In 2010 I received a grant from the Ontario Arts Council to produce a body of work based on the Trent Severn Waterway for an exhibition at The Art Gallery of Peterborough running from July to September of 2011. As the work developed I envisioned each sculpture shown in the environment that inspired it and realized an increase in scale was needed to reflect the engineering feat of the Lock System. I contacted Parks Canada and received permission to install a site-specific installation at the Peterborough Lift Lock Visitor’s Centre for Artsweek in Peterborough, Ontario. (Link to Photos of the Installation) The main installation of ‘The Waterway’ was at the Visitor’s Centre accompanied by a display at the Art Gallery of Peterborough. This project introduced Parks Canada and the Art Gallery to my idea of the site-specific installations and gained support for creating five more installations that will be displayed at different locks throughout the summer of 2012. This blog will document the production of the two bodies of work.
To produce these installations I will continue to combine glass, concrete, steel and rock but on a larger scale. The Locks mark the natural landscape and the installations need to reflect the massiveness of the location by increasing in size to balance with the locks themselves. The Waterway is operated by Parks Canada and is a National Historic Site of Canada. It cuts through 386 km of South Eastern Ontario with a lock system creating a water highway from the Bay of Quinte to Georgian Bay. It is estimated that 1.4 million people from all over the world visit and 120,000 vessels travel through the locks yearly. By placing the work outside the traditional gallery setting it will reach a broader audience who may not regularly visit a gallery exhibition.
The sculptures will consider the waterways effect on the environment and the precarious balance in which the natural and artificial environments exist. While traveling through the Waterway you experience the natural beauty of the environment and then encounter a lock that shows humanity’s engineering genius. The massive concrete walls control the water levels turning a once tumultuous river into pools of smooth glass.