land art

Laura Hale

FIELDWORK 2013 - LAURA HALE - PROCESS
FIELDWORK 2013 - LAURA HALE - PROCESS

Emotional Mending

When I visited fieldwork in spring 2010, I fell in love with it and the idea it represents. fieldwork shows us that you can find art unexpectedly in unusual places. The element of surprise at this location gives artwork a completely different context than when one finds it in a gallery space. 
In thinking about my work for fieldwork I imagined the quiet, mysterious, pine forest as a perfect background for my work. I decided that my work should address two simple things: mending and grafting trees.For me sculpture is a process of thinking and ideas which first evolve on paper and later in form.  After a year of thinking, drawing and knitting, the work for this location was ready to install. The artificial knitted branches will be up for half of the year; silent witnesses of season changes. During most of this time, the branches will stand out awkwardly from the trees, looking like tree prosthesis or grafted branches.  They will show visitors the way out, the way in, or give them the freedom to be lost in the absolute silence of a pine forest.

OOH AH WOW Installed at Fieldwork

word art, text, tarp, land art, fieldwork, Karina Bergmans

OOH, AH, WOW is installed at Fieldwork and opened on September 11, 2011.  It has been a challenging opportunity to create outdoor words for a field exhibition in terms in materials and scale.  In the coming months, I will add a few blog posts to this page with images of the process of creating the work, installing the work, repairing the work (after a incident with a 10 yr old ATV enthusiast) and the ensuing hay mite bites from the hay stuffing days. As the season changes from beautiful warm September  to the decent into winter, I will post the changes in the word works as may slump and alter as they are affected by the elements. It will be interesting to see what is left come springtime...I want to thank the Fieldwork Collective for their support with this project and a special thank you to the installation team: Jason, Jenny, Susie and Cam.  It would not have been possible to bring this work to life without you. If you are travelling down Hwy 7 in the next 6 months, turn onto Old Brooke Road for a look-see at the field.

Fieldwork Featured in the EMC and The Frontenac News this December

fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers

fieldwork has been getting a bit of a 'nod' this month in response to our latest installation.  Amy Hogue from the EMC/Perth News and Julie Druker from The Frontenac News both came out to watch Marc Walter working on his creation,  'The Last Sowers' -  two 'figures' now gracing the end of the field...

Here are links to their articles:

  Fieldwork - Exploring the Possibilities of 'Land Art' by Amy Hogue

  New Work in Winter Fields by Julie Druker

Hope you have a chance to come out with your boots, skis or snowshoes and have a look this winter!

-Susie

last sowers process

fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers

last sowers

fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers
fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers

'The Last Sowers' have arrived!

fieldwork, marc walter, the last sowers

Wakefield artist Marc Walter spent several days here at fieldwork this past week building two wonderful sculptures in the field.  Titled 'The Last Sowers',  two ghostly figures made of branches tower at the end of the field, beyond the black pipes of Jesse Stewart's 'Aeolian Organ'.   Marc made use of  materials found on site - recently cut maple, poplar, and dogwood branches - weaving and tying them together to create the large forms that seem to be emerging from the woods surrounding them.

"The field is resting and presents a feeling of vulnerability and emptiness.  It is colder, the colours are less, the smell of the earth is in the air.  Yet The Last Sowers are preparing the grounds for the next cycle....When I create my outdoor installations, I tremendously enjoy the rythmn of things.  It is an opportunity to slow down and to reflect on the cycle of life and death, to embrace the surroundings, and to realize passing emotions.  The Last Sowers are doing the same thing....Listen"

The quiet but insistant presence of Marc's Sowers invites us to get out into the field and  explore the subtleties of the landscape - the ground, the vegetation, the colours, and the sounds that they (the Sowers) have emerged from, and become a part of.

We hope you can make it out to the field this winter to explore the space and the installations our invited artists have created within it.  If not, click on the different galleries in the menu  to the right for more documentation of the various projects.

What do we see when we see?

freedom to roam- henny kjellbergs winter fieldwork installation

Over the past month I have heard a variety of responses to the winter installation at fieldwork that make me recognize some of the ways people see or don't see.  Questions directed to me have ranged from 'Is the fence protecting something that we can't see?', to 'Where is the art?', to 'We were wondering if you are getting ready to raise elk'.  I usually smile and suggest that they look closer at the fence, think about what they are seeing and read the interpretive sign for some context.  It is surprising, and I guess, not so surprising, how many people don't seem to read the signs (even though they are placed right by the road) - though I realize it is a matter of timing (whether the publlic is willing or able, at that moment, to get out of their car or not), and of the degree of interest or curiosity they feel....

One of the interesting points about this installation is that, as I noted in an earlier blog, at first, it is not so obvious that there is something different or unusual in the field.  There is nothing that looks like what might be commonly identified as 'art'.  There apparently is a fence.  But look a bit closer!  The fence does not surround anything.  It is oversized (except for maybe a fence for deer or elk).  The strands woud be ineffective for keeping anything out or in.  The barbs look like barbs from a distance but has anyone ever seen barbs that big on a fence?  Moreover, on closer inspection, they are made of clay.  Hummmm.

How do we see?  How do our brains interpret something familiar?  It seems like our brains are programmed to try to find patterns of the 'recognizable'.   How different does something need to be before it is noticeably different from the 'standard', or becomes itself something unto its own?

Context clearly has great deal to do with interpretation.  If this fence were erected in front of an office tower, it would immediately be viewed as an art (intervention) work - no?  Due to the rural context within which Henny's fence is located, a fence is normal, if not expected.  Perhaps if the fence had been erected in the center of the field and in a form other than straight line, it may have become interpreted more as 'art'.  Again, choices on the artist's part are made to manipulate the viewer's attention in subtle or not-so-subtle ways.  How much responsibllity for stimulating interpretation should an artist feel?  How much should be expected from the viewer?       -susie

Winter coming, adding contrast

freedom to roam, fence and snow
Freedom to Roam, first winter pictures

Susie took these pictures last week during and after a snow storm / fall. Nice to see how the changing surroundings affect the piece. I will be taking a small Christms break but will be back with more posts and new text after New Year's. Happy holidays to you all!

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