Archive for the ‘Contributers’ Category
…. to skip the long role call skip to 2:30…
written by Becka Viau
I challenge you to consider this debate and then mix it up with your thoughts about a Prince Edward Island Provincial Museum. I am not suggesting another animatronic display of the father’s of Confederation … but how significant is the closing of Founder’s Hall? What will become of that space? Is a true museum the answer?
IN BETWEEN SPACES is an experimental video project that explores the notion of a communal gaze. This collaborative documentary follows 12 individual perspectives from within a community; and through their eyes a sense of objective reality emerges. The community is Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
In the summer of 2011, four video cameras were placed in the hands of four people who filmed one hour of their lives over the course of 3 days. When their hour was up they handed the cameras on to four others of their choosing to repeat the process. This cycle happened once more and in the end, 12 hours of footage from the daily lives of individuals in Charlottetown was collected.
The Director/Editor Millefiore Clarkes onethousandflowers.tv then acted as the organizing principle (with the help of original music composed by Roger Carter rogercarter.bandcamp.com) ordering and filtering these layers of perspective into a whole.
This project was part of the 2011 Cultural Capital Designation in Charlottetown PEI.
Film By Millefiore Clarkes
When I realized that my cousin’s wedding in Toronto was taking place in the month of September – I knew I had to make a companion piece to the earlier work ‘December in Toronto’. The titles just complement each other so well.
This time I journeyed with my partner Daniel. This is Toronto, in September, through the lens of one wandering gaze.
Music by the incomparable Roger Carter rogercarter.bandcamp.com
Aganetha Dyck: Guest Workers
TO READ THE POETRY CREATED BY THE RUMOUR MILL - CLICK HERE!
Be Part of the Rumour Mill
Have you heard? During the Art in the Open event on August 27, you can participate in “The Rumour Mill,” an interactive art installation by visual artist Stephen B. MacInnis and writer Jane Ledwell, in Rochford Square. The Rumour Mill will be a gossip-powered human machine for generating poetry out of tourism advertising.
“We’ll be looking for volunteers every hour all evening to be part of our ‘machine,’” says Ledwell. “Basically, all we’re asking is for people to play a fun game of ‘Telephone.’ We’ve got quotations from PEI tourism ads, and we’ll be asking for volunteers to pick one at random and whisper the phrase from person to person down the line. After the phrase is transformed by mishearings, misunderstandings, misrememberings, and random events, we’ll call it ‘poetry’ and write it on a scrolling sheet of paper.
“Stories change from person to person in the Island’s infamous word-of-mouth networks, and sometimes that is destructive,” says Ledwell. “We thought, why not use that energy to make poetry?”
“The installation will reference parts of an old-fashioned wooden mill or machine,” says MacInnis. “It will have a hopper, harnesses, and a hand-cranked reel of paper.
“The idea of an art machine to turn tourism advertising back into culture was really interesting to us,” MacInnis continues. “We want people to think about the ideas behind the project, but we also want this artwork to be playful to interact with.”
The Rumour Mill will operate on schedule in Rochford Square at every hour on the hour from 4:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and for a last run at 11:45 on August 27 during Art in the Open. The “rumours” will circulate in French only, relying on Francophone or bilingual participants, at 5:30 p.m. and at 8:30 p.m.
“We can also run the machine between scheduled times,” says Ledwell. “In fact, any time we have a group of six or more people who want to take part, we’ll crank up the machinery for them.”
You can find out more about The Rumour Mill at http://sbmacinnis.wordpress.com.
Psst… pass it along.
Written by Becka Viau
** before I begin I want to thank Phil, Nancy and Shaman from Atlantic Living Walls, Ann Carrier, Gail Hodder and Mauricio Aristizabal, Dave Mayne, and Scott Brown for making this project super smooth .. or almost
Two and a half months ago I was asked to create a mural in celebration of Charlottetown’s Cultural Capital of Canada Designation. The mural was to be created live from 9 am – 5 pm during the Canada Day celebrations in Ottawa. This is the journey of creating that mural…
So I had received the invitation…what an incredible honor! I was excited to have been selected to represent my home city at a national event, yet I wasn’t sure exactly how I would capture a whole city jam packed with culture on one 8 ft by 12 ft piece of plywood. I was also a little nervous about the other artists that would be creating beside me. Both were graffiti artists from Levis Quebec and Vancouver B.C., and in Charlottetown we all know how many opportunities there are to legally develop your urban graffiti art portfolio… so I started to brainstorm …
I began by asking myself what is it that defines Charlottetown as a place within the province of Prince Edward Island? Is it the churches? Is it province house or city hall? or the brick houses or the confederation centre? I really didn’t think it was any of those things so I started poking around in the provincial and municipal symbology for some clues. I found out some pretty interesting things but something I will never forget is that at some point Charlottetown soil was named the provincial soil of P.E.I.! I thought that was strange but in the crazy world of brainstorming that tid bit of information sparked my interest in the City of Charlottetown’s Sustainability Plan, and it was here that mural project was born!
