Tag Archives: banff

As if I’ve never been here…

Today I cleared Studio 12. I heard again that it wasn’t the ideal
studio and no one wanted it. It was just the thing for me. It worked
for me and it did so wonderfully.

The clean up came after a few last offerings from the collected
pieces. Each image sets itself sharply into focus on my writable
tablet. I had a good chat with an artist I had tried to spend time
with since I met her on the first day. we sat on the green bench top
as the last event before I took everything down. I was glad that I
could effect this process on my own, allowing the space the graceful
exit it deserved.

Banff 25th March

Me in 4D
Me in 4D

I am relaxing today…an easy walk into Banff to pick up wine for gifts for the composer and the work/study helpers and souvenirs for those at home. So much tacky stuff to choose from! I will punish my kids for their comments about ‘Mum’s useless presents’ and this time I will only send them a photo of the useless presents! Ha! That should stir the pot! Also I did a portrait session for one of the other artists – Bruce Gottlieb – who is creating 4D portraits as part of his residency here. It was surprisingly tricky to turn slowly on the spot yet be animated and interesting. I wish I had left on my signature rabbit fur coat to give a bit of texture to the ensemble. As my sister Erla said that coat (once her daughter’s) is travelling more than she.

Tunnel Mountain pictures

What fun! Today I hiked up Tunnel Mountain. It was very treacherous – icy paths with vertical edges and me with no spikes on my shoes or poles in my hands. Later, one of the locals said she looked at the condition but wouldn’t try it but too late, I was already back! I went on all fours and not only by choice. Great views and clear, windy and cold. The snow made perfect snowballs but I still can’t hit the side of a barn! I’ll have to practice up before I show off! I tried a rock climbing session thinking it could add to my skill set and strength but that will take more work before I show off there too.

What this exhibition is about.

(Edited and I do mean edited excerpt from Google Chat late on the 14th….listed in Australian time frame.)

3:28 PM me: hiya its meeeeee!

Tom: Heloo.

3:29 PM I am not letting Patience talk to you right now.

So how was your day?

3:30 PM me: Great! I finished and exhibition!

Tom: WOW! Photos???

me: yesseresiree

3:31 PM Tom: So tell me about it.

3:33 PM me: I have just sent you photos!

I have just sent you photos!

well they are beeing sent…I might have sent too many…

3:34 PM Tom: I will await their arrival.

While we wait…so tell me.

Pics have arrived.

3:35 PM me: wellll….I invited a collegue into my studio (Sandra Hawkins) and she said…looks like your work here is finished your exhibition is complete!

call it ‘Potential’

So I said ok. I like it too

3:36 PM That is it. Now Week 1 is complete and I have the first exhibition of three…and nothing more to do unless I want too! How’s that!

Tom: Great work!

3:37 PM me: Isn’t it! Are you looking at the photos?

Tom: I am…would appreciate some commentary.

3:40 PM me: okay…I gathered the bits from the dumpsters and other local sources. Then sorted the bits as data. Now, anything I do with them reduces their potential because they become only one of the many possibilities they offer and not any of the others.

3:41 PM Tom: Very clever and insightful…

this could be a new genre…

bag-lady art.

3:42 PM me: So, the work can only become less creative than it is now when it is unused and waiting for its next role….does this make sense?

Tom: Yes, it does…

which is frightening…

but then I lived with your twisted and creative mind for over 34 years now.

Will you be bringing the artwork home?

3:43 PM me: …funny you should ask…but no…except for the beeeautiful materials…which I love and can reuse and reconfigure

3:44 PM Tom: I know how your mind works…and I wouldn’t be surprised to see a container arrive on our doorstep full of this stuff.

3:45 PM me: believe me ..it won’t happen…I have gone a new direction and I know that I can make art out of anything

Tom: Great because we have so much material here for you to work with… 3:46

3:47 PM me: And you have to hear the next best thing…..

Tom: You’re coming home early?

3:48 PM Some one is going to buy the work?

You have been offered a job as artist in residence at an obscene salary?

me: I approached the head of programs in music today to outline the fact that I wish to collaborate with a composer for a final exhibition…tonight I was introduced to Darren (twenty something).

Tom: You won the lottery in Canada?

3:49 PM me: explained my request that music/sound be made out of the dumpster bits that I will make visual art from..in the studio..and he agreed….

3:50 PM Tom: PDQ Bach…Fugue for a bicycle pump.

