I enjoy the experience of sharing my work with others so, like a good Yoga stretch, I seek unusual environments and circumstances within which to place my work and engage the public. The project I undertook during the autumn of 2007 is an example of this. I partnered with Surprise Valley #9 Town Council of Minton, Saskatchewan and the local fall fair planning committee to exhibit a series of landscape mandala paintings entitled, everyday sacred saskatchewan.
A response to my ancestral research, each painting in the series was an exploration of the intersection between, or commonality amongst eastern, western and First Peoples' love of the land. The learning curve which arises from this type of engagement is mutually rewarding and I welcome it. If my work stimulates public dialogue as a means to encourage change, all the better.
Although my work has evolved over the years from figurative to images which reference the land, it is energy in its industrial, physical, and psychic forms which has remained my focus. I visually explore methods of energy production (eg. wind, solar, coal, co-generation) and consumption - Winds of Change. I also investigate energy from a personal perspective using dreams and meditative practice.
Using a range of materials and a blend of representational, fictional and spiritual images, I envision alternatives to environmental/social issues. My work ranges from highly representational landscapes to intuitive images which reference nature and real or imagined moments in time. Works in which I incorporate an inner, or psychic landscape help me to understand and imagine new linkages between the natural world and our human interventions.
I am also moved by story and poetry. I draw upon narratives, or fragments of conversation, often experienced in the course of my interactions with diverse people, animals, and the land. I use these, and other sources, to encourage multiple points of entry into the issues, and consequently, my work. I also strive to draw attention to the profound work of other artists. While some artists work to expose and subvert the dominant narratives of our society, I envision positive solutions beyond the difficult issues, especially environmental ones.
Over the decades, world concern has increased over a variety of environmental issues: pollution and global warming, species depletion, new genetic technologies, human and animal related viruses and disease epidemics. Artists, in turn, are responding to collective cultural needs and developing active and practical roles in environmental and social issues.
With my own work I hope to encourage respect for the land as a living entity. I believe with my heart and soul that Mother Earth needs us to be strong, yet gentle, compassionate, insightful, and above all, creative. She needs us to tell a more sustainable and ultimately more resonant story than we are currently telling.
“Our ancestors viewed the earth as rich and bountiful, which it is. Many people in the past also saw nature as inexhaustibly sustainable, which we know is the case only if we care for it.”