I’m allowing life to weave story in me. I am not the artist. I am a witness of the animacy of a living world, within, without. All is kin. Land is creator. The way is water.
I believed that I wanted to be a poet, but deep down I just wanted to be a poem. ― Jaime Gil de Biedma
I consider my practice to be a living process – asking questions, following curiosity, with the intent of understanding and kinship. The works I create are environmental studies, and recognize the natural world as witness and teacher. Through placing myself and my practice in relation to the invisible histories and physical processes of the body and environment, I've found that one can communicate with and be in relation to all things, tapping into deep sources of wisdom. In my creative process, which is centred in the practice of listening, I engage in a sensorial intimacy with the living land in order to truly be collaborative, rather than imposing a vision. For me, collaborating with nature is not about using it as a medium for my individual expression, but in finding that place where true communication and relationship exists, and improvising there.
Cultural ecologist and author David Abrams speaks of a boundary between the human and the more-than-human world in his book, Spell of the Sensuous. He says, "Tend the boundary between the human world and the more-than-human world, and make sure that boundary stays porous, that it stays a membrane, that it never hardens into a barrier, shutting out."
My life has always felt called toward this boundary, and my art practice aims to make sure it's as porous as possible. The work I create is simultaneously a way to move more deeply into this space of deep relationship with the natural world, and to also share it with others in community.
The natural world is a living archive. Landscape has memory, water carries story. I know when my body is touched by water, immersed in water, a resonance and transfer of information occurs. The water flows through landscapes and my body. It makes me of the landscape – my body, a song for the earth.
I often ask myself, How can we be instruments of the land? Can we hear the natural world speak, and come to know its language? How can the land guide us? Our listening? Our actions? How are we to be, with each other, on the land? What is the land dreaming?
Through my place-responsive work in sound, performance, sculpture and writing, it is my intention to dissolve surface associations and reveal what is underneath and felt by embracing nature's language and listening as wayfinding.
Invisible places rest in me. And in all places. They reveal themselves, slowly. Collaborating with the unknown. Allowing the hidden to speak. Embodying deep knowledge. Imprints. Storytelling. Language and wind. Singing sand. Moving mass of terns diving for moving mass of fish. Re-membering origins. Bringing together that which has been scattered. Feathers. Sunset. West. Illumination. Driftwood, vertically set. June bugs buzzing and crunching along swaying dune grass. A fox here, not here. Tracks. Leaving traces in the land. Washed away. Existing in another world, and here in this one. The drum as the link. The anchor. Heartbeat. ALLOWING LIFE TO WEAVE STORY IN ME. "Anything can fly."
Bay of Fundy, January 2017