2017 marks an exciting milestone for Fieldwork! We are celebrating our 10th anniversary this year with Soundwork - an exhibition of 6 new installations that incorporate sound. We hope you will journey out this season with friends and family to experience the diverse ways that artists think about, and use sound in their creative work at Fieldwork.

 

Soundwork: Opens Saturday, May 13. 2-5pm.

An afternoon of artists' talks, a tour, performances and workshops.

INSTALLATIONS BY:

Mixed Metaphors (Jesse Stewart & Matt Edwards)

Hilary Martin & Ranjit Bhatnagar

Annette Hegel & Deborah Margo

Matt Rogalsky & Laura Cameron

Doug Van Nort

Nicola Oddy

 

Schedule:

2pm - Opening remarks. Artist introductions

2:30 - Singwalk (with Diana Smith for Nicola Oddy)

3:00 - Listening workshop (with Doug Van Nort)

3:30 - Castorimba Performance (with Gayle Young, Reinhard Reitzenstein)

4:00 - Performance of Erratic Grass (with Mixed Metaphors - Jesse Stewart and Matt Edwards)

4:30 - refreshments/wrap up

 

Explore art in nature along our field and forest trails. Fieldwork is open to the public all year long, free of charge. This exhibiton as well as many ongoing installations from previous years are yours to discover.

 

More information about this year's installations will be posted on the website and on our social media channels in the coming weeks so please follow us and share our pages with your friends.  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

  

Fieldwork has been funded by the Ontario Arts Council since 2008.  We also rely on the generosity of our supporters. We appreciate donations of any size.  Please contact us if you would like to discuss donating.


 

ABOUT US:

Fieldwork  is open to the public daily, all year and free of charge.  Just park and walk.
Note: Please remember that it is a natural setting and there are bugs (including ticks).  Be sure to dress accordingly and cover up.
Directions to the project are
here.

Since its inception in 2008, Fieldwork has been run by a team of artists (The Collective) that volunteer their time and energy to make Fieldwork a vibrant and dynamic destination for the creation and experience of site-specific artwork in and around a field in eastern Ontario, close to the towns of Perth and Maberly.

Fieldwork hosts work by local, national and international artists at various stages of their careers and invites the public to visit and explore the artwork all year long. 

The Collective looks after the site, co-ordinates and promotes projects, shares administrative duties and makes joint curatorial decisions. From time to time the Collective members also create their own Fieldwork installations.

The Fieldwork Collective welcomes proposals from interested artists and circulates a public call for proposals annually in January.  Suggestions and proposals for events or workshops are also welcomed from the local community, schools and arts organizations that are interested in fostering connections, dialogue and creative action between people, art, and nature. Please contact us at fieldworkproject@gmail.com

More information on current and past installations can be found by scrolling down this page and/or by looking in the archives in the right hand menu.  Be sure to also check out additional photos of the installations - found in the galleries located in the right hand menu.

susie osler - Mar 28, 2017
Fieldwork, Marco D'andrea, soundart

DREAMCAR (1971 Cadillac Coup De Ville)

DREAMCAR began as with an idea to put a sound installation inside a car and to create an immersive environment inside an old worn out vehicle. I (Marco D'Andrea) like the contrast between the familiar—an old car in a field— and the unexpected—loud and strange sounds and an impractical custom stereo. Early on I was influenced by La Monte Young’s Dream House installation and sought to achieve a similar all encompassing sound, but in a car. The Coup De Ville seemed perfect to me for Fieldwork, because of the the story about “the King of Maberly” - a nickname for a man who used to own the farm where Fieldwork is situated - selling some of his land to buy a Cadillac, but also because it is such a strong symbol of luxury, dreams and success. And there is something so amazing about a 20’ long car with just two doors. These early 70s cars are of the biggest ever made. I wanted to find a car that was a really strong contrast from what most of us drive today as I felt this heighten the themes of desire, aspirations and dreams and how this becomes embodied in 3 tons of metal. There is also the legacy of what this desire has meant in terms of pollution, economic inequality, and hyper-consumerism. All major 21st century problems, which I think have a lot to do with the culture that built, advertised, sold and bought something like a 1971 Cadillac Coup De Ville. Its a complicated symbol, both beautiful and deadly.  

