SJ Regional Grant Project , blog #1

    Digging New Brunswick clay with friends and family labour, THANKS.100_4005

    Geo-project 2009


    Artsnb created a series of Regional Grants in 2008 to enable artists in each area to apply for funding in partnership with local business and or public institutions.

    In June 2009 I was awarded a grant, partnering with the NBM to create a series of work relating to the geology of the southern area of New Brunswick…due to be completed by spring 2010.

    Before applying I talked with Wendy Martindale ( Head, Community Services ) and Randy Miller ( Research Curator, Geology and Palaeontology), walked the geologic path at the Market Square NBM, listened to the related videos by Allison Hughes and then thought about the whole process and what I might do.

    There are many ways to tackle any art project, from the wide choice of mediums to zeroing in one one particular aspect. Fossils have always fascinated me. I walked over the floor display in the NBM, touched them, remembered the tree like piece I had in my garden and wondered what would future fossils look like. What do we use today that may leave a mark in the earth of tomorrow?

    I called my art project “Future Fossils”, and I see my job as connecting the ancient of yesterday with the immediate and familiar of today.; and do it in such a way that our humanity is apparent.

    After the proposal was mailed I continued mulling over the infinite possibilities, continued to look around my studio as I worked on finishing “Unanswered Questions” (a peace project) and discovered a couple of examples that made connections in my mind to the geo-project.

    One was a chunk of clay that I had fired….the texture ranged from fine to rough and I had broken it in half, chopped off the outside edges, glazed the inside a rather dark gold (a glaze given me by Sue Northrup years ago when I worked for the city of Saint John Art Center on Canterbury St.) The small sculpture had been sitting on the shelf for so long I didn’t see it most days. But it was a favourite and a distinct possibility for my new art series.

    The second was a section of a wood with an obvious young tree and branch inside, I found it years ago midst the stove wood and brought it in to dry, wanting to use it as a sculpture in someway. The opportunity may have arrived.

    The positive and negative about creating art is that usually you are not sure exactly what form you will use until you begin the creative process… me this is the fun part. Letting my hands and brain take over and see what they can come up with.

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