3:51 PM me: and is very excited about the project and he himself makes notational music out of old Playschool instruments and player pianos, etc and finds The Centre can be a little restricting so…..looks forward to working with me and I with him’

We meet on Monday to record bits

Tom: This place sounds better and better.

3:52 PM me: AND the concert I went to tonight had a celletto – a mechanical version of a cello – it looks like a extendable lamp stand – who plays improve – performer which is a synthesized cello and he said he would do it tooo if wanted. My VA department said this was a very unusual request….hooray! Some Music officials thought – even without asking anyone – they might not be able to help me out. Isn’t that strange on a campus with these arts literally next door to each other?
3:53 PM Tom: Creativity and vision have always been your strength.

The difficulty comes in that you are usually out there pushing boundaries before anyone else gets there.

Banff is once more proof of your ability as an artist and visionary.

3:54 PM Go for it!

me: Thanks!!!

I am really happy with this! Its fun!

3:55 PM And the other thing is today I regained ground spiritually

Tom: How so?

3:56 PM me: I know that you have been praying for me….

Well I took along this Thomas Merton Book of Hours and today it made an impact…

3:57 PM Tom: Yes….in what way?

3:58 PM me: I read..

3:59 PM Why should want to be rich when You were poor?

4:00 PM Why should I desire to be famous and powerful?

4:01 PM Why should I cherish in my heart a hope that devours me- when such a hope, doomed to frustration, is nothing but despair?

4:02 PM My hope is in the eye that never has seen. Therefore let me not trust in visible rewards.

4:03 PM My hope is in what the heart cannot feel. Therefore let me not trust in the feelings of my heart.

My hope is in what the hand has never touched. Do not let me trust what I can grasp between my fingers.

4:04 PM Death will loosen my grasp and my vain hope will be gone.

Tom: These are Merton’s words…now your insights…

4:05 PM me: That describes me.

4:06 PM I want, I need, I wish, I desire…and it is not in my power but makes me miserable……….so I need to give up the fight and just love and be and allow God the control he has anyway

4:07 PM I think that is it…I am crying as I realize this but it is a load off my mind

4:08 PM Tom: Good insight.

4:10 PM me: I plan a new performance…I will stand in front of the people coming in to eat with a scarf over my head wearing a sign that says ‘Failed Artist’

4:11 PM then another day I will wear a sign…’Great Artist’ then another day ‘Okay Artist’ I feel I need to accept that this is who I am – all of these- by someone’s definition and it is still ok

Tom: Should be an intriguing performance piece.

4:12 PM me: yes….still I am crying over my loss of a dream, a plan for myself…

4:14 PM Tom: Recognition that you are not in control is a big thing.

Tears are to be expected.

As is sense of loss…

as well as sense of relief…

4:15 PM and self-acceptance.

4:16 PM me: yes

4:17 PM Tom: Now…like the time in Banff…just let things unfold and see where it takes you.

me: ok

4:19 PM Tom: It will be interesting to see how this continues to unfold while you are there…

and what you will bring back with you.

4:20 PM me: Well I expect it will be digital only at least….apart from the material scraps….TEEHEE

4:21 PM Tom: The transient nature of your art there is a physical reinforcement of what Merton is saying.

Ultimately the art is not something that can be held on to.

4:23 PM me: That is correct…I am making a statement to myself by leaving it all behind.

4:24 PM Tom: OK.

Getting enough to eat?

All this thinking and creativity will make you hungry.

4:25 PM me: tooo much to eat

4:26 PM I am eating all the things that I don’t get at home and are really bad for me I collect my dessert first – like Aunt Nora did

4:27 PM Tom: That could explain the burst of creativity and insight and the sense of joy and fulfillment…food…glorious food.

me: then I have bacon everyday. Then I eat shrimp stir fry and chicken schnitzel and fesh bread…we are treated like royalty for 6-7 $ a meal

4:28 PM Tom: Good for you.

What is that line of the Jewish mama…

Eat…eat! Is good for you!

I take it you are enjoying the opportunity of being a community of artist as well.

4:35 PM me: Well…I have been accepted by the embroidery group and the Liminal Screen Residency group…word is out that I am a PhD in Sculpture so I can sneak into their sessions at times and they think I make good comments…

4:39 PM me: yes it is fun being like minded instead of tolerated

4:40 PM Tom: So your days are full…your evenings pleasurable.

The company is inspiring.

The food is delicious and very filling and plenty of it.

The scenery great.

