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 - hares and squares by real eguchi at kiwi gardens
fieldwork - hares and squares by real eguchi at kiwi gardens
fieldwork - hares and squares by real eguchi at kiwi gardens

The bunnies had a fun-filled weekend!  First they went to the big city, Ottawa, to check out, and be checked out at  the New Art Festival.  Then fieldworkers, Chris Grosset and Susie Osler took them to their summer digs at Kiwi Gardens near Perth, where they are currently happily cavorting about!  Thanks go to Paul Loiselle and Max at Kiwi Gardens for their help in installing these slightly oversized hares and squares. 

For those of you who missed this fieldwork installation last summer (when it was installed here in the field), now's your chance to catch a glimpse of them in action.  They will be at Kiwi for the rest of the summer so please visit this fabulous place!

For more information about 'Hares and Squares' you can search our site for postings and information on the installation by typing 'hares and squares' into the search window.  It was created for fieldwork last summer by Barbara and Real Eguchi.

susie osler - Jun 8, 2010
fieldwork dan nuttall bewilderness art trees forest flesh surreal dream

...you're sure of a big surprise. Cause today's the today I received a call from Susie Osler, a member of the fieldwork Collective, to tell me that sometime during the night my raven installation has been attacked!

Is this a political act I wonder? Or the work of a vandal? On the one hand, this could be a good sign. A lot of great art has been attacked over the years: The Mona Lisa; The Pieta in the Vatican; Chris Ofili's "Holy Virgin Mary" (1996). Susie goes back to the scene of the crime and sends me an image of the disfigured raven, including a close-up showing a small patch of fur stuck in the tar surface of the raven's back. Dark fur. Black fur. Hmmm… Black Bear? I now have to re-align my theory regarding this act of desecration: clearly the piece has been attacked due to its realism. This could be taken as another good sign. A seal of approval from nature herself? Or perhaps, in staging the unconscious human mind, I have tapped into a greater unconsciousness or id, where primal nature is exerting its forces. The bear has finally subdued the intelligent and mischievous raven that can no longer act as a guide or talisman. On the other hand, maybe the bear just didn't like my work. I am on my way back to Brooke Valley to repair the damage. Somewhere out there is a bear with tar on its paw.

 

dan nuttall - Jun 3, 2010
fieldwork dan nuttall bewilderness art trees forest flesh surreal dream
fieldwork dan nuttall bewilderness art trees forest landscape architecture

 "I tend to create work and push it slowly into the darkness. Sometimes it is obliterated. The trick is to have it exist in both lights - accessible to all. Always close to salvation and tragedy."   Louise Bourgeois

Despite all my preparation, sketches and proposals I am only now just coming to terms with site context and the feasibility of my proposed work (see "Bewilderness" below).  There is much to consider including the logistics of implementing various ideas and the availability and cost of materials. There are other practical matters as well. How much can I lift? How far can I carry? Where is the electrical outlet in the plantation? How difficult will trail making be? How much time with the deer flies, black flies and mosquitoes can I stand? I decide that my first task is to understand where natural clearings occur in the plantation so that I can choose those that will best fit each installation.  The natural light that occurs in each space will also affect what I do. I course back and forth through the plantation on my hands and knees, dragging fluorescent flagging tape with me as I go, in order to trace my path. I know that I want to stay away from the edge of the plantation, that I need to spot naturally occurring corridors of movement to reduce the amount of clearing I have to do, and that I need a loop to create a surreal dream sequence, with installations fairly evenly spaced along the path. From some perspectives I can see how the trails of fluorescent tape relate to each other and to the clearings. Some of the clearings are elliptical while others are square and seem cathedral-like. I find a nave and apse in one clearing and one installation clicks into place. As I get a better idea of the plantation overall, I start connecting spaces and thinking about how sequence and progressive realization of installations will build narrative. At the same time I am finding that the use of local materials and resources integrates the rural and adds additional layers of meaning into my work. A number of cedar rails from split rail fences have been piled near the slopes of an abandoned gravel pit; an old galvanized wash bucket sits behind the barn; wire mesh with pigeon feathers and excrement sits as a soiled tense sheet atop scattered hay in an old animal stall. I begin integrating these found materials into my work.

