Rainy Day Musings

I won’t lie to you; I don’t really like rain.  Or maybe that is an understatement. I don’t like the rain at all, as necessary as it is. I know it sounds blasphemous to say still so early in “summer” but I would trade the rain for snow any day, although I am sure the rest of Alberta might have something  different to say about it. All this rain has however been a good motivator to get photo editing done from my residencies earlier this year.  Photo editing and reminiscing. 

With the help of my awesome friend and computer guru Danna Lei (seriously: I cannot thank you enough for your expert level computer-ing), I have finally finished the documentation of Distance Measured by Time, Time Measured by Distance. This is a piece that I worked on throughout the entire residency period at Listhus in Iceland. It consisted of 27 slip cast plaster lamb hearts, each with a love letter rolled up inside. Every morning I would write a letter, cast a heart and hang it on the wall. At the end of the residency I took every plaster ‘message in a bottle’ and let them out to sea knowing fully that the plaster would disintegrate, the paper would deteriorate and the messages would never be delivered. The video and photographs exist as documentation of the 27 day performance.  Big thank you to Hólmfríður Arngrímsdóttir for the materials and studio time for this project!

I worked quite a bit with lamb hearts and mold making while I was in Iceland for conceptual and aesthetic reasons (and maybe because I just really like touching raw hearts). Anatomical hearts, specifically lamb and pig, are a reoccurring theme in some of my glass work and an interest I will definitely pursue further. For the performance Salt, I cast hearts of ice with a fishing hook frozen into them. I took my rod, hook and ‘bait’ and climbed to some secluded cliffs where I went fishing. The performance lasted as long as the ice did. Eventually the heart of ice was melted by the cold sea water, exposing the bare hook in the hopes of catching something. The video (coming soon to a computer near you!) acts as documentation of the performance, with sound editing by Bethany Younge.

In the hopes of keeping this post at a reasonable length (who am I kidding, I’m sure it’s reading as “art art art, blah ,art...), the last piece I will post is DIY Guide to Being Here. It involved northern lights projected through colored filters along the wall of the gallery with a horizontal wire sculpture below. Viewers were invited to interact with and create the piece by using hiking poles with flashlights that would project mountains onto the wall through the wire below.

I have a few more ongoing projects that I will post next time, along with my work from Finland. Here is some gloomy day music to groove to in the mean time. Thanks for having a look and a read and I hope to see you down at Studio Phi this Friday for the Black & White show. There will be a sweetC design original in the show, come in and say hi!

My First Week In Iceland

My first week has been interesting to say the least. Everything is new and exciting but slow moving and idyllic at the same time. Icelanders, for the most part, seem to keep to themselves and although the town sign boasts a population of 850, I am sure that I have not seem more than fifty people since my arrival. I’m torn between wanting to stay in my studio and make loads of work, and wanting to let things happen organically while leisurely taking in the splendor of my surroundings. I have been making, as well as exploring and, you got it, elf hunting (the latter has been the least successful) everyday.

I am finding it challenging to step out from my material safety zone and have been constantly repressing the desire to make things out of glass, not that it is possible here. Perhaps I will save those ideas for when I return, and in the meanwhile I have been trying hard to revert back to making things in a material that supports the concept and aesthetic outcome of the piece.

I have been working mostly with photography and objects and materials that are abundant in Olafsfjordur; ice, stone, and fishing accoutrement. So far most of my experiments and ideas have revolved around my emotional state at this part of the journey, although every time I look out the window or go exploring I can’t help but be inspired by the sights, sounds and smells. There is something so breathtakingly poetic about the dark angry seas, black cliffs and white mountains.

I hope you enjoy these images as much as I do and take a moment to listen to the link above. Some of them have been taken through transparent colored filters that I brought with me…… perhaps more about that in my next post along with some sculptural and installation models ( I have something special planned for the location in the last photo). I will update some works in progress soon........ stay inspired.