It seems growth and change are afoot in almost every way imaginable.
Last night, the province in which I live held a remarkable election, with results that have transformed the political landscape here – and certainly made history. A blast of fresh Spring air in this place.
I’ve been back for a couple of weeks from Vienna, recovered from the jet lag and hit the ground running; digging into a big new project that has me very excited: York:Moments. A project that revolves around reclaiming the history of a place and a neighbourhood, gathering stories and memories with a community. A new life of sorts for streets and empty spaces that allow them in some small way to live again through images and (re)tellings … making a place that no longer exists live again.
These things are about potential, about working and building new things out of the old, and saving what’s precious in one way or another … just like the birds do each year:
Here, a nest within a nest. A bird decided that one of my nest sculptures would be a good spot to build a new home, perhaps.
It remains to be seen what will come of these various activities – for me and for the birds.
But I do know that right now, starting new things and seeing change unfold is exactly what has to happen. It’s Spring (even if the snow today would have us believe otherwise).
Feeling a bit like I’m juggling, but also really happy with the way the summer is shaping up!
Final work and preparations for the exhibition of YORK are going really well; Marian picked up a big print order the other day, and we were both tremendously pleased with how everything looks! Also just about finished the last details on some casting I’ve been doing for the exhibition, and I picked up some shelves and brackets we had fabricated this morning – and they look great!
… I am hoping to create a bit more breathing space in my world to do some writing over on the York Project Blog soon … have a good many thoughts burbling about, waiting to see the light of day. But for now …
I’m on the road again!
I am heading to the CARFAC National Conference early tomorrow morning – and really looking forward to it. It will be excellent to speak with my colleagues from other regions, and to be able to catch up on what’s going on right across the country. I am also really pleased to be part of a fairly large contingent of artists coming from Alberta this year – there are some fabulous artists here, who are deeply dedicated to improving the position of artists here and elsewhere in Canada. It feels great to be a part of the renewal and growth of CARFAC’s presence in Alberta, and to work with these people. It’s a gift, and an honour.
For people who don’t know: Visual Arts Alberta is the home of CARFAC in Alberta, having just recently become a full affiliate of the national organization.
This means that we now have the benefit of being part of a national advocacy network that can provide Alberta artists with resources and tools to help them further their professional lives in all kinds of ways.
I am really excited by the prospect of learning with and from the other conference participants … and spending a weekend close to the ocean is ok too.
In the mean time – check out some recent developments in the economic world of artists that CARFAC is working on … bringing the Artist’s Resale Right to Canada, tax exemptions for artists, best practices for contracts and other professional relationships, and ongoing negotiations with the National Gallery regarding standards for minimum payments for artists. These are issues worth looking into and understanding for visual artists, and to me, it’s absolutely worth being part of CARFAC to support their efforts on behalf of all visual artist in the country.
One of the things that has been keeping me busy of late has been a project I’m working on with Marian Switzer – a series of work based on a photo shoot we did at the York Hotel in Edmonton AB, just before the place was demolished.
We’ve started developing several pieces for exhibition, and spending time talking about the images, working with them, discussing the complex issues they raise. For those of you that might want to know more, you can find our thoughts on the project – and more images from the shoot we did – here: