Category Archives: Artist

Garneau, David

DAVID GARNEAU  |  ROAD KILL WILD-LIFE ART AND MÉTIS IMAGINATION: AN ILLUSTRATED ARTIST TALK

sm“Entrancing Bird.” Oil and acrylic on canvas. 122 x 152cm. 2006

Friday, August 15, 7:30 PM in the KIAC Ballroom

This philosophical, poetic, and occasionally humorous, illustrated artist talk considers wild life art as the anthropomorphic expression of our desire for family and freedom; roadkill as spiritual objects; the ditch as a site of existential and spatial anxiety; and how the Métis experience shapes the Plains landscape.

 

DAVID GARNEAU is Associate Professor of Visual Arts at the University of Regina. He was born and raised in Edmonton, received most of his post secondary education (BFA Painting and Drawing, MA American Literature) at the University of Calgary and taught at the Alberta College of Art and Design for five years before moving to Regina in 1999.

Garneau’s practice includes painting, drawing, curation and critical writing. His solo exhibition, Cowboys and Indians (and Métis?), toured Canada (2003-7) and Road Kill toured twenty one centers throughout Saskatchewan (2009-11). He is most interested in the collision of nature and culture, metaphysics and materialism, and in contemporary Indigenous identities. His paintings are collected by The Canadian Museum of Civilization; Parliament Buildings; Indian and Inuit Art Collection; The Mackenzie Art Gallery; Mendel Art Gallery; Dunlop Art Gallery; The Glenbow Museum; NONAM, Zurich; Musée de la civilisation, Québec City; City of Calgary; the SaskArts Board; Alberta Foundation for the Arts; Paul Martin foundation; and are in many other public and private collections.

He has curated several large group exhibitions: The End of the World (as we know it); Picture Windows: New Abstraction; Transcendent Squares; Contested Histories; Making it Like a Man!, Graphic Visions, TEXTiles; two person exhibitions: Sophisticated Folk; Reveal/Conceal, and solo shows: Diana Thorneycroft, Tim Moore. Garneau has written numerous catalogue essays and reviews and was a co-founder and co-editor of Artichoke and Cameo magazines. He has recently given talks in Melbourne, Adelaide, New York, San Diego, Sacramento, Saskatoon, and keynote lectures in Sydney, Toronto, Edmonton and Sault Ste Marie. Garneau is currently working on curatorial and writing projects featuring contemporary Indigenous art and curatorial exchanges between Canada and Australia, and is part of a five-year, SSHRC funded curatorial research project, “Creative Conciliation.”

 

www.davidgarneau.com

 

 

 

Miner, Dylan

DYLAN MINER  |  MICHIF – MICHIN

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Dylan Miner, Michif Michin, 2014, photo by Janice Cliff

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Dylan Miner, Michif Michin (installation), 2014, photo by Janice Cliff

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Dylan Miner, The Elders Say We Don't Visit Anymore (performance), 2014, photo by Nate Jones

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August 14 – September 19, 2014
Opening Night: Thursday, August 14
Artist talk at 7:30PM in the KIAC Ballroom | Reception to follow


This new body of work will investigate Métis medicine. As the descendent of Métis from across the subarctic and boreal forests to the prairies and Great Lakes, I am intimately interested in the physical and spiritual capabilities of Indigenous medicines. Recent events, including the #idlenomore movements, the Daniels’ Decision (and Canada’s legal battle against this decision), and the land claim decision in favor of the Manitoba Métis Federation, have reinvigorated our
society’s desire to look at various healing practices. This projects does exactly that.

Since, my great-grandmother was known for her ability to make healing salves (as well as for her beadwork and oatmeal cookies), I have a familial relationship to Métis medicine and its ability to heal. Michin – Michif, as this project is called, uses traditional plants as its starting point. From this initial moment of creation, I think of healing in complex and multidimensional ways. The title of this project plays on the linguistic similarities between the Métis word for medicine (michif) and the word we use to describe our language and ourselves (Michif).
Accordingly, I will focus extensively on language and herbal remedies as the core to community healing.

