Residencies

Each year since 2009 I have taken an 'arting' journey, an opportunity to focus on my artmaking and to work with other artists in collaborative co-creative events. Each journey develops its own rhythm and pace, forming a creative container from which emerges new process, and new artmaking. I return home restored, inspired and reconnected to the source of the art spirit.

Artscape Gibraltar Point June 2013
I arrived at my residency in mid June on a beautiful sunny Lake Ontario day and went immediately to the beach for my sand labyrinth co-working with my sisters of spirit who were gathered in Vancouver for a labyrinth drawing and walking event on that same afternoon. Co-walking across time and space we entered the matrixial resonating with each others threads and strings of connection.
I looked forward to a different type of residency, one in which I would have the experience of joining a small group of art students from Illinois with whom I was participating in Barbara Bickel's thematic residency 'Wit(h)nessing as Practice'.
 
 
Photography is always a large part of any residency and this year was no exception.
My encounter with the magnificent ancient black willow trees of the Toronto Islands became a focus for photography and conté drawings.

 

Artscape Gibraltar Point June 2012

On June 18th I completed a two week residency on Toronto Islands where this year I was joined by Barbara Bickel another member of the Gestare Art Collective, for collaboration, co-creation and a wealth of opportunities for participatory art-making with other artists in residence.

Artscape Gibraltar point sits on the end of what once was a long sandbar extending from the land at the lakeshore of downtown Toronto, and became the Toronto Islands. This magical place is housed in the former island school, and includes the one room school house built in 1909. The space is funky, rustic, comfortable, charming, inspiring, and sacred to the Mississauga first nation, descendents of the Ojibwa the original people of this land. There is something quite extraordinary about living on an island in a lake as big as a sea - Lake Ontario - within earshot and clear sight of Toronto's downtown commercial core.

Every morning we walked out to the beach, mere steps from the studio to witness the lake in her many moods and marvel at the endless trails of the  black cormorants as they traced their patterns across the sky.

Beside and behind us the incredible diversity of the islands' trees rang with the songs of migrating songbirds whose brilliant plumage flashes caught our eyes in the leafy branches of their summer habitat. In the waterways and wetlands the red-winged blackbirds announced their vigilance attacking bird and human alike who ventured too near their nesting place. Storm broken black willow trees laid on the grassy meadows, once enormous, stately and yet vulnerable in their aging wood. Sweet scent from wild roses and the white flowers of the black locust bathed the beach access paths. And the rhythm of the waves breaking on shore, lulled us into lake time, as our bodies resonated with the waters and our feet sank into the sand.

The thread of a dream - a collaborative participatory artworking in/to/through dreamtime 

click here for more on this collaborative working and to view the Performance Ritual video

A canvas labyrinth working

My relationship with the labyrinth began in the late 90's walking a temporary gravel labyrinth laid during a spiritual intensive at Loon Lake, BC. Since then labyrinth making and walking has been central to my spiritual and art practices. The creation of a portable labyrinth as an artmaking process, a long held desire of mine, manifested in my June 2012 residency. 

The green of the grassy labyrinth amidst the clustering trees beside the 1884 St. Andrews-by-the-lake Anglican Church on Toronto Islands found its way into my canvas labyrinth.

I taped the lines, and moved outside where I tarped the grassy dry ground, laid the canvas down and began to work with water and acrylics. The forest floor pathway emerged in the many shades of green as I applied and reapplied the wash with brush, hands, spray bottle, while the hot sun warmed my body and offered a fast drying environment between the layers of the workings.

I began with a sketch or two imagining a design. Graphite drawings on paper followed, then in my studio - a repurposed classroom portable complete with chalkboard and chalk, I refined the lines, shaping the curves, measuring the spaces until finally I had my dimensions and my design.  I moved to the heavy raw canvas, cutting and sewing the foundation for my labyrinth. I laid it on the studio floor marking the pathway lines with red wool.

Sounds flowed through/from my body moving with the artmaking, resonating threads of relationship between me and the gestating space of my newly emerging labyrinthal womb.

The STAG Vancouver July 2011

Urban gardens, urban sounds, urban images filled my 2011 residency at the Strathcona Art Gallery (STAG) in Vancouver. The Gestare collaborative artmaking project saw the birth of the Nap-In and the co-creation of the Dream Scroll. while my arting journey wove connections between my appreciation for the ingenuity of urban food growers and my relationship with the camera lens in this environment.

My arting journey wove connections between my passion for locally grown food, my appreciation for the ingenuity of urban food growers and my relationship with the camera lens in this environment.

Food in demolition sites, in community gardens, on street corners, in hotel parking lots, on balconies - everywhere the food gardens amidst flower gardens  suggest a new awareness of the value of growing our own food - the principles of food security, local diet, small footprint all in evidence in the urban food garden.

Then there's the Trout Lake Farmers' Market with an abundance of fresh, colourful, shiny magnificent food, berries, flowers and herbs, from local growers plus fruits from the interior, fish from Georgia Strait, music and face painting all contributing to the strong sense of community created every Saturday in Trout Lake park.

Artscape Gibraltar Point June 2010

Oil Catcher

In June 2010 this piece emerged as my response to the Deep Water Horizon oil rig disaster of April that year. My first found objects installation, the art opened in me a field of response to a catastrophic event that struck at the heart of my caring for the living creatures of the deep oceans.

On April 20, 2010 an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico started the largest oilspill in history. This event was headline news for a while and we saw many pictures of oiled pelicans and seagulls floundering in the surf, giant turtles lying dead on the sand, dolphins and fish, dead at the edge of the water, hermit crabs suffocating in their desperate attempts to escape the oil. 

read more....

 

Artists statement oil catcher.pdf Artists statement oil catcher.pdf
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Regalia of the Siren Priestess

As priestesses of the deep the sirens of Greek mythology held the mysteries of the borderspaces between land and sea. It was said that their ravishing beauty was irresistible to the sailors and that their songs lured these souls to their deaths.........This piece invites a reframing of the story

read more.......

 

Regalia of the Siren Priestess statement.pdf Regalia of the Siren Priestess statement.pdf
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 Artscape Gibraltar Point June 2009

The journey into my first residency wove through deep collaborative co-arting time with the women who founded the Gestare Art Collective, and around many sand labyrinths as we co-created our closing performance ritual 'Tracing Absence, Sounding Presence'.

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