E.A.M. VI

environmental arts mentoring no.6

this week was more focussed on the signs of spring, rabbit browse and a kill site we investigated. that may sound strange, though it was amazing to see the different tracks of dogs who had already run through the site numerous times where a rabbit was killed by the time we arrived in the late afternoon.

most of the dog tracks ran up to the kill, stopped, dug around, nabbed some bit of fur, and in a shark like frenzy (remember domesticated dogs also look for those rare moments when they can pretend they are wild like wolves) would run straight up the steep bank to savour their treasure. we mostly poked around with sticks and questions.

one person says: coyote

another says: hawk

 

it as harder to bring these lessons directly into drawing upon arriving back, so instead we set a different lesson: to try and draw a white pine terminal bud from a birds eye, or foreshortened, perspective.

here are the results. i believe one such result is the merfox-mermaid/fox (i have noticed that attention span in drawing is often defined by the faith you have to be able to render it so others can understand it. this was made a little more public, and therefore confidence was more strained, by being done in chalk while the weekend program was running in chimney court).

signs of spring…

Who’s that hiding down under the snow, but still green?!?

look closely...

look closely…

cooper’s hawks nesting in cabbagetown

These hawks build a nest and raise young in a busy central toronto park in the spring of 2012. This park borders two cemetaries, the don river valley and rosedale valley.
After a whole season of watching this pair we were moving away from the park, this large ash, and a small fort in the woods on the bank of the rosedale ravine, sitting in this fort before the move, woven with living riperian grape vine, in a lull in conversation one of the cooper’s hawks dove at an incredible speed through the thick canopy of trees that hid the fort, and alighted gracefully on a branch 8ft away and looked keenly right at us for a long moment.
So much learned in studying these birds and chatting to neighbors about them and the lives of they’re young, doesn’t really show up in this film of them and the nest….but here it is.

 

silver maple buds

 

 

 

 

 

 

silver_maplesilver maple buds are like stars, dormant during the day and bursting forth in abundant energy….if you take any fallen twig with buds on it, and put it in water for a week, some mysterious forces can unfold. i had a magnolia last week which flowered!

 

 

Environmental Arts Mentoring V

ever moving subject: ice

ever moving subject: ice

this session instead began with a journey up a mountain (ish) finding bark to slide down the ice and eventually harvesting a large chunk to draw. this was a very challenging subject as it was constantly moving and changing form, hence the bat person drawing who emerged when the ice became to difficult to draw….

new ‘towards an anarchist ecology’ zine from “knowing the land is resistance”

High time to honor people who seek, through sensitive observation, to understand the land they stand on, and help create tools to share that understanding…
The leadership shown by this collective, knowing the land is resistance ( http://www.knowingtheland.com ), has helped me to navigate the swift and muddy waters of my responsibility and place in relation to the communities of the lower don river valley.

Check out and share in the beauty of their latest achievement:

Click to access towards-anarchist-ecology.pdf

the dreaming tree – resurfacing 9 years later…

dreaming tree-feb-14it was not until i was half way through this drawing of a misfit willow sculpture created through these pores in some sort of vine i found in the forest when i realized that it is almost precisely the same image and process from 9 years before.

i was trying to articulate dreams on paper in my last year of art school in scotland, and had this dream of a tree form, with these progressive contractions which projected out from the central wood sculpture. i built and documented this form in 2005, without really getting closer to understanding the object or dream, but enjoying the inquiry all the same.

see the original dreaming tree here:

http://www.foolishnature.org/homely/memorial/THE%20DREAMING%20TREE/thedreamingtree.html

environmental arts mentoring II

artsmentoringFEB1_14

what plant is this?

portfolio, 2014

The Farm Shelter – 2006 – bailer twine, local coppiced hazel wood, goat willow bark, local hay and nails.

mr.zigler released to us the following statement: AN INSTALLATI written in 2006

mr.zigler released to us the following statement: AN INSTALLATION FROM A GROUP SHOW AT THE STROUD HOUSE GALLERY, IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK, ENTITLED “THE FARM.” THIS WORK WAS PLAYFULLY CREATED WITH THE CONTRAST OF A STRUCTURE FOR FARM ANIMALS WHICH IS AT ONCE A SHELTER AND A PRISON, BOTH A COMFORT AND DOMESTICATION.

INSIDE THE SHELTER, HAND BUILD WITH AN ODD MIXTURE OF LABOR INTEINSIDE THE SHELTER, HAND BUILD WITH AN ODD MIXTURE OF LABOR INTENSIVE NATURAL MATERIALS AND THOSE FROM A LOCAL FARM, IS CONTAINED A LAYER OF HAY IN WHICH THERE IS THE IMPRINT OF A HUMAN BODY. THE ROOM IN WHICH IT IS INSTALLED IN COMPLETELY FREE FROM ARTIFICIAL LIGHT, ONLY THE SMALLEST AMOUNT TRICKLING IN FROM THE ADJACENT ROOMS. AS YOUR EYES ADJUST TO THE LIGHT, DETAILS BECOME SUBTLY AND DISTURBINGLY CLEAR.

the hay and all the materials went back into the farm. the woodwe have it on good faith that in the building of this project mr. zigler was delivered at the space with a wealth of wet, muddy materials, with little concept ofwhat he was seeking to achieve, and through the course of four days and nights, build this installation. a focus on the creativity of the process, rather than a measured goal oriented design. the hay and all the materials went back into the farm. the wood for charcoal burning. the hay for bedding (although usually it would be used for feed).

we have it on good faith that in the building of this project mran odd thing happened to this shelter when brought into the climate of the indoor gallery space. allof a sudden, the bark which was layered on the roof to keep out the rain shriveled and dried up, while when it was on the shelter that mr. zigler had build outside it somewhat served the function because of the constant english rain. all of the materials became brittle, not like the decay of the forest, all rot and dinner for a host of creatures, but the decomposition of the desert, becoming like bones which then would blow away as dust.a healthy experience, and one which signposted which direction was the most appropriate.

an odd thing happened to this shelter when brought into the climthe gallery charged a fee to exhibit there for three weeks. another way to capitalize, or less negatively to make a living off the creativity of others, and one which this work did not fit within, seeing that few people would seek to buy such a shelter. regardless of its monetary worth within the context of a commercial gallery space, it truly had a firm opinion concerning the theme of this group show, the farm, but instead of selling this point of view in a package which makes it easier to consume, it offered a communal meal, where each viewer would have to work to take what they could. this is not being negative towards commercial art, only identifying the distance that this shelter was from it.a healthy experience, and one which signposted which direction w