Archives for category: Land art

artecology15

Art And Ecology Now is a new book written by Andrew Brown and published by Thames and Hudson. My work is featured among 95 creators in a compendium of ecologically responsive work. Art and Ecology Now is the first in-depth exploration of the ways in which contemporary artists are confronting nature, the environment, climate change and ecology. As Brown argues in the introduction, “Once an area of interest for a relatively small group of people, art that addresses environmental issues has in the last five years become part of the artistic mainstream.” He adds that “there has been a growing tendency in contemporary art to consider the natural world not only as a source of inspiration or subject to represent, but also as a realm to influence directly — a sphere of action to transform and improve through creative means.”

My work is listed as 1 of 12  best artists in the book  in an article by The Guardian. I also read a review of the book in the print edition of the Art Newspaper while sitting in a café during my visit to Art Basel in Switzerland in June 2014. After working in relative obscurity for years it is nice to know that the art and ecology movement is gaining some legitimacy in the art world and that my work is being counted among these amazing artists worldwide. My work is featured on pages 198 and 199 in the Re/Create section plus there is also an image of View in the introduction on page 7.

pages 198 and 199 in Art and Ecology Now

pages 198 and 199 in Art and Ecology Now

The book moves through the various levels of artists’ engagement, from those who act as independent commentators, documenting and reflecting on nature, to those who use the physical environment as the raw material for their art, and those committed activists who set out to make art that transforms both our attitudes and our habits. It includes at 10 page introduction: ‘At the Radical Edge of Life’ by Andrew Brown, 6 chapters: Re/View, Re/Form, Re/Search, Re/Use, Re/Create, Re/Act plus a Further Reading list. Finally a book that deals with the complex breath of the environmental art movement by adding fresh voices to the topic.

 

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The Winterjourney art residency was held in at the Banff Centre for the Arts, in Banff AB from January 13 to February 21, 2014 and led by visiting artist Andreas Siqueland from Oslo. This residency permitted me to further my exploration of ice as a medium. I was happy to meet fellow artist Del Hiller who was also experimenting with making icicles and who graciously lent me some of his equipment to play with. It was also a time for me to try my hand at video, which i discovered i love as much a photography. It will be a while yet until i edit all my footage into something coherent but i feel i was set on a new path of discovery.

I created 2 ephemeral outdoor pieces in Banff. The first was a chandelier covered in icicles swinging from a tree and it referred to the glamorization of nature. Chandeliers have been a symbol of wealth and prosperity since the middle ages (even thought the first ones were made from wood and supported candles). They had their hay-day in the 80’s and 90’s reflecting the opulence and kitsch of the time.

In addition i immersed myself in winter films, which have made great impressions on me, most notably the frozen house in Doctor Zhivago and the murder scene in the Quebec film Kamouraska. The blood on the snow, the harshness of winter and the magical space of the frozen palace spoke to me about the beauty found in the extremes of nature, both forbidding and awe inspiring, depending on one’s point of view. Alas since my work follows the seasons, it all melted away with the spring sun but the ideas and images will lay dormant until the next snowfall.

This scene in Dr. Zhivago was actually created with white wax!

Light painting at night onto icicle covered chandelier. Banff Art Residency 2014

Light painting at night onto icicle covered chandelier. Banff Art Residency 2014

I also experimented with icicles on wearable pieces, which cumulated in a Dave Chihuly– esque sculpture of frozen garments. It was very ephemeral and only lasted a few days as the weather got warmer. I would like to play with this technique in the future and develop a narrative for the eerily beautiful images it conjures up

Medusa-like detail of icicles   on a red dress. Like myths, both alluring and frightening.

Medusa-like detail of icicles on a red dress. Like myths, both alluring and frightening.

ice laden flower sculpture

Ice laden flower sculpture

The Ego Eco, environmental art for collective consciousness exhibition was curated by Allison Town and Emily Tyler for the Begovich Gallery at California State University Fullerton, which featured to work of 13 artists. I participated on a variety of levels during my 5 week residency there. During the first 2 weeks i completed the Traveling SeedBomb dress and assembled the Urban Foragers series and staged a public intervention which was filmed and shown along side the Traveling SeedBomb dress in the gallery. The 3 Urban Foragers were at the opening reception and i was also on hand to talk about my work at the opening preview earlier in the day. During the evening, Juliana Rico made seed bombs with the public, people signed adoption paper for Vaughn Bell‘s Pocket Biospheres and i was delighted to meet artist Esther Traugot and her delicately crocheted seeds. Here is an excerpt from the Curatorial Statement.

Disconnect between real actions and real-time becomes increasingly evident in our fast-paced, technologically saturated urban environments. Selected artworks in ego|eco: environmental art for collective consciousness aim to confront traditional notions of “spectatorship,” promoting involvement over complacency through the inclusion of engaged public art practices and environmental art conveying a collective call to action. Juxtapositions of mediums, content, scale, forced perspectives and changes in cadence and flow will encourage viewers to become both physically and psychologically aware of their own roles as “spectators”—symbolic of a greater need for action and social reform in the pursuit of sustainability.

A 100-page catalogue including a scholarly essay by CSUF Exhibition Design alumna and founder of ecoartspace.org, Patricia Watts will be published in early 2014. See more of the exhibition HERE.

