I'm excited to be heading across the Northumberland Strait this weekend for the Pictou Island Portage, a walking-based artist residency curated by Eryn Foster on Pictou Island, Nova Scotia. I will be there as a visiting artist, and will be facilitating a workshop on Saturday afternoon. 

  Pictou Island (source: Wikipedia)

Pictou Island (source: Wikipedia)

"Curated and organized by Eryn Foster, the Pictou Island Portage is a week-long artist residency taking place on Pictou Island, Nova Scotia. As part of this residency, seven Canadian artists, a writer and a photographer will create independent and collaborative works that explore the idea and practice of portage. For the duration of this residency, participants will repetitively traverse the island on foot while also carrying around with them a sculptural, conceptual or performative object of art. A series of related workshops and special events will take place throughout the week and all activities will be open to island residents and visitors to Pictou Island. This project has been generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and Arts Nova Scotia. The Pictou Island Portage is presented in collaboration with Dalhousie Art Gallery and NSCAD University (Division of Foundation Studies). 

Pictou Island Portage resident artists include: Aimée Henny Brown (Vancouver BC), Ursula Johnson (Eskasoni NS), Barbara Lounder (Dartmouth NS), Douglas Raymond Smarch Jr. (Teslin YT), Michael Waterman (St. John’s, NF) and Sheilah Wilson (River John, NS/Granville, OH). Other participants include: expedition artist Sarah Burwash (Halifax, NS), expedition photographer Katherine Knight (Caribou NS/Toronto ON) and expedition writer Mary Macdonald (St. John’s NF). 

Pictou Island Portage is the fourth in the series New Canadian Pilgrimages, a walking-based art and research project first launched in 2007 by Eryn Foster."

Drawing from experiences in musical improvisation, drumming, authentic movement and living off-grid, the workshop I'm facilitating will explore witnessing. A series of activities or rituals involving mirroring, movement, rhythm, non-verbal communication and mapping will empower participants to be in relation to their surroundings through revealing story.

The workshop will run from 3 to 5 p.m. and will be located at John MacCallum Memorial Park and Beach on the east end of the island. Participants should find two sticks on their way to the beach for use in the workshop. They will be used for drumming exercises and mark making. The drumming won't be intense, so any sticks will do and should be a length that is comfortable for you (I suggest one to two feet). You should also bring your notebooks and pen/pencils.

Stay posted on the PIP by visiting the event page and/or the group page on Facebook.