The Elders Say We Don’t Visit Anymore, Tea and Conversation with Dylan Miner
Friday & Saturday, August 15 &16, 2:00 – 4:00 PM in the gallery

Ongoing Tea and Conversation
Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm & Saturdays 1 – 5pm in the gallery

 

DYLAN MINER (Métis) is Associate Professor at Michigan State University, where he coordinates a new Indigenous Contemporary Art Initiative. He holds a PhD from the University of New Mexico and has published more than fifty journal articles, book chapters, critical essays and encyclopedia entries. In 2010, he was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian (Smithsonian Institution). Since 2010, he has been featured in thirteen solo exhibitions and been artist-in-residence at institutions such as the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, École supérieure des beaux-arts in Nantes and Santa Fe Art Institute. His work has been the subject of articles in publications including ARTnews, Indian Country Today, First American Art Magazine, The Globe and Mail, The Guardian and Chicago Sun-Times. Miner is descended from the Miner-Brissette-L’Hirondelle-Kennedy families with ancestral ties to Indigenous communities in the Great Lakes, Prairies and subarctic regions.

http://www.dylanminer.com/

 

Houle, Terrance

TERRANCE HOULEFRIEND OR FOE #5 (Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, Dawson City)


August 14 – September 19, 2014
Opening Night: Thursday, August 14
Artist talk at 7:30PM in the KIAC Ballroom | Reception to follow


Friend or Foe
is an ongoing performance/ installation series spanning across the Americas, using Native American Sign Language & Signals to communicate personal/general stories, history, time travel, myths, legends, life and diverse points of view. Houle will be creating a performance installation using local environments, buildings, historical and local sites with the help of participants from the area. The final product will be a walking hiking tour to significant places to enact stories told by the local, historical, traditional indigenous people of the area. This piece will connect with the other series that have been created in South America, Quebec, Alberta, Ontario, & British Columbia.

Friend or Foe Projections by Terrance Houle
Thursday – Sunday, August 14 – 17, beginning at 7:00 PM at the Macaulay House

Friend or Foe Walking Tour / Performance with Terrance Houle
Saturday & Sunday, August 15 & 16, 4:00 PM (meet at the ODD Gallery)

Video and map for outdoor installations available in the gallery

 

TERRANCE HOULE is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary media artist and a member  of the Blood Tribe. Involved with Aboriginal communities all his life, he has traveled to reservations throughout North America participating in Powwow dancing along with his native ceremonies. Houle utilizes at his discretion performance, photography, video/film, music and painting. Likewise Houle’s practice includes tools of mass dissemination such as billboards and vinyl bus signage.

A graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design, Terrance Houle received his B.F.A in 2003. His groundbreaking art quickly garnered him significant accolades and opportunities, including the 2003 invitation to participate in the Thematic Residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts in. This Residency focused on 34 international indigenous people exploring issues of colonization and communion. Houle received the 2006 Enbridge Emerging Artist Award presented at the Mayors Luncheon for the Arts, City Of Calgary. After receiving many screenings of his short video/film work at the Toronto 2004 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival, Houle was awarded winner of Best Experimental Film. His work has been exhibited across Canada, Parts of the United States, Australia, Europe and England.

Recently, Terrance Houle’s work was represented in his first “Major Solo Exhibition” GIVN’R opening at PLUG-IN Institute for Contemporary Art in Winnipeg, Manitoba, GIVN”R is a small retro exhibition of Terrance’s works in film, video, performance, installation, mixed media, and photography between 2003-2009.

Terrance Houle lives and maintains his art practice and is a founding member of Indigeneity Artist Collective Society.

www.terrancehouleart.com/

Judd, Alison

ALISON JUDD | LIVING WITH A LANDSLIDE

July 3 – August 1, 2014
Opening Night: Thursday, July 3rd
Artist talk at 7:30PM in the KIAC Ballroom | Reception to follow

Alison Judd is an artist working in printmaking and installation. Her work makes evident her ruminations on transience, impermanence, loss and landscape as she thinks about time, the distance between individuals and the erosion of our relationship with the environment.

The Moosehide Slide is evidence of a landslide that serves as a backdrop to daily life in Dawson City. It is an ancient landslide that the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in call “Ëddhä dädhëcha”, which literally means “weathered moosehide hanging”.

In the gallery installation Living with a Landslide, Alison Judd has brought the landslide into town and into the gallery. Working with handmade and Japanese papers she has ‘collected’ the rocks by walking to the slide daily and taking paper castings. The artist is interested in this place where the sudden movement of the earth is evident because it allows exploration of time and its implication for both our personal and natural ecologies.