Spring was starting to show up and everyone in Charlottetown was getting antsy to clean up their yards. The weather was still cool but you can’t stop the people of Charlottetown from cutting the grass and fancying up the yard. There is a great sense of pride in the manicured green space here, and I do find myself smiling when someone from away comments on how beautifully maintained our properties are…
So how do you make a living artwork that will survive a trip to Ottawa, and be able to hang on the wall? …. I didn’t know, but I did know that Phill Ferraro and Nancy Willis have been involved in similar projects so I set up a meeting. Little did I know they were minutes away from launching their new business Atlantic Living Walls, serendipity perhaps.
I was quickly introduced to Shaman Ferraro, the recent business grad and green design enthusiast, met the dog Sandi and toured the amazing back yard. We discussed the possibilities of growing a living wall from seed and transporting the structure to Ottawa while exploring various plant types that were already growing in their yard. This was not going to be an easy task BUT! I did fall in love with a small patch of baby chia grass. It was for sure that I would be using that grass sprout as the main part of my design.
The difficulty of the project for me was figuring out how to transport this living wall, keeping the whole structure under 100 pounds and of course working on budget. Things started off with flying colours, like most projects do, the wall was to be built in eight 4ft. x 4ft panels that would then be fastened together on site. (see photo above) It looked like canvases of felt, a synthetic felt that is used in all of Atlantic Living Walls’ products.Then once the seeds were planted and things started to sprout the panels started to look like mini landscapes, beautiful mini landscapes.
The seeds started to sprout right on time, magic really… and when the sprouts were big enough to touch the surface was so soft, it made me want to walk on it in my bare feet or just keep touching it. (see below) The plants at this stage are pretty fragile like most young things and with a risk of frost peeking around the corner I could only keep my fingers crossed.
The frost stayed away but the cold damp cold did not. That provide the perfect atmosphere for fungus to invade my little manicured landscape. A bunch ended up dying. That was a sad day, and a day of panic since I was leaving in one week! But like most negative things something positive was hiding behind it. The great team at Atlantic living walls came to the rescue with their incredible problem solving skills. We beefed up the frames with some more insulation (organic materials of course) that would support the growth of longer roots behind the felt and planted some already grown ornamental grasses in the Chia badlands. After few deep breathes and a couple of pictures from above I started to see that by adding the insulation to the back of the mural created we had “hills” in the landscape and the new plants added a great 3-demensional feel to the whole wall. Phew, a happy outcome from a difficult situation.
I drove the mural in its parts to Ottawa in a pick up truck borrowed from a friend. Thank goodness the trip was made on an overcast day because the back of the truck would end up cooking the surviving little Chia sprouts if I had to travel in hot hot sun. I drove straight to Ottawa on July 29 to ensure I could get the mural out of the potential oven quickly and be ready to set up for Canada Day on the 30th at 9:am.
It was the day before when I tested the red clay harvested from Tea Hill on the felt. (see photo below) It looked wonderful, and it smelt like home. Instantly the people around the event grounds were intrigued. I quickly had an audience asking me questions about Charlottetown and P.E.I. about the technical side living walls and roofs and of course everyone wants to know how hard it is to get red clay stains out of white clothes.
The mural was set and ready to be finished during the celebrations. An early night and some awesome friend support got me to the site on time the next morning and I dug right in. Up to my elbows in red clay as the first visitors arrived.
The experience of being so filthy in public and talking to people from all over the country about sustainable design, green roofs, Charlottetown and Island Culture was incredible. I felt so incredibly proud to be from Charlottetown, and from P.E.I. We have a special little home here. We have a kind of life that most people only ever dream of.
To finish the mural off I took some gold spray paint and stenciled the royal lion from our provincial flag onto the oval, or manicured lawn of the mural. Someone asked me why and this is what I told them … Before I left for Ottawa I received notice on my front door that my neighbor was going to be spraying their lawn with chemicals to rid it of broad leaf weeds… I was disgusted. the notice warned about keeping pets and children off the grass, and what are broad leaf weeds anyway? Dandilions …
At the very end of the day I sprayed that lion in gold spray paint onto my living mural to acknowledge that behind most manicured weedless lawns and landscapes are pesticides. Sure the company that sprayed my neighbors yard had to notify me, but they still sprayed chemicals. I was still exposed and so where the children who play next door. Sure magazines tell us our lawns should be weed free and perfectly green or the market will tell us that we must produce vast amounts of potatoes which requires pesticide use to ensure yields … but I am from P.E.I and I want my kids to be healthy. I want to believe in an organic P.E.I. no matter what the people in power say. … and so I sprayed that royal lion onto my mural, even though I never thought it would be that pretty.
