I have produced boat forms that will be layered, representing the water contained in a lock. By fusing or casting the glass, I am creating different textures to create a feeling of change and passage of time. The glass boats will overlap and be at different levels. I am still figuring out the details. I sometimes design a piece and then execute it and at other times I experiment and figure it out as I go.
This piece will be framed by cement and the glass will sit off the wall - signifying lift and change in water levels
The Trent Severn Waterway consists of 45 locks. Below are a few pictures of different locks I have taken during research. Visit Parks Canada's website for a complete list of the locks.
Since moving to the Peterborough, Ontario area I have envisioned doing a project based on the Trent Severn Waterway. Because I work with glass, concrete, steel and rock it seems like an obvious path to take artistically. I am interested in humanities’ connection (or disconnection – depending on how cynical I am feeling that day) with the environment and how we try to control and manipulate nature. The lock system is a perfect example of this but also how nature breaks down these controls over time. My father in law says ‘the worst thing for a boat is water’, well I think this is true for the locks too. Rust and corrosion mark the locks showing the passage of time and adding character to the concrete, wood and steel.
Lock 18 - Hastings - is one of the manually operated locks along the waterway.
Lock 19 - Scott Mills - has the original limestone construction preserved and remnants’ of a cobble stone pathway
Lock 20 - The Peterborough Lift Lock - One of only two hydraulic lift locks on the Waterway is the highest hydraulic lift lock in the world – 62 ft.
Lock 36 - The Kirkfield Lift Lock is the second highest hydraulic lift lock in the world with a lift of 49 ft. The lock is situated at the highest point along the Waterway at 256.20 meters (840.5 ft) above sea level.
Lock 37 - Bolsover - is also a manually operated lock
Lock 44 - Big Chute Marine Railway - Big Chute Marine Railway is the only marine railway of its kind in North America
Lock 45 - Port Severn – Northern most lock that connects the waterway to Georgian Bay
Excerpt from a grant proposal written in 2011 seeking funding for site-specific installations along the Trent Severn Waterway in 2012
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.