bird memories

Kimberly Edgar's 'Bird Memories'

Fieldwork 2015, Kimberly Edgar, Bird Memories
Fieldwork 2015, Kimberly Edgar, Bird Memories
Fieldwork 2015, Kimberly Edgar, Bird Memories

Kimberly Edgar's wheatpasted linocuts (over 60 of them) can be found at numerous sites around Fieldwork - if one is looking.  

She writes:

"I started off doing wheatpastes of linocuts and silkscreens in the fall of 2012. Wheatpasting, a street-art medium, is the process of adhering paper cutouts and images to walls and other objects using wheatpaste, a glue made by boiling flour, sugar, and water.

What drew me to street art were many things:
the idea of interacting with the spaces I pass through on a daily basis

  • the idea of beautifying ugly and run-down places
  • going outside at night to do this (which can be frightening when you’re a young woman)
  • the idea of drawing attention to things and corners often overlooked by the public
  • facing my fear of doing something that transgresses the law

I wheatpasted transient spaces, like construction walls and abandoned buildings, in order to draw attention to these ephemeral spaces and also to pay attention to ignored spaces. The wheatpastes themselves would fall off after a long while if they weren’t drawn on first, ripped down, or added to. At heart this process was temporary. Newsprint cracks and yellows in the most beautiful way, and in the summer, insects eat the glue.

I love the process of making a very labour-intensive product, and then sacrificing it to the streets. Printmaking is a long, labour-intensive process. On top of that I hand-cut each of my pieces, sometimes I hand colour them each uniquely, and paste them in clusters, so that one piece could take me upwards of a month to create. This futility helped to detach me from the end product of the work and to focus on the making instead.

For Bird Memories, I am taking this labour-intensive, temporary process and applying it to a rural area. Wheatpaste has urban connotations. I am curious as to how this method is read in a rural context. When I wheatpasted in the city, I used lots of natural imagery, mostly insects. I often felt like, in a small way, I was bringing nature into urban spaces. Now, I am bringing urban practices into natural settings. In some ways this reflects my own personal experience with rural and urban spaces, feeling that I don’t belong in either, as I grew up in the suburbs.

Living in Dawson City, Yukon has allowed me to consider the difference between the boreal forest in which I now live, and the st-lawrence/great lakes forest of eastern ontario which I grew up near. When considering how I wanted to explore the difference between these two forests, I conjured the most vivid memory of eastern ontario forests I could remember, which was bird watching with my grandmother. She and I would sit in her cottage with binoculars and she would teach me to identify the birds; grosbeak, cardinal, bluejay, chickadee. These birds (except the chickadee) do not exist in my new home. They have become symbols of the difference between the two canadian landscapes I know and have called home."

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