The sounds heard I made from a mix of field recordings, samples of music and other recordings. With the sound, I was trying to bring out the various themes of the work but with an emphasis on loss, sadness and while also trying to explore spirituality in a way. Much of my sound composition is based on Morton Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, a music composition for soprano, alto, choir, percussion, celesta and viola which he created as a response to the Rothko Chapel, a small chapel that was built featuring the paintings of, and is generally inspired by Mark Rothko. Both the Chapel and the music composition were completed in 1971. I choose to use this music because of this association, but also because I think both Rothko Chapel and a Cadillac Coup De Ville are emblematic of a spiritual crisis which blanketed the 20th Century and we are still dealing with today. Additionally the dominant colour inside the Chapel is black, which matches the interior of my Cadillac. I used samples of Feldman’s Rothko Chapel, slowed it down, distorted it, and changed it in a bunch of different ways. I also mixed in sounds of the Cadillac’s engine, and recordings of the field, also heavily processed to the brink of familiarity. I like to use sounds that are on the border of something recognizable—like music and natural sounds—and noise because it can both lead the interpretation of the work while also helps open it up and invite people to bring their own thoughts, memories and dreams. Its is my hope that someone experiencing the piece will be drawn to reflect on some of the themes and associations I have outlined here, but also drift inward and reflect on their own feelings and associations.

The final main aspect is the solar panel, which I think helps bring the work into the present and adds a note of optimism. Using solar to power such a gas-guzzler has a certain irony but is also symbolic of technological change and (hopefully) the direction of future energy. It was a big challenge for me to get the sound to work on solar power because solar involves figuring out a lot of different variables and calculations that I have no pervious experience in. This challenge is really interesting: with fossil fuel power you just plug in (or fill the tank) and get as much power as you want for as long as you want, solar and other renewables require balance, knowing your environment, and matching output to input. As it is set up now, DREAMCAR generates more power in a 24 cycle than it uses, so it can be on and playing sound all the time. I anticipate that I will need to make adjustments for winter, and will likely install a timer in order to conserve power. 

 

  - Marco D'Andrea

 

 

susie osler - Jun 20, 2016
Fieldwork, Reitzenstein, Smith, Smith and Young (RSSY), 2016, Tripod

Jerrard and Diana Smith, Reinhard Reitzenstein and Gayle Young (aka RSSY Collective) worked together this year on a collaborative installation, Tripod. The installation, which dominates the field, consists of an oversized theodolite on a tripod, a map, and a surveyors grade rod. All pointing North and in line with a lovely mature white pine at the field edge. Will it too succumb to the settler's axe?

'We found our brainstorming sessions focussed on the 200th anniversary events in Perth and area. We thought about how the land was perceived at that time by incoming colonizers and how they divided the landscape into grids by surveying. This prompted our decision to create surveying instruments and a map. From the beginning we wanted to respond to the scale of the site with height and the tripod structure allowed for that, with its monumentality suggesting an unstoppable force (war of the worlds?) marching across the landscape. The map is an accurate representation of the waterways in the area and the grade rod is to reinforce the idea of measurement and scale. The axe (plumb bob) is a reference to the land-clearing.

We obtained some long straight cedar poles (thanks Torch and Wayne) which we stripped and joined into tripod legs that provided the desired elevation. Reinhardt created the metal theodolite head in his Grimsby studio. The map was created using a grid of concrete reinforcing steel suspended between cedar poles and using denim strips woven into the grid to represent the waterways.'

  - RSSY Collective

 

 

susie osler - Jun 15, 2016
Fieldwork 2016, Landmark, Chris Turnbull

‘the rock’ - Chris Turnbull

The first time I saw this rock was with my son. I was attracted first to its shape and colour; he was attracted to its
size and surface, and climbed onto it.

This rock is made up of deposits slowly gathered through glaciation; it has been shaped by uncontrollable forces
such as ice, water, and wind, combined with the energies of movement. The rock is a visible presence, its size
suggests unchanging solidity and a sort of timelessness. It is situated at the edge of where Fieldwork and the
neighbouring property share a common boundary, perhaps it was part of a wider boundary/shore of two glacial
lakes, aeons ago. Yet, boundaries are transitional spaces, too, suggestive of states in change, even if slow or
proceeding in ways we do not see or imagine.

The rock is complex enough as a rock. As I worked on it, I started to see (and feel) that its tilted, bulby, granular
and flat elements were themselves composites of multiple surfaces — upon which insects land, pollen and seeds
settle, lichen emerges from symbiosis, a variety of species navigate sensorily or mark, and my son (and any of
us) might clamber.