All in all I am still very honored to have been chosen to represent the City of Charlottetown in Ottawa. I hope I created a piece of art that Charlottetown is proud to call their own. I learned a lot about not being afraid to ask when you need help, working collaboratively with a small business and I learned an incredible amount about what it means to live in Charlottetown. So I thank the City of Charlottetown and the National Capital Commissionfor the opportunity!
It is up to us to keep our home clean and green. From our pride in our landscape should stem our desire to keep it sustainable, to keep it healthy so it lives on for future generations.
for some organic ways of ridding your lawn of weeds click here … or google it!
On the 5th of February, 2011, photographer Anna Karpinski gathered the musicians of Charlottetown, PEI, Canada together for a historic photo shoot (ala. Art Kane’s 1958 photo ‘A Great Day in Harlem’.)
This video installation by Millefiore Clarkes onethousandflowers.tv documents the occasion.
This video, the photograph, and other related artworks were exhibited at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in the show Warming Up. confederationcentre.com/en/exhibitions-archive-read-more.php?exhibition=21
This opinion article was printed June 03 2011 in The Guardian
I am deeply troubled by the proposed PEI Family Party. Their policy on “Freedom from sexual indoctrination” in education compares lesbian and trans identity to pedophilia and bestiality. It also implies that these sex crimes are “normalize(ed), promot(ed) or propagate(ed)” in the public school system. These policies are deeply offensive and have no place in Island politics.
Yes, there is “sexual indoctrination” in schools, but not because the curriculum is promoting sex crimes, or even doing enough to acknowledge the existence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and trans (LGBT) identities. All youth are pressured, harassed, and intimidated into expressing their gender and sexuality in restricted and/or unhealthy ways. Even straight boys are the target of homophobic violence if they fail to act masculine enough – if they figure skate, for example, or (god forbid) cry.
The cost of not teaching about and “normalizing” identities in the school system is extremely high: island families risk losing their children. LGBT youth have a much higher rate of suicide and attempted suicide because their schools, their peers, their families, and their communities do not recognize or accept their identity. LGBT youth will also seize the first opportunity to move away since they experience harassment, intimidation, and/or violence in the school system from students and teachers alike.
The PEI Family Party’s policies on “freedom from sexual indoctrination” are but the tip of the iceberg. Also on the agenda is revoking the rights of non-traditional families, including common-law couples with children, and eliminating all legislation recognizing same-sex marriage. Also chilling is their policy requiring women seeking abortion to read materials and watch videos made by pro-life groups. They would also effectively privatize education by taking money away from the public school system to pay for private schools. Employment equity and pay equity policies are also on the chopping block. It is clear that the PEI Family Party’s concerns are rooted in American-style evangelical Christianity, and I, for one, do not welcome this addition to PEI’s political landscape.
** for more information follow these links … Queer Theory, LGBT, ARC PEI … I tried to find even a curriculum outline for the current sexual education program in Island Schools but I couldn’t find anything …. If you would like to find that information you can most likely request it from the PEI Dept. of Education – becka
Written by Renee Laprise
Over the last month I’ve been wrestling with the idea of continuing to keep MUSEartspace open but with the latest news that MUSE did not receive the Scotia prize this decision was made easier. So I’m sorry to say that MUSE will be closing at the end of July. That said there are still awesome summer camps happening in July so pass on the word! I want to tell you that this last year has been AWESOME. I’ve loved every second and it’s made me grow exponentially as a person. I’ve been able to try so many things and meet so many amazing people. The support that you gave during the Scotia prize voting was fantastic!
I know many of you will be disappointed but this isn’t the end. There are big things happening in Charlottetown and I will continue to be an active part of the community. I hope to see you all out around town And you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in collaborating on something or if you have questions or needs you think I can address. Please keep tabs on my artist page at facebook.com/reneelapriseartist - you could even LIKE it! Then I can alert you as to any events I may be having like life drawing or classes.
PLEASE NOTE!!!!!! That means that 211 Euston St. will be available from Aug 1.
It’s 1400 square feet – with a beautiful gallery space, a great bathroom, a full kitchen and ton of other goodies. I am willing to leave some of the furniture and other stuff here if a group of you decide to get together to make this a shared studio space. It’s a beautiful place to work. I had originally thought to turn MUSE into this kind of space but I decided that I didn’t want to spend time managing. The rent is a bit high but split among 8 or 9 people you could cover it and have a storefront to boot. I hope someone decides to go with this idea. I’ll be giving notice June 1 so please get back to me ASAP and I’ll set up a meeting with the landlord — he’s a great guy and wants the space to continue to be a place for the arts!
Take care everyone. Here’s to the next chapter!