Working slowly, repetitively with her hands and body are important aspects of the work. “I need to think slowly and use repetition as a tool to understand change. It is the slow accretion of construction and insight that subsequent elements impose on me – not I on them”.

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Alison Judd
is a Guelph based artist. She earned a diploma from Ontario College of Art & Design in Toronto, a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal, and obtained my Masters of Fine Art at York University in Toronto.

She teaches printmaking at the Ontario College of Art & Design University (OCADU) and at the University of Guelph.

Walker, Meg

N&M 2013  |  post-exhibition essay 

If we could bottle light

Meg Walker

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Surprises make a child of us: here is another. A moon rising, edge so sharp you can feel it in your back teeth. … Unexpectedness moves us along. And the moon – so perfectly charted – never fails to surprise us. I wonder why. The moon makes a traveler hunger for something bitter in the world, what is it? I will vanish; others will come here, what is that? An old question. 

– Anne Carson

 

Imagine the things we could share if we could capture light. Not just the imprints and effects of light, but light itself: the physical, moving thing that touches the surfaces of phenomenon around us and lets us understand at least something with our eyes before we touch with our skin. If we could bottle light, we could experience time differently too, saying: here’s a sliver of sun from a morning that knew mammoths; here’s a bright flare from the first night your city used electricity; here is the light from the day you turned four.

Recreating a condition of light that existed elsewhere is an intriguing way to bring us into a contemplation past events. The two installations in this year’s edition of The Natural and The Manufactured connected with long swathes of time by wrapping visitors in light conditions that offered contemplation of past phenomena as much as past human events. Slowing down to observe them was a bit like slowing down to watch a sunset or a blaze of sundogs in the sky, opening the possibility of altering our sense of time’s speed, too.

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The Homecoming (Sarah Fuller, AB) and Welcome Stranger (Paul Griffin, NB) both changed dramatically when their lighting changed. Their transformations were unapologetically beautiful, nuanced and enticing, as well as expertly crafted and carefully thought through.

On a leafy August evening, small groups of people walked through Sarah Fuller’s installation The Homecoming in the woods that were once part of Bear Creek, a former townsite a few kilometres southwest of Dawson. We were waiting for the “magic hour” – the period of warm, golden sunlight that photographers wait for at the end (or start) of each day. The duration of pinkish-orange light lasts longer than an hour this far north, which Fuller observed during her visit to Dawson City in summer 2012. She created The Homecoming for that specific time of day.

Fuller works in both large-format photography and digital video and is actively engaged with photographic techniques across the centuries. With The Homecoming, she created five large-scale photographs of houses that were originally homes in Bear Creek, and now exist as homes in Dawson City. Bear Creek was the local administrative headquarters for companies that ran massive dredges through the gold-bearing creeks in the Bonanza Creek area from 1905 to 1966.2 The five homes Fuller used were moved to Dawson during the late 1960s and early 1970s. During the installation, Fuller placed signs in front of these buildings in their current locations, describing briefly the family ownership of each and when they were moved.

The Homecoming drawsinspiration from earlier history too, including Louis Daguerre’s diorama techniques for theatre. Before the success of the daguerreotype, the image-fixing invention that preceded photography, Daguerre had partnered with engineer Charles Bouton in the early nineteenth century to invent painted backdrops that were translucent in some areas and opaque in others. The images would “move” as theatre workers moved shutters or screens to alter the light on the paintings, in a fully darkened, rotating theatre. From the start, according to Daguerre’s notes after he opened the Diorama in 1822, the spectator expected the illusion “to represent the effects of nature.”3

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Two key ideas from the diorama inventions appear in The Homecoming, though of course Fuller may have drawn from multiple sources. First, she adapted the idea of activating a large-scale image through changes in light. Using large-format photography, Fuller took contemporary images of the Bear Creek houses and inserted them into photos of the forest that has taken over parts of the former town site. She printed the hybrid images on strips of linen, sewed them together and painted the backs blue, which left the houses opaque except for the window areas.

Next, Fuller hung the images between birches and spruce that now thrive in the spots the houses once stood.4 High-powered work lights were set up behind each one. When the right amount of paleness lit the sky, the artificial lights would glow through the imaginary panes of glass and balance with the natural light. For several minutes each night, the houses looked as if someone was home, waiting for visitors and friends to knock at the door.