Your exhibition #1 is complete.

4:41 PM You have gained significant spiritual insights.

You have organized some collaborative work that will be ground-breaking there.

It all sounds just perfect.

4:43 PM Tom: OK……I will hand you over to Patchie now…as I have to go out and fulfill the somewhat prosaic task of bringing in the laundry before it gets wet from the rain.

Love you much…

glad to hear it all going well.

4:44 PM me: thanks I love you…thanks for everything

Chris Chafe

Briefly wrapping up.

Hunting and Gathering…isn’t this a woman’s job?? But David, work/study artist helped me with the trolley, the lift and up the winding staircases. The studio is full of hand picked stuff….I especially like the dozens of discarded brass lamps, rescued from the snow bank.

I want to tell about David…He will be tying his art – his canoe – to his car roof as he does not have another place to store it; plus it is a conversation starter he found. I admire his candor and sense of fun!

Met ReBecca Paterson from the Maritimes, too.

Banff Continues… or at least starts.

Please note that this entry may cut off at any time since I am on the library’s timed internet connection. My own laptop is not set up yet as the useless plugs I purchased in Australia have only two holes for the three prongs that my equipment has. I think IT can help me out, for a fee….

I woke up about noon today which was a relief after being up for so long yesterday. I am just now (8pm) feeling weary and think I should give myself the rest of the day off. I dressed in my best jeans and put on makeup in an attempt to make a good impression on all the new people I would be meeting today. I did not know a soul here. It was very peculiar to emerge knowing this. I would rather have gone home. Then I started to meet them…the artists! Now I feel like I have kindred spirits! There was Sandra, Beverly, Jo Jo, Wendy, Donna, Lesley, Ingrid , Gloria, Catherine, Matt and more. There were very generous artists! In no time we were sharing stories, heartaches, dreams, and plans.  I was surrounded by people of my ilk – you know, artists-  with no explanation needed about what I am doing and why. But they did want to know more about me…I am delighted to be here now. I am only regretting that I have just three weeks to take it all in. I am hungry for experiences and to have output.

This will be fun.

Too bad I have to sleep at times.

Too bad I will want to swim and go for walks too.

All I want to do is have fun playing in my grand, empty studio. I will go over tonight – but no, that would be a bad idea.

So the library is closing now and instead, I will slip over – literally- very likely in all this snow – to the pool’s hot tub for the final relax of the day.

Self-Directed Artist’s Winter Residency 2009

This has been a very, very long day as I travelled directly from Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia to Banff, Canada. I went by train for two hours, then by plane for 12 hours to LAX. I called my sister there but ran out of coinage. I left LA for Seattle in a two and one half hour flight. The airport was overflowing with people as the snow storms in Canada delayed the north bound travel. As it was, my plane left the airport appropriately sprayed with de-icer, an hour late to fly to Calgary – one and one half hours. Arriving late into Calgary – where there was a Tim Horton’s donut shop! Hooray! – I had missed my connecting bus to Banff. It was no problem as I went with the next one – two hours on the road. I arrived, obstensively, not long after I left Australia; at least is was the same day.

So, a really great trip and so, completely without intrigue. As such, it seems entirely without note that in this particular time space, I changed hours, days, dates, hemispheres, seasons, geography, countries – twice, locality, traffic flow and more- with my baggage in tow – all at a comfortable pace with nothing especially noteworthy to report. How blasé is that? It is indeed a small world. I even retraced my steps in one moment with a phone call to my husband back home. What an amazing time to live…

Now I am here at The Banff Centre, Alberta, Canada (http://www.banffcentre.ca/about/), for three (3) weeks to do….to do….something profound – or not, in my art practice.

Upon arrival in Canada I had a strange feeling of being home, though not quite. It is after all, western Canada. It was not really seeing the Canadian flag again or the soft spoken accents -what accents?- but, it was the winter’s squeaky snow, the muddy snow blocks hanging to the underside of the cars, the written text used on the road signs, the French language, the flooding raging melting river, the crisp air that made it hurt to breathe, the clean and cozy bathrooms, the civilized heated rooms, the weather sealed entries, the silly hats everyone wears, the snow blowers, everything, every little thing I remember and wanted to share with Tom, as he remembers too. Everything familiar to me and my senses, known in an instant yet totally unknown to my children. How strange. I have lived away from Canada for thirty-eight years. And yet, it was as if only yesterday. I am totally stretched between hemispheres and the decades. It will always be.