It has been a year since my colleague, artist Emily Rose Michaud, and I began planning a series of nomadic residencies. Our first has been in collaboration with PAF where I experienced a relaxed four days in focused research and production.
(PAF- Place des Artistes de Farrellton, La Pêche, Québec)
July 30 – August 2, 2018
We set up a work table under a majestic cedar tree. My method has been to think about things to do while in residence and to prepare a few objects and materials. My approach is to think of this as a working holiday with time off to loll on the grass and contemplate life. I start to work on a roll of paper (1 ft x 50 ft) spread out along a tire rut. The morning is hot and humid with assorted insects visiting my work place. I start the drawing with a 55 ft line in black gouache. The line overlaps onto the earth at each end as a way of extending it into the environment and into infinity.
After lunch I returned to make black pastel marks over the line. This doubling is fun and picks up a trace of the stones and dirt from the road underneath the paper. For me, this indicates the specificity of place. Holding the edges of the paper against the gentle wind gusts, the stones add beauty. In my note book I make a list of the sounds, smells and sights of the grounds around PAF.
Another beautiful morning! At 7:30 a.m. I am leaving the highway and driving North on the 105. La rivière Gatineau, in her smooth dark mystery, reflects the tree bank on the opposite side. On arriving, I start by dragging boxes of supplies to the back of the building. Unused playground forms abound among the lush green overgrowth. This is an ideal place for my constructions. I hope for visual humour with a critical edge.
For example, the potted lilies are about self-containment and its consequences of beautiful blooms in a shallow foundation, not sustainable …
It has been raining, everything is wet. The rain has changed the places where we can set up. I decide to do rubbings of the building and of the grounds.
A rubber tire climbing gym proves to be the perfect place to begin some critical drawings.
The sun peeking through the passing clouds and the humid air carry the sweet smells of wild flowers, grasses and the earth, itself. I prepare some cardboard objects and paint them “Caucasian colour” to suspend from an arching ladder form. Ladders are human inventions.
This is the last day of our residency. Working parallel with Emily Rose has been rewarding. While drawing separately, we take time to talk and to share what we are doing. Feeling good about this process, we schedule a second nomadic residency for August in another local setting!
A big thank you to the artists at PAF and especially to Hannah Ranger for permission to hang out.
Ottawa School of Art
2017 sculpture studio residency
The objective of my residency was to make physically large pieces.
What I learned is that my small objects are the scale I need.
Ottawa School of Art residency info
Drawing the Line Collective
2013 residency on Toronto Island’s Gibralter Point
Drawing the Line Collective was Katie Argyle, Gail Bourgeois and Shirley Yik. What we created together could never be made by us as individuals.