The second idea borrowed from Daguerre’s diorama is Fuller’s decision to move the audience through the images, instead of moving the images directly. The installation is not an attempt at theatre, but instead leads to a jump in time. It presents a moment in Bear Creek history that emerges because of the quality of light at a particular time of day. We experienced textures and hues that would have been there when Bear Creek was bustling, that began long before Bear Creek was even imagined, and that continue now.

In the trajectory of Canadian art history, there has long been a push against the late-nineteenth and early twentieth century notions of landscape as a wilderness that supplies a backbone to Canadian identity. Art historian Peter White comments that, since the 1960s, artists, historians and others “have been actively engaged in the process of re-examining landscape in the process of its traditionally instrumental, universal and strongly sentimental role in the construction of Canadian identity.” Once the dream of a modernist Canada slipped into one of post-industrialism and late capitalism, he says, “traditional history was displaced or superseded by the less codified and personal imperatives of memory in understanding or relating to the past.”5

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The Homecoming joins this flow by offering a “wilderness moment” that is also a domestic one. The installation brings specific household memories into the semi-wild forest space and, because the only way to see it is by walking through the woods, it also points to the forest’s lifespan, a timeframe longer than the lifecycle of a wooden house. Landscape and personal/national identity are thus explored together, instead of demanding a hierarchy.

Paul Griffin, in turn, embraces the impact of romanticist notions of landscape on human activity – not on the landscape itself – by looking to the gold exploration history in Victoria, Australia, for the source of Welcome Stranger. He named his sculpture after a gold nugget discovered on Friday, February 05, 1869 near Moliagul, a small town north of Melbourne.

An immigrant named John Deason was prospecting for gold when his pickaxe struck something hard at the bottom of a stringy bark tree, the story goes. As he tried to pry the mysterious chunk out of the ground, the pickaxe broke. Deason called for his co-miner Richard Oates to help and they pulled up an irregular mass of gold intermixed with black quartz.

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They named the nugget “Welcome Stranger,” likely because the largest nugget previously found in Australia before had been named “Welcome” – in retrospect, a colonialist’s dream of an “empty” land relieved at the chance to be worked and brought into the relentless streams of “progress.” Deason and Oates spent the next two days heating and cooling the nugget, to break the quartz away. On Tuesday, the miners took the nugget to nearby Dunolly, the closest bank, but the bank’s scales couldn’t handle the weight. Solution: they found a blacksmith’s shop and cut it into smaller pieces.

In less than a week, most of the “Welcome Stranger” nugget was melted into ingots; the miners kept a few chunks for themselves and their friends, but the soon-to-be-mythologized shape itself was gone. By February 21, the ingots were on a steamship to London. “Welcome Stranger” ended up containing 2316 troy ounces of gold (just over 71 kg), making it the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found in the world, to this day.

Surprisingly, both Deason and Oates carried on prospecting, continuing their working lives. This is where Griffin’s sculpture picks up the narrative and takes it down a different stream. Deason and Oates’ sweat-driven willingness to pickaxe their way through dusty ground had paid off dramatically. Arguably, they could have looked at their new wealth and been satisfied, especially since they had been mining the area for some time and knew it wasn’t rife with giant nuggets. But they were in it for the dream, the thirst for another moment of awe, another experience of wonder. Or so we might imagine, looking back.

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The Welcome Stranger sculpture starts with the lustre of the dream, turning the nugget’s name into a metaphor for a person’s experience of feeling they are “called” by the wilderness, the journey, the gold itself. Griffin, a former logger and carpenter, combined precision and fluidity in a compelling way. He used dozens of metres of fishing line to hang 5,500 four-inch metal deck screws in the outline of an irregular, oblong, somewhat oval shape hovering over a “shadow” of stones laid on the floor.

Griffin spent hours hanging the fishing lines in perfectly spaced rows, which gave the light a “corridor” effect when the eye caught the straight line for a moment among the otherwise imprecise shape. The low angles of the gallery lights added to the illusion of a strobe caught in slow motion. It was a seductive, delightful experience to get lost in the Welcome Stranger’s sheen and weightlessness.

The “nugget” spanned 24 by 12 by 9 feet at its longest, widest and highest dimensions. Each time people walked by, bringing their own subtle breezes, a few screws would move and lightly strike each other. The sounds were delicate, enticing. During the dozen or so visits I made, it seemed that the moment anyone heard them, the bell-like chimes intensified an already-present desire to run fingers along the fishing lines as if running them over a musical instrument or a chainlink fence.