Constructing a poem, for me, starts with movement - typically outdoors - and then a run through the mind-mill
into a series of notes interspersed with other notes in a ratty old book. I start with hand-written text and
eventually move toward the computer and its virtual space as defined by boundary marks (margins, screen
edge, window, wall, door). I write virtually onto this ‘page’ and then print it off. I am always trying to work off the
page; I find the surface of the page somehow not enough for words which, for me, are themselves constructed
objects that interact, producing a visual presence, sound, meaning. I may play around with text size and font,
but rarely above 14pt. It seems too big. I tend to move toward the small and smaller, toward seeming
invisibility. I play with space and shade.

 

It wasn’t until I had started to cut out stencils and gather materials (paint and ink) for writing on the rock that I
realized how uncomfortable I felt inscribing large letters onto it. It may be partially because the rock itself does
not need the letters I put on it. It’s big enough, and interesting enough, on its own or in relation to the variety of
things around it. However, its size became a bit of a challenge. What are some of the elements of the rock that
make it so intriguing? What pieces of its story could words emphasize — what interactions might the letters and
words — their own suggestive surfaces and depths, their measurements — themselves encourage?

you th
are is

 

 

Maybe the installation starts with you-who-has-a-pronoun (and likely a name). Or maybe you is a group of you.
Then are you this? Or are you both singular and plural, both are and is? Always? Are you sometimes I and
sometimes you? Is it this? Is this erratic? What is th(are)? There? It’s very erratic, gathering meaning that is not
fragmented, that does not come from a variety of directions, that is solid. Add to the mix our own perspectives
and we find we have to move around, look a little closely, pay less attention to what is immediate. The rock is
erratic, too - it is an erratic. If you’re not erratic, what are you?

There is no assumed direction or required reading on this rock. The pieces build on each other; they can break
down or can be recomposed; some letters aren’t in the pattern you might expect. As a result, the process is
deliberately slow and you may not find all the words (you don’t need to try to find all the words). There are some
discrete fragments scattered on the rock; they are difficult to see because they are small or blend in with the
rock’s colouration. One of them, “just/before/the hour/the news” has been placed on a patch of lichen, an
ecosystem in and of itself. What does the hour or the news have to do with the rock? Whose news? “The news” is
a composite; it is a variety of stories batched verbally or visually at a common time and place. We rely on its
consistency and immediacy, and use it to inform our relationships with other (mostly human) elements of our
world. The hour — as a unit of time — and our estimated measurements ( “just/before”) are variable
constructions; the rock, too, is a gathering of news, mostly non-human, and made up of the very old and the
immediate.

In an assumption that most people would really love to climb this rock, I have stencilled (using colours of pink,
green, grey, black, and white) a sound poem that runs up and over — it could be read in either a N-S direction, or
a S-North direction. Either way, I encourage it to be voiced, with as many voices in chorus as possible. Or, if not,
read silently in tandem with sounds and presences of what lives and moves through the Fieldwork space as a
whole. You will have to move to read it. The sound poem starts or ends in poetic grandiosity with epic
invocation: Sing —

Sing-ing touches on the chorus that got us “here” and represents continuity, taking its cue from “land/ing”. It
touches on measurement and units of time that seem so concrete, among other things. From here or maybe
before, you may run into multiples of shadow text — one of them from Canadian poet and artist a rawlings’ play
“How to Manage a Conservation Conversation” (in o w n: Cue Books 2014). This piece follows the rock toward
the tree at its base. It was written in the shadow that the tree casts, but the movement of the sun during each
month and season, and the changes that the tree itself undergoes, will shift the readability of the poem and the
appearance of the rock — except at a certain timeframe of the year, when the piece will be covered in shadow
again. In a similar way, other pieces on the rock will also be covered at certain times of the year — in fall (moss
and needles) and winter (snow/ice). These elements will shift the poems’ meanings or make them illegible in
places; some poems will be rewritten; they will shift or emerge into new forms and meanings.

This rock is a place — a remnant of a process and a reminder of processes. It is “here”, on the surface of the land,
clearly visible. Sometimes it is writing and words that are blurred — a smear on the surface of the writing, not
this rock.

susie osler - May 4, 2016
Fieldwork, Framework:Words on the Land, August 23

Fieldwork is excited to be partnering with the Ottawa International Writers Festival/Perth Chapter this year to present Framework: Words on the Land  - a writers weekend and public reading on August 23 at 3pm.

