Archives for posts with tag: Land Art

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 Traveling SeedBomb Dress is the third instalment in the Urban Foragers series. Like its predecessors, the Mobile Garden Dress and the Nomadik Harvest Dress, it functions as a garment, a shelter and a food source. As this series is about self-sufficiency, each new piece refers to a nomadic structure and for this one i chose the teepee because the shape resembles a Pine cone.  I am fascinated by the ingenious ways that plants propagate their seeds and so i have tried to incorporate this into the design as much as possible. There are cone shaped pockets all around the edge, which hold seed bombs, which were placed within easy reach of the wearer so they could be thrown while moving about.

The structure is based on a series of hinged cedar pieces, which when folded down make up the skirt and when extended they form the teepee shape. I have used metal bolts and wing nuts as a means to hinge and tighten the segments. My intent is to someday replace these with a more organic material but for now they at least only require a small screwdriver to assemble. The skirt is covered in heavy duct canvas hand painted with a dandelion motif, a symbol of highly effective plant survival and endurance. Our agent of propagation also wears a secondhand vest adorned with épaulettes of fresh Wheat Grass and a hat formed from a bamboo birdcage with birdseed.

I looked at many options for displaying the seeds and finally decided on the glass vial because I want the public to be able to see the seeds clearly so they can learn to identify them. I created a wire cage for each one, 50 in all and hung them between the struts with linen thread. I also attached some glass globes and green cans, which have holes in them to facilitate the daily rinsing of seeds for sprouting.

Traveling SeedBomb dress set up in Begovich Gallery

Traveling SeedBomb dress set up in Begovich Gallery

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

FASHIONALITY, dress and identity in Contemporary Canadian Art

Fashionality is a new exhibition curated by Julia Pine at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection Gallery in Kleinburg Ontario. This exhibit features 23 Canadian artists who work with the theme of the garment. The show runs from May 5th to September 03, 2012 and the opening reception is on Sunday May 13. I will be showing photos of my IceShifts and my Weedrobes series, plus a new video on my work. I will also be doing an art residency at the McMichael from June 17th to July 1st. There i will create a new dress/tent called the Nomadik Harvest Dress which will culminate in a performance in the gallery and in the park. The gallery houses the largest collection of paintings by the Group of Seven, the iconic Canadian landscape painters and it is said that some of them are even buried in the park, so it is a great privilege for me to create there.

The artists are: KC Adams, Ingrid Bachmann, Lori Blondeau, Dana Claxton, Cathy Daley, Nicole Dextras, Aganetha Dyck, Jane Eccles, Gathie Falk, Farheen Haq, Barb Hunt, Michele Karch-Ackerman, Meryl McMaster, Kent Monkman, Janet Morton, Jacques Payette, Camal Pirbhai, Barbara Pratt, Ana Rewakowicz, Natalie Purschwitz, Jana Sterbak, Camille Turner, and Mary Sui Yee Wong. “Together, the assorted practical and conceptual approaches of these artists speak the common language of dress and, in the process, help to define just what it is that Canadian fashionality might be.” Julia Pine.

Read more in this Fashionality article

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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