No direct images are left of the “Welcome Stranger” nugget today: no models, photographs or direct drawings were made before the melting began. Various replicas of how the nugget likely appeared are based on a drawing made from memory after the fact, according to the report to the Mines Minister on February 12, 1869.6  Thus, even if Griffin had wanted to make a sculpture based on the nugget’s factual size, dimensions and visual features, it would be de facto approximate and, by extension, curling towards the realm of desire, of elusive dream. So it is fitting that Griffin created an experience
of yearning.

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Griffin’s sculpture elegantly separated thousands of screws from their typical relationship with machine time and suspended them, for a few weeks, in the qualities of time relating to searching, questing, roaming. In his own search for the Welcome Stranger sculpture’s shape, Griffin looked to Chinese scholar’s rocks – appreciated as tools for meditation and for cultivating beauty – as an example of stones valued outside of commerce. Following this route, Welcome Stranger can be read as the shimmering outline, the ghost shroud, the spiritual and porous border of a not-quite-solidified shape of knowledge still to come, that will never quite be held in hand. Yearning is the hunger that creates energy for moving us through the practical. Our internal wilderness demands a dream that draws us forward.

Because the nuances of Welcome Stranger and The Homecoming depended on seeing the artworks shift as the light changed, they eluded definitive documentation. Uncertainty is embedded not only in archiving any sculpture or installation, but also in “capturing” any natural phenomenon. What would the authoritative image be – one with the screws motionless or as they sway? The larger question then becomes: why do we want to encapsulate a time-based experience in a flat, two-dimensional image, or even a four-dimensional video archive? What is the source of the desire to freeze a moment in time?

Each year’s opening weekend for The Natural and The Manufactured also includes a lecture by a writer, exploring our interactions with the ecosystems that surround us and that we assemble. Robert Bringhurst, a poet and linguist well known for his work in translating Haida and Navaho literatures in particular, was the guest this year. His image-rich, associative presentation included challenging us to think about machine-encoded time and whether the machines we’ve made are driving us, or whether we are still making decisions about how we want machines to fit into our lives. If we immerse ourselves only in machine-time, he proposed, we end up losing the ability to experience, much less appreciate, cultural ways of being that exists on forest time, or sun time, or ocean time, or animal time.

Bringhurst’s poetic speech was not a direct reflection on The Homecoming and Welcome Stranger, but all three events were immersed in understanding time as a changeable phenomenon instead of a stringently measured one. The outward-folding, sensual experiences that came from passing an interval with The Homecoming and Welcome Stranger can be understood as physical metaphors of relationships with time that are harmonious, not confrontational. The art works were optimistic and leave behind, at least for a while, the commerce-driven use of time as chronology.

The upswell of creativity that carries art from individual minds to publicly shared spaces is a surge that can’t be kept measured and segmented. This is why art – including art about landscape, art about light – doesn’t remain tied for long to any governmental or state agenda. More personally, when art touches more than just the artist and the few people who know him or her, it also eludes being tethered to individual chronologies of memory. It draws us into experiences larger than that of a single personality.

The urge to freeze an experience in a “perfect moment in time” comes, in part, from our awareness that we’ll want to recreate the experience later, either for ourselves or for others. We know it’s impossible to call any image a record of “now” – already gone by the time the shutter closes or the fishing line dangles – yet we find resonant beauty in our relationship with that elusiveness. Maybe this is for the best. “If we look at time as the physicists do,” writes poet Christopher Dewdney, “it makes more sense to think of time as an ocean. We and everything else in the universe float, or bob, in this fluid medium. The present, past and future are merely drifting currents.”7 If we could grasp all the moments of time in one handful of perfect, shiny nuggets, what yearning would be here to keep us swimming forward?

– Meg Walker, Dawson City

 

1. Carson, Anne. “The Anthropology of Water” in Plainwater: Essays and Poetry. Vintage Canada, 2000.

2. Lewis Green’s book The Gold Hustlers (Alaska Northwest Publishing Company, 1977) gives a detailed look at the competitive business wranglings that drove Joe Boyle and A.N.C. Treadgold to fight for financing, water, and of course gold, as they ran the dredges. The first dredge ran under the Canadian Klondyke Mining Company; the last under the Yukon Consolidated Gold Corp.

