This is the third and final film documenting the Conduit Project and Sun Yat Sen Park in Vancouver by the Art is Land Network. The three artists are Nicole Dextras, Haruko Okano, and Marina Szijarto
This is a short film I made back in 2013.
In 2013, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver commissioned artist and weaver Alastair Heseltine to create a green willow sculpture in honour of the Chinese year of the Water Snake. Built over a period of five days in January with the help of community members, the 60 foot snake was then paraded through Chinatown before being installed in the Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. This short film documents the frenzied pace of construction, as a small army of volunteers work against the clock to shape a truckload of willow branches into cross-cultural symbol of power and regeneration.
Music by Kevin MacLeod
Here’s a short film I made for environmental artist Nicole Dextras. Actress Nita Bowerman passionately portrays Rosa Styles, wearing one of Nicole’s “Weedrobes”. Makeup by April Beer, Music By Kevin MacLeod.
Here is a film I just completed that documents CONCERT, the second part of CONTOUR, a year-long installation at SUN YAT SEN PARK in Vancouver by the ART IS LAND NETWORK. The three artists involved are Fae Logie, Shirley Wiebe and Tiki Mulvihill.
Over the past year I have been commissioned to produced several short films documenting the activities of local ecologically minded art collectives. At present, I am working on another group of similar shorts, all with the purpose to highlight the small, but significant activities of grass-roots, community based artists, particularly those that work outside the consumer/gallery model of western art. Most recently, I completed the first of three films that document the CONDUIT project, by the ART IS LAND NETWORK, an artist collective “whose shared connection is the use of natural and repurposed material to engage with the landscape.” The year long project at the DR. SUN YAT SEN PARK in Vancouver, involves three separate groups of artists, working with the public in different ways within this stunning urban park. The first component is called CONTOUR.
Another project that I covered in the past year stems from my previous involvement with URBAN WEAVER, a group formed by Sharon Kallis and Todd DeVries, working out of the McLean Park Field House in East Vancouver. YEAR TWO follows the many projects that the group undertook, including growing and processing flax into linen, traditional Haida cedar weaving, and erosion control methods using culled invasive plant material.
A YEAR AT ABERTHAU follows three artists in a community based project entitled FLAX = FOOD + FIBRE. Artists Caitlin ffrench, Mirae Rosner and Sharon Kallis held numerous public workshops that focused on the growing, processing and spinning of flax, and the ways that this ancient practice spill over into other art forms, including weaving, dance, music, and earth sculpture.
These projects embody a contemporary trend in the arts that highlights local landscapes, skills, and history over the monolithic forces of consumer culture, the international art scene and mainstream media-based culture. Participating in communal, hand-based art forms can be an awakening to another way of living and seeing the world.
Posted in Film
Tagged community art, community dance, documentary film, earth art, ecological art, environmental, flax, invasive species, linen, sustainability, urban farming, Vancouver, weaving
Willow Snake by Alastair Heseltine in Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden Photo by Sharon Kallis
In 2013, the Community Arts Council of Vancouver commissioned artist and weaver Alastair Heseltine to create a green willow sculpture in honour of the Chinese year of the Water Snake. The piece was built over a period of five days in January behind the Firehall Theatre in the downtown east-side of Vancouver with the help of numerous community members.
The 60 foot snake was then paraded through Chinatown before being installed in the Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden. As the willow was still living material, the snake began to sprout new shoots as spring weather arrived. Eventually, it was removed from this location and placed in the Means of Production Garden where it now is gradually returning to the earth.
I was present for the entire process and was able to document the project for a short entitled “Willow Snake”.
Immersive film making. Photo by Sharon Kallis
This year, Van Dusen Garden followed up the Earth Art show of 2012 with “Touch Wood”, curated by Celia Duthie and Nicholas Hunt. I was interested in following the process of Alastair Heseltine again, documenting the process of building a large willow sculpture on site. I am now in the editing process of this short film.
Filming Salix Iterum in Van Dusen Gardens – Photo by Alastair Heseltine