Excavation (…closer to where we began)
2017. Balsa wood, birchwood, 5” high 3D printed figures, garden boulders, stones, moss, charcoal, glass, paper, ink, journals, pomegranate, sand, bamboo, twine. 5’ x 8’ x 10” h.
In the summer of 2017, I was thrilled to be invited by LabSpace to devise an installation for Sculpting New Reads as part of the Word on the Street Festival.
Though this event lasted for only one day, when I was asked to create a response to Lisa Richter’s new book of poetry, Closer to Where We Began, I leapt at the chance. The project proved to be a highly enriching process with the poet’s work offering many varied and fertile considerations. This installation is the outcome.
Within my ongoing creative inquiry, I am driven by overarching notions of connectivity, duration, and evolutionary process, and Ms. Richter’s writing speaks to me because of the observations and large-arc narratives therein that resonate with the themes and intents within my own practice.
The poet is the central character in her lush, thoughtful and evocative poetry, and her probing, meandering, serpentine investigation into her personal memories, and imaginings brought to mind both an excavation and a labyrinth, a labyrinth of revelations and unravellings. Embracing the theme of connectedness across epochs of emotions and multiplicitous events, Excavation (closer to where we began) is inspired by the intimate, visceral, layered, fleeting and indelible histories of which Ms. Richter writes so beautifully. By charting evocative rather than literal narratives and acting as a sort of interpretive dramaturge and choreographer, my intent in this project is to engage the participant/viewer in a world that is haptic, metaphoric and abstract, tapping into intuitive knowledge at the same time as prompting memories and textures of specific moments in time, hopefully inviting thoughtful reflection upon one’s own place in the world and within the larger, encompassing, fluid sense of time.
In 2018, the Toronto Design Offsite invited me to partake in their annual design/art Festival, which presented an excellent opportunity to remount Excavation(…closer to where we began). Nicely, this installation was deemed one of the Best of the Festival, winning a prized DesignLines Love Tag!