3. For the purposes of appreciating The Homecoming, the storyline in focus is the social one. The town was a going concern, to use an old saying. It had a bunkhouse, individual houses, a gold room and machine shop. In fact, because large-scale machinery was required to maintain and repair the gigantic dredges, Bear Creek had the biggest machine shop in western Canada for a time, with equipment that included a 10-ton overhead crane, five lathes of differing sizes, and a 900-ton hydraulic wheel press. The dredges ran 24 hours a day for about 250 days each year, stopping only when heavy ice formed in the ponds.

4. Daguerre, Louis-Jacques-Mandé. An historical and descriptive account of the various processes of the daguerréotype and the diorama. London: McLean & Nutt, 1839, quoted on http://cultureandcommunication.org/deadmedia/index.php/Daguerre’s_Diorama

5. In the summer of 2012, Fuller located the houses in Dawson City, visited the current owners, and photographed the buildings as well as locations in Bear Creek that became the homes’ new, artificial, backdrops. During the winter, she printed them, transferred them to squares of linen and then sewed them into images about 80% real-life scale. Come summer 2013, she carefully hung the homes among the spruce and birch at Bear Creek and lit them from behind.

6. White, Peter. “Out of the Woods”, in Beyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity and Contemporary Art. McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2007.

7. http://members.westnet.com.au/likelyprospects/welcome_stranger_nugget.html
Dewdney, Christopher. Soul of the World: Unlocking the Secrets of Time. HarperCollins, 2008.

 

Meg Walker alternates writing with art-making, hiking between the topographies of sight and word.. Her wanderings across Canada landed her in Dawson City four winters ago and, thanks to the incredible invention called the internet, she continues to write from here for magazines and small-press publications. Recent work includes “Crocus Bluff – open arms” as part of the group show Traversing Yukon Landscapes at the Yukon Art Centre, Whitehorse.

 

Bringhurst, Robert

Robert Bringhurst 

“THE FACTS WILL FORM A POEM IN YOUR MINDS”: THE REAL AND THE ARTIFICIAL IN ART AND NATURE 

The great (and almost wholly self-educated) British physicist and chemist Michael Faraday, lecturing on the properties of metals at the Royal Institute, London, in December 1858, said “I am no poet, but if you think for yourselves, as I proceed, the facts will form a poem in your minds.” Many artists and writers, as well as many first-rate scientists and mathematicians, have had that experience, of the facts forming a poem in their minds. Why is it, then, that we speak so often of poets, writers and artists as people who make things, or who make them up, though we are happy to say that scientists discover things? If the facts form a poem, do they really only form it in your mind or do they also form a poem – a radiant, resonant order – out there in the world? Is the poem of the facts real, or do we have to dream it up? Were the poets William Butler Yeats and Marianne Moore, when they spoke of “literalists of the imagination,” speaking of artifice or of reality, or of both?

Reiffel Bird Sanctuary, March 1996

Robert Bringhurst has published some twenty books of poetry, including Bergschrund (1975), The Beauty of the Weapons (1982), Pieces of Map, Pieces of Music (1986), The Calling (1995), Ursa Major (2001) and Selected Poems (published in London by Jonathan Cape in 2010). He has co-edited  (with Doris Shadbolt, Geoffrey James and Russell Keziere) Visions: Contemporary Art in Canada (1983), which after thirty years remains a key work on the history of Canadian visual art. With Haida sculptor Bill Reid, he is coauthor of The Raven Steals the Light (1984), published in French in 1989 with a preface by Claude Lévi-Strauss. The Black Canoe (2nd ed., 1992), Bringhurst’s study of Reid’s sculpture, is a classic of Native American art history. Design schools and publishers around the world rely on his book The Elements of Typographic Style, which has been translated into ten languages and is now in its fourth edition.

Photo by Louise Mercer

Griffin, Paul

PAUL GRIFFIN  |  WELCOME STRANGER

Artist Statement 

Griffin installed a large-scale sculptural installation in the ODD Gallery that explores the relationship between human desire and heavy industry that has driven Dawson City’s development over the past century.

As described by its organic contours, Welcome Stranger references the world’s largest known gold nugget, discovered in Australia in 1869, and the Chinese scholar stone, a prized eastern object known for its metaphysical properties. Throughout their history, both of these natural forms have provided sites for the intersection of spiritual aesthetics and financial value, driven by the internal need for the heroic quest and eternal contemplation.

Using thousands of ordinary construction screws to carve out the work’s material form, Griffin’s ghostly installation will depict the nugget constantly sought but rarely attained.

