In the Hole Residency: Rooted In Wonder - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan 2017
Ever since I was a child, I have been fascinated with what lies beneath us. In the Laurentians of Quebec, where I spent much of my time growing up, I would dig into the soil, amazed at the emergence of colourful strata: the red of iron, the black of charcoal, and pale grey of ash, the dark brown woody layers. Throughout would be the roots, connecting one layer to the next, through histories. I began to construct stories of what had happened in those places: fires, regrowth, armies of beaver who would chop trees down and damn the creek, leaving their mark.
The ground has its own language and song – when you sit in a quiet place you can hear the soft sounds that it makes as it rearranges itself.
The artist Linda Duvall conceived of this residency Her premise was that “new knowledge comes from the concentrated interaction of people with varying knowledge bases and perspectives.” The Hole was a 2-day residency, in which participants spent 6-hours a day.
The Hole is located in Treaty 6 territory in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Originally dug out in 2012, it is a 6-foot trench with a 5-foot walkway which circles a central mound of earth with wild roses. It was hollowed out of the think prairie grassland, leaving roots dangling, and it is believed to never have been tilled.
Over time, the Hole has become a space shared with other creatures: deer, fox, skunks, coyotes, gophers, swallows, mice, who over time added their unique architectures to the space.
I documented the space through photography, sound recordings, and paintings. The small paintings were made using the soil and other natural materials found in the hole to make an egg tempera paint, which I then finger-painted with on paper.
I enjoyed my conversations with Linda and felt comfortable with her. It's the kind of place where companionable silence for part of the time is lovely,I look forward to continuing some of the discussions we’ve already had...
The residency culminated in an exhibition at PAVED Arts