Sheryda Warrener is the author of two poetry collections, most recently Floating is Everything (Nightwood, 2015). Her work has been featured in a recent Believer art issue, and shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, the Arc Magazine Poem of the Year, the Malahat Review Long Poem Prize, and selected as runner-up for Lemon Hound’s inaugural poetry contest. She lives and writes in Vancouver, where she is a lecturer in the Creative Writing program at the University of British Columbia.
EMMELINE DE MOOIJ, MICHAEL DUMONTIER, ANDREA HELLER, MINA TOTINO, UNTIL WE HAVE A HELICOPTER, DANIEL G. WONG
November 17–January 12, 2013
Bringing together six international and Canadian artists, As Far as I Can See contemplates a theme of running away from home. The exhibition investigates the metaphorical space of running away—the lost, explorers and wanderers, and meandering thoughts and dreams—and the physical act of escape—traversing other worlds, ghostly creatures, the dark forest, and the unknown. The exhibition presents both a voyage provoked by the imagination and the beacon that brings us home.
Among the works included is Cloud Studies by Mina Totino (Vancouver), an ongoing series of Polaroid photographs of clouds taken since 1997. Marked with a date, time and occasional anecdotes, the Polaroids reference both the idle pursuit of cloud watching and the transcendent nature of the sky. As a sobering counterpart to Totino’s clouds, Michael Dumontier (Winnipeg) presents a series of foil-stamped books in which the sky is grounded by uniformity and repetition. While no photograph is alike in Cloud Studies, Dumontier presents a scenario in which the intangible sky suddenly feels defined and decisive.
In her 2011 work Hello Trouble, Emmeline de Mooij (Amsterdam) subtly points to the dark and foreboding aspect of fleeing. Composed of plastic, burlap, mud and fabric, the work insinuates a welcoming of the ominous, underlining the possibility that despite the potential for danger, running away breaks us from the confines of the ordinary. The desire to explore the uncharted extends to Daniel G. Wong’s (Lethbridge) work, Are You Wild Are You Free (2012). Wong’s practice is an exploration of wonder, mystery, and poetry in everyday living. He embarks on adventures to immediate and faraway surroundings, wandering to encounter the mundane and remarkable. Wong produces meditations on his findings, questions, and discoveries in the form of zines, posters, and blogs, and his work in this exhibition is generated from recent excursions in Iceland.
Inspired by the memories of her childhood, Andrea Heller (Paris/Zurich) creates a sombre universe populated by creatures and shadows. The playful aura in her work is juxtaposed with suggestions of gloom and abyss. Heller’s work examines the forest as hiding place, incorporating elements of mischief, cheerfulness, and humour. This excursion to the edge of the woods is met with Beacon For The Moonshined Wanderer (2009) by Vancouver-based collective Until We Have A Helicopter, a work comprised of a collection of antique lanterns suspended by rope. The work hangs from the window of the gallery, acting as the destination and departure point for those that stray and the ones that return.
June 1–April 1, 2017
Artspeak invites submissions for its inaugural Studio for Emerging Writers, taking place June 2016–April 2017. Led by Vancouver writer Sheryda Warrener, the aim of the studio is to facilitate a dialogue between post-secondary/recent graduate students ages 20–24 from the visual art and creative writing disciplines to address the problems and pleasures of using language as both a mode of communication and an art medium. Specially tailored for students who are engaged with language as a material, and/or who are interested in its narrative and poetic possibilities.
How has text been incorporated into the field of art, and to what effect? How can art and writing positively influence each other to evolve new forms and modes of speaking? What shape can this inquiry take? Through collaborative creative acts, studio and gallery visits, workshops, and close readings of various texts, writers will explore the shapes and modes that came before, and the as-yet-unspeakable, as-yet-unspoken.
The studio will span the course of ten months. Participants will receive an honorarium for their contribution to the studio. A collection of the writing generated over the course of the studio will be published in chapbook form, and launched at a local event in Spring 2017.
This studio emphasizes collaborative, experiential learning. Interested writers will be willing to enter into a discussion with genuine curiosity and a spirit of generosity and sharing. Applicants should submit a portfolio, including an introduction and brief statement of interest (max. 1 pg.), as well as a selection of work (2–4 samples of creative/critical writing), via email to email@example.com. A total of four participants will be selected. Individuals with diverse writing sensibilities, educational, and cultural backgrounds are welcome and encouraged to apply.
Deadline for submission is May 26, 2016.
Artspeak gratefully acknowledges the BC Arts Council Youth Engagement program for their support of this initiative.