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Paul Griffin is an artist from Sackville, New Brunswick who has previously lived in Ontario and British Colombia. His work also covers a wide range from photography to drawing and presently focuses on installation sculpture. Griffin’s practice investigates the myriad of ways that the vernacular can be used to interpret societal and personal views and perspectives. Over the last decade he has pursued an ongoing body of works titled the Woodpile Series that seek to transform this ubiquitous object into an aesthetic creation.

Griffin graduated from Mount Allison University with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in 1992 and then went on to complete his Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Guelph in 1994. He has lived in Sackville since 1988 where he has worked at Mount Allison University in various positions since 1994. Before concentrating on his academics he worked as a logger, millworker and log home builder in Hazelton, British Columbia from 1977 to 1988.

paulbgriffin.com/

Fuller, Sarah

Sarah Fuller | The Homecoming

Artist Statement

The historical town of Bear Creek, YT is situated approximately 12 km outside of Dawson City and was the former company town for Yukon Consolidated Gold Corporation. It has been abandoned since the mid-1960s and is now maintained by Parks Canada as a National Historic Site. Many of the residential buildings have been transported from their original site in Bear Creek to Dawson City, and all that remains of their presence in the original site are their foundations.

In the outdoor installation The Homecoming, Sarah Fuller has re-inserted five of the buildings back into their former place of residence via large-scale photographic prints on linen. These prints are manipulated using theatre techniques once used by Daguerre in the Paris Diorama in the mid 1850s, and will see the houses shift from dusk to night. The artist seeks to create a sense of home in the structures, as well as a visual play on memory, ghosts and history.

In tandem to the installation at Bear Creek, five signs were placed around Dawson in front of the buildings where they currently stand today. Each sign will have a short history of the residence and its connection to Bear Creek.

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Sarah Fuller is a Banff- based artist working in photography, installation and video. Her work is about multiple levels of perception, reality and narrative. In the last few years this has manifested in multi-disciplinary installation work combining photography, video and text. Place take a central role, often with personal experience as a starting point. Sarah often thinks about vantage point and an experiential view of physical and psychological landscape.

Sarah was born in Winnipeg, MB. She earned a BFA from the Emily Carr University in Vancouver in 2003 after completing her first two years of study at the University of Manitoba, School of Fine Arts. Her work is held in public and private collections across Canada, including the Canada Council for the Arts Art Bank, Alberta Foundation for the Arts and Cenovus Energy.

Currently Sarah is showing work in the exhibit Wish You Were Here at the Union Gallery, Kingston. In 2013, she was part of The News from Here: The 2013 Alberta Biennial curated by Nancy Tousley at the Art Gallery of Alberta, and the two-person exhibit See Attached at Truck Gallery with artist Dianne Bos. Sarah has been an artist in residence at the Fondazione Antonio Ratti in Como, Italy, and the Association of Visual Artists (SIM) in Reykjavik, Iceland. When she not making art, Sarah is the Photography Facilitator in the Visual Arts department at The Banff Centre where she assists artists in residence and mentors emerging visual artists.

 www.sarahfullerphotography.com

Tiesenhausen, Peter von

PETER VON TIESENHAUSEN | REAL AND IMAGINED

ODD Gallery Installation
August 11 – September 18, 2005
Artist’s Talk & Opening Reception: Thursday, August 11, 7 PM

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"To build a fire" - fire/wood

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Installation detail

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aerial photo of dredge tailings

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"Screen/play", detail

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"Miners", detail, aerial photo of dredge tailings, poplar leaf with leaf miner

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"Screen/play", detail

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"Screen/play", expanded metal screen

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Poplar leaf with leaf miner

BIOGRAPHY

Peter von Tiesenhausen has experienced the land around his home for 40 of his 46 years.  His travels have taken him to 6 continents and he has worked and lived in the far north and the far south.  He attended the Alberta College of Art in 1979 and 1981 and has been a full time practicing visual artist since 1990. He has exhibited and lectured widely across Canada as well as in Europe and the United States. He has had over 35 solo and many group exhibitions over the last 15 years. The land in which he lives constitutes his primary and ongoing artwork and in 1995 he claimed copyright over that land.  He has been successful on several occasions defending this artwork against the incursions of other corporate interests. His work has been widely reviewed and the subject of 2 national television documentaries including a one hour award winning film “Elemental” produced in 2000 for “Adrienne Clarkson Presents”.