Writers:  Amanda West Lewis, Amanda Jernigan, Phil Hall, Michael Blouin, Matthew Holmes, Wayne Grady, Merilyn Simonds, Christine Pountney, Jeff Warren, Troy McClure

A growing collection of three dimensional artwork has been inhabiting the land at Fieldwork for the past 8 years.  This year we will also explore how the land can work on writers. For a weekend in August ten invited word-workers will be positioned in front of portals framing specific vantage points around Fieldwork from which words for stories, poems or other writing experiments will be invoked.  On Sunday afternoon (August 23) we are offering guests a window into their writing processes as writer-participants read from their creative output and discuss their experiences.

Words are ephemeral and elusive, like shadows of animals disappearing into the woods, until they are coaxed into phrases for the page or are committed to memory. But when a writer captures words to express an inspiration, insight or observation, words can become elegant and incisive tools with the ability to conjure new sensory experiences, perspectives and imaginative leaps in the minds of readers. The ten Framework writers were chosen, in part due to their broad swath of writing styles (poetry, prose, fiction and more) and thematic interests (from nature writing, to explorations of consciousness).  Please be sure to click on their names to learn more about them. We are pretty stoked that they are keen to participate in this weekend of land-inspired creative action at Fieldwork.

We hope that Framework will illuminate, for writers and listeners alike, our nuanced and varied relationships with, approaches to, and experiences of/in nature.  These are the common threads that are woven through all of Fieldwork's activities. Whatever emerges from this weekend experiment promises to be, at minimum, imaginative, fresh and full of sponteneity. 

Join us Sunday afternoon, August 23 at 3pm in the intimate and welcoming space of the barn loft across the road from Fieldwork (15 minutes west of Perth, ON) for readings and discussion with the writers at Framework.

Tickets will be sold only online through the Ottawa International Writers Festival website at at http://www.writersfestival.org/events/spring-2015/framework-words-on-the-land. Note that space in the loft is limited so it is advised that you purchase tickets early to avoid disappointment.  We will be selling tickets at the door only if there are some remaining on the day of the event.

Interested in knowing more about the participants? Over the weeks preceding Framework we are featuring a writer each week in our 'Sneak Peaks' on  Facebook and Twitter.  Have a look.

As always we encourage you to pass this on to friends who may be also be interested by using the social sharing buttons below. Thank you all for helping us spread the word!

We look forward to sharing Framework with you!

susie osler - Jul 16, 2015
Fieldwork 2015, 191 Meters, Christine Nobel and Brian Barth
Fieldwork 2015, Two Guiding Principles, Annette Hegel
Fieldwork 2015, Franc van Oort, Eye Box, inside the Camera Obscura
Fieldwork 2015, Kimberly Edgar, Bird Memories
Fieldwork 2015, Opening, Artists' talks
Fieldwork 2015 opening, Brooke Valley School kids, Ornithology 101
Fieldwork 2015,  Brooke Valley School student, presenting her science fair

Fieldwork opened its gates to 4 new installations, 13 wonderful bird boxes, a science fair, and many many visitors on the beautiful breezy afternoon of May 9, 2015.  What a great turnout.  We were all charmed by the students from our local independent schooll - Brooke Valley School - who painted and installed bird boxes and also presented their science fair projects - on birds - to visitors that afternoon at Fieldwork. 

We were pleased to also introduce our 4 new art installations which delighted and intrigued visitors:

Annette Hegel's Two Guiding Principles, Franc van Oort's Eye Box (a rotating camera obscura you can enter), Christine Nobel/Brian Barth's 191 Meters,  and Kimberly Edgar's Bird Memories.  More information and photos on each of these is or will soon be posted on this blog, so keep scrolling down the page and have a good read!

More photos of this year's installations (and other year's) can be found in the gallery menu to the right.  There are also many more on our Facebook Page which we encourage you to check out and 'Like'.

Many thanks are due in pulling together this year's exhibition. First of all a big shout out to the artists who have put great amounts of sweat equity, dedication, and passion into their wonderful work. Second, a bit thank you to the other collective members - Chris Osler and Sheila Macdonald who's councel and assistance is enormously appreciated. And also big gratitude to Cam Gray for being so generous with his time and expertise.  Coral Nault, principle at the Brooke Valley School, thank you for your creative ideas and for organizing the kids and their projects. Finally, we could not do this without the financial assistance of the Ontario Arts Council. Thank you OAC for your support once again this year.

Scroll down the page to read more about this year's installations.

susie osler - Jun 8, 2015
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."

susie osler - Jun 7, 2015