After viewing “Marking the Infinite at the Museum of Anthropology we enjoyed looking at the Indigenous Northwest Coast collection in the Great Hall.
On a recent day trip to Vancouver, we saw the exhibit “Marking the Infinite” -a show by contemporary women artists from Aboriginal Australia at the Museum of Anthropology at UBC.
I was really moved by the work in this exhibition. The work had an energy and movement, that felt like a heartbeat. The colour and pattern seemed to radiate and vibrate an inner life source. Without doubt this is the best work I have seen in a long long time.
“Aboriginal women have been redrawing the boundaries of the contemporary Aboriginal art scene in Australia since the late 1980s, redefining a movement that continues today.
Marking the Infinite features the work of nine Aboriginal women—Nonggirrnga Marawili, Wintjiya Napaltjarri, Yukultji Napangati, Angelina Pwerle, Carlene West, Regina Pilawuk Wilson, Lena Yarinkura, Gulumbu Yunupingu and Nyapanyapa Yunupingu—each from different remote regions of Australia. They are revered matriarchs and celebrated artists who are represented in the collections of the Australian National Gallery. Most of them make their Canadian debut at MOA with this breathtaking exhibition.
The artists bring their ancient cultural knowledge into their contemporary artistic practice, and continue to create art to ensure their languages, land and knowledge survive in an increasingly digital world. Their works are steeped in the traditions of their communities and yet speak to the universal themes of our shared existence, revealing the continued relevance of Indigenous knowledge in understanding our time and place in this world.” (quote from MOA)
After what seemed like a long winter and a snowfall on February 10th that was still hanging around on March 10 —- and it seemed to last forever before it melted all away from the yard mid-March — it was great to have a day trip to Vancouver in sunny warm weather. The morning ferry ride was beautiful.
We had a wonderful 4-day trip to Ucluelet, BC - it was mostly sunny and very warm, but we did get snow on the first morning. The top row shows the scene from our room on March 6th. at 4:47 pm. The second row shows the same scene on March 7th. at 9:15 am.with a light dusting of snow.
Canada’s first catch-and-release aquarium. Raising awareness about local biodiversity and promoting respect for the ocean environment.
I had a great time at the Ucluelet Aquarium and had the opportunity to visit there on two different days. On day 1 I took a lot of videos and the second day I spent a lot of time sketching and taking photos. I love it there. The staff are helpful and knowledgeable. The first four images are of Hilde - a Giant Pacific Octopus. The Aquarium writes: “The Giant Pacific Octopus is an incredibly dedicated ocean mother. After laying 18,000 to 75,000 eggs a female GPO will spend roughly 7 months continually caring for them in her den. The protection and care is so intensive that GPO mothers’ often forgo food for the entire period. By the end of the 7 months, when the eggs begin to hatch, the female will usually die. The average GPO lifespan is 3 years for females, 5 years for males. Hilde will be returned to the wild in June so that she can hopefully have tiny octopus babies of her own some day.”
Tangled seaweed clusters, decaying and breaking down in the December time period.
Intertidal area of Big Beach, Ucluelet, BC in the May time period.
Take a tour around my studio and see the tools I use to make my mixed media collage work.
Nature, organic forms, geology and cellular structures inspire my work.
Drawing is the touchstone of my art practice and involves extensive explorations of mark making in a wide variety of mediums and techniques.
In my current work, I manipulate paper through the unconventional methods of puncturing, smoking, burning, rubbing, cutting and folding. My work is built up in collaged layers creating a sense of textured density.
We spent a week at the Black Rock at Christmas time. We were booked to stay for two weeks, but due to a huge storm that hit not only the west coast but all parts of Vancouver Island, we had to cut our stay short. to take care of things at home as our power was off.
In our week at Big Beach we had terrific wind storms and big big waves. I had lots of beach finds on this Abalone shells, Red turban snails, mussels, small pieces of scallops that have been worn down with holes from boring sponges, barnacles…After I photograph and draw from the shells, I put them back where I found them.
I set-up my winter studio and got right to work on observing and drawing the shells I had found.
Back home and working in the studio
Gary Oak trees in the churchyard at St. Peters Church, Duncan, BC.
About 8 cups of hulls to the same amount of water and let boil. Add in one large old rusty chain, rusty saw blade (at the bottom).and some rusted parts. The iron oxide has a reaction with the acorn liquid and turns it from a similar warm walnut brown colour to a beautiful silver-grey colour. The recipe is from the book ‘Making Ink” by Jason Logan.
Examples of the acorn ink colour - a beautiful silvery grey-black.
Highlights of this trip are shown in this group of chosen photos.
In October I was inspired to make some walnut ink, based on a recipe in the book “Make Ink” by Canadian author Jason Logan. I put a call out on my Facebook page and to a to a local Facebook group asking for help in finding walnut hulls. Pretty soon I had two good leads. One was a tree in downtown Duncan, BC. in an alley behind a shoe repair store. The second lead was from an art acquaintance, who out on a walk that morning, saw a neighbour gathering walnuts- she passed his name onto me. I was able to make two large batches of about 8 cups of hulls each. I cooked the walnut hulls on the camp stove; straining and filtering the liquid. It was a lot of work, especially in the filtering process, but worth it. The colour is such a rich deep walnut colour. Love it. The two batches are called “Festubert” and “Sahtlem”, for the street and area they were grown in. I will use this ink in my drawings.