home turf’ – or rather, that the tempo and scale of time as I experience it has shifted in a fundamental way – and now I have to find my way back to something more familiar. Not quite there – and I think that’s a very good thing. VERY.

It was a good place and time to be reminded of the diverse (and often very difficult, painful) histories of any given place. How easy it is not to see that – how easy to get lost in the vast beauty of the place – any place – and look but not see. The beauty is part of those histories; it’s woven into the different scales of time inherent in that locale to be sure. Geologic time. Tidal Time. Seasonal Time. Mythic time. Colonial Time (a very slippery fish, this one). Settlement Time. Expulsion Time. Industrial Time. And on and  on … but make no mistake, there’s nothing linear about this.

The ‘present’ as we fashion it in any given moment is its own rabbit hole; a crucial vantage point (and obviously the only one available in a pragmatic sense), but it’s also a very troubled and troubling place from which to assess the relative value of most things and actions and ideas … . The popular narratives that tend to overwhelm all other chatter are still those that yoke the present to doing cartwheels toward the ‘somehow-better-future’. Because, of course  ‘things’ will be ‘improved.’ This is the wish, the hope, and the outcome to be willed into being, somehow.

And under it all, the land remains—a page upon which this story is “written, erased, rewritten,” as author Teju Cole put it. Only memory and history can interrupt this cycle of revision we commonly refer to as progress. And those interruptions are vital, absolutely necessary, if we are to navigate some way toward a better way of existence for ourselves (on all levels), and co-existence with all beings.

Remains to be seen how well I am able to carry these glimmers of understanding forward as I return to the familiar places and routines – but the intent (and hope) is there.  Patience, process, compassion.

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.

SO.

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

 

Generosity … and Many, Many Thanks

It’s been a remarkable time; the residency and performance, the talk, the exhibition … and now that it’s all done and packed up, a little time to reflect.

The first week was all about slowing down, getting reacquainted with the town and the land … shifting gears, not unlike the tides here do every 12 hours.

There’s a generosity to the pace of life in Parrsboro; in the Maritimes in general. There’s room enough and time enough to do what you need to do. It’s a precious thing. It’s also been really nice reconnecting with people I’d met last year, seeing friends who live in this part of the country, catching up on news, feeling welcomed. A good place to start getting myself sorted, to make work, gather ideas like I gathered materials … .

It’s been a summer notable too for the generosity of  several people that have left me feeling deeply grateful for the opportunity to be making work in this place.

So, this is a note of thanks, to many people, and on many counts:

To two lovely local visitors to my work space in the Nonesuch Centre for the Performing Arts (which was formerly Trinity United Church here in town).  Louis Heb came by to see what was happening, and shared stories about himself and his family’s connection to the church over the years: in particular a family member who was the church organist. Tom Hatfield came by too – he remembered attending Boy Scout meetings when he was a kid, in the same room I am working in now. He also remembered the organ, and the lovely acoustics. Both Louis and Tom were happy to see that the building was going to be saved, and taken care of, and used to bring people together again. It was a real gift to be offered these stories, and to see so directly the way in which the building still houses the memories of the community in an active way. It’s remarkable to be sharing the space with all of that history, and making work derived from the landscape and objects that come from the area.

Such an honour to be working in this beautiful place, and to be her at the start of a new chapter in its history

Things and places – like people – hold histories and memories of their own.

To Randy Corcoran, captain, amazing source of sea-and-boat-related stuff, and an artist in his own right. My hosts at Main & Station connected me to Randy after my residency last year, and he and I had been in touch over the winter about various materials and objects I was looking for to make sculptures. He’s a busy guy – doing charter boat tours and house painting in the summers – so I felt fortunate that he had a bit of time to spare to show me some of the things he’s gathered, and get his invaluable assistance in finding more materials and getting them to the studio.  It turned out that Randy had a great stash of things that were going to be really, really useful for this project, and he’d managed to get a lead on a key item I’d been searching for …

Captain Randy Corcoran, giving us an amazing tour of the Bay of Fundy! Such a fantastic experience!
Most of these buoys were donated to the performance of “Macromareal Prelude” by Randy. He and I are hoping to do more with them in the future!

Which brings me to thanking…

Donald McCully (the Fox) –  who really made my day by parting with an old hand sewn canvas sail that became a key part of the exhibition! I also got a look at the boat he built, and hear about the process of building it, and other stories besides.

An old canvas mainsail that now is part of the Macromareal story

To Judith & Harvey at Main and Station, who have been a vital part of this project since its very early days, and supported Scott and me by awarding us a research residency in 2016 and the residency & Fellowships this year to realize the project.

Harvey & Judith

To  Susan Clarke (curator) June Wagstaff (archivist),  and Lisa Miller (digital records/archives) at Ottawa House Museum. Thanks to you all for your support of this project!

Susan allowed Scott and I to do some field recordings at the Museum in 2016 that have made their way into the soundscape Scott created for our exhibition. She also allowed us to borrow a ship’s bell from the collection for the performance of “Macromareal Prelude” on August 5 & 6. June and Lisa have also been incredibly helpful to me in searching through the image archives and other holdings of the Museum.

The ship’s bell!

To Krista Wells, another local artist @ Artlab – for the scrap canvas I so desperately needed to repair the sail! AND for her excellent coffee and conversation over the month, and for being part of the “Macromareal Band” for our performance on August 6th!

To ALL the musicians, who made the premiere of “Macromareal Prelude” such a success: Kyle Dinaut  – tuba, Michael Fuller – baritone saxophone, Timi Levy – violin, Jamie Oatt – trumpet, Joel Robertson – clarinet, Bruce Robertson  – trumpet, Krista Wells – trombone

To Angela Glanzmann, friend and fellow artist, for documenting the performance, so that I could be an active participant.

To Nancy Agati and Sara McKarney – who were also on residencies this summer at Main & Station: thanks to you both for the great feedback and insight into the work, thanks for the laughs and the beach walks, and for being such great artists. You are both so inspiring.

Sara on an Beach Walk
Nancy and Scott on the day of our Bay of Fundy Boat Adventure

To Robert More at Parrsboro Creative & Tim Fedak at the Fundy Geological Museum for the support, encouragement, and feedback as this project evolved.

To Scott Smallwood, collaborator extraordinaire, colleague, and friend. Thank you for your hard work, generous sharing of ideas and knowledge, and for your faith in this project. It has been an honour and a pleasure to work with you … and I hope we can do more together SOON!

To John Waldron, inspirer and supporter of cross – disciplinary doing & making, partner, collaborator, teacher, and dearest of friends.

John

Couldn’t do any of this without you – thank you for showing me new ways to see and new ways to think about the world.

So – thank you all, again – and thanks to everyone else that has been a part of this adventure: friends new and old – some of whom came to town while we were there – Emily Jan & Marie-Eve Martel (!) …

Marie-Eve and me … looking a bit like the monster in the background!
Emily on our beach combing trek to Diligent River

 

… and to visitors to the exhibition who stayed to chat, and the community of Parrsboro for being our home for a bit.

I hope everyone has a lovely long weekend!