Gallery entrance view with title wall, Traveling SeedBomb dress and dress form with vest and hat and Urban Forgers video beside it. Photo: M.O.Quinn

Gallery entrance view with title wall, Traveling SeedBomb dress and dress form with vest and hat and Urban Forgers video beside it. Photo: M.O.Quinn

The Nomadik Harvest Dress, part of the Urban Foragers series was part of the Flatlanders and Surface Dwellers exhibition at 516 Arts in Albuquerque New Mexico. Curator Lea Anderson invited me to come down and give a talk about my work and so I took the opportunity to also have the Ms Cornucopia, this time embodied by Korie Tatum, cook up a dish of Cholla cactus buds. I met with local native plant forager, Amy White, who took me out to gather plants, which was the highlight of my trip. We also went out to the desert to take some photos of the dress in it’s natural habitat. Special thanks to Rhiannon Mercer Simpler and her husband Trent for having us in their home and also to Marge and Wolf for letting us onto their land. I had been to ABQ a few years ago for the Land Art Symposium and since then i had imagined one of my pieces in this sparse but rich landscape. Thank you to all who helped make this vision possible. Go to this Flickr page to see more photos and Special thanks to gallery assistants Teresa Buscemi and Claude Smith, who took photos and brewed up a large pot of Navajo Tea for the event. View video of the Tohono O’odham picking Cholla, one of the desert’s super foods.

Nomadik Harvest Dress in the Desert

Nomadik Harvest Dress camping and foraging for local native plants in the New Mexico desert

Cholla buds taste like a cross between and artichoke and asparagus. They have a slippery texture like okra or aloe verra.

Cholla buds taste like a cross between and artichoke and asparagus. They have a slippery texture like okra or aloe verra.

Cholla stir fry with veggies. Local and nutritious.

Cholla stir fry with veggies. Local and nutritious.

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2013 calendar

2013 calendar

Start the new year off with the 2013 Environmental Art Calendar  by Amber Lotus Publishing. Photo Solar Resource is featured in February. I am in good company with other artists such as Steven Siegel, Patrick Dougherty, Chris Drury, Karin van der Molen,( whom i met during Land Art Mongolia) Chris Booth (who exhibited during the Earth Art in Vancouver) and Diana Lynn Thompson (who lives on Salt Spring Island here in BC). What an honour!
http://www.amberlotus.com/productdetails.cfm?sku=13EA&isbn=9781602376113&title=2013-environmental-art-wall-calendar

Met up with Chris Bentzen from the Hot Art Wet City gallery in Vancouver for a chat about my artwork in my studio. Super nice guy who is doing his part in trying to keep the art scene alive in Vancouver with his gallery. Not an easy feat in this high real-estate town!

Pharos consisted of six blocks of ice with fabric embedded in them created during the Winterlude Festival in Ottawa Canada in February 2012. The 5 foot high blocks of  ice were created outdoors in situ and the garments were meant to represent the early days of winter Carnivals. The piece was installed in Confederation Park, along with 10 other artists who were part of the BlizzArt exhibition. It took a week for the ice to freeze due to the unseasonal warm weather in Ottawa- they even had to close down the Rideau Canal to skaters for a few days. Big thanks goes out to my cousin Michel and his friend Jen who helped with with the installation and photography. The clothing became more exposed as the ice melted in the sun. As 695,000 individuals attended this year’s Winterlude, many photos were taken of my work and it’s a pleasure for me to see how others interpret it.

Night photos of Pharos illuminated.

I chose this tree because of it's expressive branches

Pommes Maison was an installation I created for the Land Art Mont-St-Hilaire festival in Québec from October 12th to the 16th 2011, where I was one of 10 artists invited to create sculptures in a working apple orchard within 4 days. It was a challenge to find and harvest my materials and then construct my piece in such a short time frame, in all weather but it was well worth it. On October 16, the exhibition opened to the public and I witnessed people of all ages interact with the apple/skirt/shelter.

My sculpture was constructed around an apple tree and consisted of a dome shape, which acted as a skirt for the tree and also as a shelter where one can sit, eat apples and contemplate the sky. The structure was made from Willow branches onto which apples with holes through them were skewered, like giant apple kabobs. Once these were staked into the ground in a circle, the tops were bent towards the trunk to form the dome. I then decorated the top with long apple skin peels, which I discovered one day as they were making apple cider in the kitchen.

This event takes place on Mr. Robert’s land and he has a large roadside store called Le Pavillon de la Pomme, which produces fresh apple pies, juice, cider,  you name it- warm homemade apple turnovers where the favorite breakfast food of most artists. This very well attended Land Art event is in it’s 5th year and is curated by artist Jérémie Boudreault who runs a small theatre across the road. She was very accommodating and supportive of the artists and took us out to dinner every night for fantastic local meals.

You can view the other artist’s installation on my Facebook page. Not all artists used “organic” materials and some brought pre-made things with them but all works responded to the site and formed a engaging exhibition. All the installations stay up as long as possible as many people frequent the orchard and woods for walks throughout the year. The artists were: André BoisvertÉpurarium, which won the best of show Olivier Lefebvre, Steve Jobs Portrait, Luce Pelletier, Toison, Stacy Levy, Bluegrass, David Moore, Ulysse,  Michael McGillisSeigneurial Chandelier, Gary Smith, Against the Grid, Yolanta Sprawka, Mémoire d’eau, Linda Swanson, Pommes de la terre and also with Pedro Mendonça, University of Sherbrooke art student.

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