Knowing that I want to introduce trees and flesh into my project I take a series of color samples ranging from a bruised plum to bubble gum pink and tack them to a tree under what I feel could be average lighting conditions (see first blog entry below). By photographing these samples and examining them later I start to develop a color palette that I feel might work. Working with the colors of flesh can be challenging, though I have explored flesh in two-dimensional media before (see "The Meat of the Day"). I also have Louise Bourgeois's quote, above, in mind.  In the open, the colors I am working with look incongruous and bright - a carnival of pinks, red and blue. In the forest they look submerged. I think about how blood looks green/black when something bleeds deep in the ocean. The introduction of death in the installation acts as a harbinger for all of the trees; the absence of skin takes away any possibility of mediation or variable sensing; dismemberment expresses a nostalgia for the whole. 

dan nuttall - May 28, 2010
fieldwork dan nuttall bewilderness art trees forest flesh dan does design

In fairy tales and folklore the deep dark forest is a forbidding place where witches and wolves wait to prey. In the late 1800's and early 1900's psychoanalysts believed that the forest represented the unconscious mind and contained things that we fear or aspects of ourselves that had been rejected or neglected. They also believed that something good could come from going into the forest and confronting the darkness - an opportunity to confront our fears and anxieties and to triumph.

This installation seeks correspondences between human life and nature via the psyche and imagination, primarily by cultivating a sense of bewilderment in regard to trees. Bewilderness evokes the familiar and the new, prompting wonder and imaginative recognition, eliciting new relationships. By providing the double presence of tree and flesh we are challenged to reconsider how we relate to trees, and by extension, to other beings and nature. 

dan nuttall - May 28, 2010
fieldwork dan nuttall bewilderness art trees forest flesh

 "Life is found in animals and plants; but while in animals it is clearly manifest, in plants it is hidden and not evident. For before we can assert the presence of life in plants, a long inquiry must be held as to whether plants possess a soul and a distinguishing capacity for pleasure and pain."

Aristotle, "On Plants".

My time in Brooke Valley Ontario has been preceded by a considerable amount of time in New York City. So while my initial experiences in the pine plantation are still resonating with me, other experiences are also affecting my perceptions of the plantation. In New York City my feelings of separation from nature, and my work in landscape architecture has underscored the importance of trees. Trees in New York City seem to fall into two primary categories; street trees and trees in city parks. Nearby Prospect Park, with its gently rolling landscape designed by Vaux & Olmsted, is a haven for me. In a city like most, where non-human forms of life seem under-represented, the massive park trees that we take for granted come into sharpest focus when they die. Recent spring storms have left Prospect Park littered with immense fallen trees that were quickly moved off roads and paths and cut into pieces over several weeks. A walk through the Park during this time reveals a scene of scaled up truths - trees lie like beached and dismembered leviathans. Where the trunk has been sawn in cross-section, expansive pale wounds glow with rawness while adjacent sections of trunks and limbs seem to tell the story of a giant creature felled mid-stride. The life-full-ness of these dismemberments seem to exist in paradox to the lives they lived. Not full of muscle, sinew, blood vessels or a spinal cord, they did not flail, bleed, twitch or scream. They fell and were severed into sections silently - no quivering and steam in the cool spring air. And if they could? If the removal of bark revealed glistening pink flesh? If there was a gentle shuddering as one last breath was exhaled? How would this have changed our world? Can we kill things just because we cannot assess their sentience? How far, ultimately can we extend our notions of "other"? Of the living? Of life? 

For more images like fleshtree please visit: www.dandoesdesign.com

dan nuttall - May 27, 2010
fieldwork dan nuttall bewilderness art trees forest nature sustainability

"…the woods are lovely, dark and deep…" Robert Frost, "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening"

This is no place to wander. From the outside, looking in, for as far as my eye can see, interlocking branches preclude any kind of upright movement. Safety goggles are a must as every branch presents multiple opportunities for poking one's eye out. My goal is to understand the site, so there's only one choice. I drop to my knees and begin my journey. After crawling about for several minutes, I find a small clearing, and stand up. I am in the middle of a white pine plantation. Where the canopy allows, light sifts down to the still and silent floor. An ever-shifting patchwork of sunlit islands floats in the vast sea of shadow. The complexity I usually associate with a forest is absent here. I see only pine trees with thick and bare low-hanging branches that narrow as they ascend.  The needles that have fallen from these branches have accumulated in a thick reddish mat on the plantation floor. The trees are all one species, all of the same age, the same form and diameter, and are planted in a grid pattern. Something about the endlessly repeating pattern disappearing into the shade induces a kind of dream state. Off I go again, on my hands and knees, to pop up in spaces where I can. Everything is looking the same. I begin to lose track of direction and my starting point. There is also something peaceful about this place and a gentle amnesia sets in as I thread my way through this house of mirrors. What lurks within this dream? And what has been forgotten in a place like this? Though I cannot see the sky above me, the weather must be shifting. Is that the creaking of branches against each other from some unfelt breeze? The islands of light suddenly disappear - a bottle of ink tipped into water. The plantation is steeped in a murky and somber darkness, the dreary woods of fairytales and fables. More creaking from a different direction. Thank goodness there is nothing alive in here. Or is there? The trees are suddenly looking different. I am without breadcrumbs. I get back on my hands and knees and crawl to the edge of the plantation.

dan nuttall - May 27, 2010