His practice includes painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, event, video and on occasion, performance.

In the words of Clint Roenisch of Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto:

“Peter is a sculptor, painter, video and installation artist. Peter von Tiesenhausen’s projects evoke the majesty and violent perfection of the natural world and its rhythms. He is interested in
investing contemporary existence with a more profound connection to the radiant of nature in a manner that is neither pure ecology nor distanced irony.”


Tiesenhausen.net

 

Wiebe, Shirley

SHIRLEY WIEBE | UNDERPINNINGS

Outdoor Site-specific Installation
August 12 – September 18, 2005
Artist’s Talk & Opening Reception: Friday, August 12, 3 PM

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Underpinnings, aluminum window screening, nylon screening, monofilament

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Individual corset detail

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Installation Detail

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Individual corset detail

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Installation during fall 2005

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Shirley Wiebe working in Macaulay Residence Studio

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Installation maquette in the Macaulay house studio.

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Preparatory sketch

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Preparatory sketch

ARTIST STATEMENT

Underpinnings is the title of a site-specific installation inspired by Dawson City’s beginnings and by its current reputation as a site of living history.

Among the throngs of men who came north to seek their fortunes in the late 1890’s were a small number of spirited women. Some of them turned to prostitution as a means of survival, and the town of Dawson soon marginalized them to an area across the river known as Klondike City or Lousetown.

Recent historical writing examines the role of prostitution in the Gold Rush era in a wider social context, and what it meant to the community and its economy. These women had the reputation of
being gold diggers for ‘mining the miners’, yet shrewd business practices were only part of their character. There are also stories of their compassion in caring for miners who were sick, and in
performing the role of nurses at a time when medical attention was scarce or unavailable. In the spirit of adventure in which many of these women left the confines of social restriction in the south and east, Underpinnings acts as theatre for social memory, as a gesture to embody a sense of their imagined past and their fragile yet indomitable existence in a northern frontier town.

The form of the corset is utilized to acknowledge the significant role of Dawson’s pioneer women in the early settlement of the town. The installation consists of a series of large-scale two-dimensional forms based on corset patterns of the late nineteenth century, a time when corsetry production, fashion and design was at its zenith. Two different types of screening materials were employed to create the forms, one of which was discovered locally.

The installation is suspended between widely spaced clusters of tree trunks in a secluded ravine that forms a natural divide between two historic properties. There, the mesh-patterned torsos hover between church and state – the Anglican Church on one side and The Commissioner of the Yukon’s residence on the other. Dignified turn-of-the-century architecture and formal landscaping stand in sharp contrast to the lush uncultivated vegetation that lies between. The mud-bottomed ravine is part of the Yukon River water table and its own level fluctuates in direct response to the rivers.

Ministers of religion and politicians have both been influential in determining the politics of sexuality. With Underpinnings posed in this setting, the ravine and the architecture collectively allude to the fundamental nature of desire and to a social order’s efforts to dominate and restrict it. 

BIOGRAPHY

Shirley Wiebe is a Vancouver based sculptor and installation artist. She was born and grew up on a farm close to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. As a young child, she observed her father Peter’s relationship with the land he farmed. In this environment, she was his constant companion, free to roam, discover and revisit particular places in the surrounding prairie that felt distinct and compelling. This residue of place is carried within and continues to inform her work.

Shirley creates temporary installations as interventions in the landscape. There is an emphasis on creating work that is accessible to the passer-by who can discover it at any time, often in unexpected places. The work is based on an exploration of the familiar world of everyday life, the routines that support it, the materials that sustain it, and the rhythms that mark its progress. The objects and materials she brings into play are derived from an immediate cultural landscape and are typically associated with manual labour in the fields of building construction, agriculture and industry. While their original intent is subverted, the materials relate the work to our physical gestures and interactions with the natural and built environment.

Her recent work concentrates both on the land and on the interaction of a community with its environment. Shirley has created site works and private commissions in a number of landscapes and communities in the Pacific Northwest and has recently completed her second public art project for the City of Vancouver. She has been awarded art residencies with the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City in the Yukon, and with the Department of Agriculture at the University of British Columbia Farm in Vancouver.

Shirley Wiebe Links

Westcott Bay Sculpture Park
Landscape as Muse
Arts in the Meadow
Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition
Julie Leung on Arts in the Meadow
Public Art Registry – City of Vancouver