In a lot of ways a visual artist has a very solitary working life. It is often me and the CBC radio. I cut glass and listen to great programs from across the country. The CBC keeps me amused, in touch and sometimes unprepared. I really thought the liberals were going to win the federal
When I do a show like this I realize that is not just the CBC and me. I realize am surrounded by a community that supports me and wants me to achieve success and that they help in any way possible, all I have to do is ask and they are
Be it childcare, helping me cut lumber or assisting in moving the work from point A to point B. I have a roster of friends who I know I can count on.
Kerry Brennan, Brett McKnight, John Boorman, Se Kohane, Brianna Foster
and of course my mother, Mary Davis. Over the last year all of these people have helped me with one or all of the above tasks.
I have also been very lucky in making connections with local businesses that have given advice, their expert workmanship and patience. I have to thank Kim and Craig Tedford of Scott Concrete in Lakefield. They have been generous both with their knowledge and expertise.
A big thank you also to Gord Milburn and his staff at Wm. Thompson Machine & Tool Ltd. He also has leant me his expertise and patience. I have worked with Gord for 4 years now and it has been a great pleasure.
Childcare has been one of the best things ever. I have a great daycare provider, Shawna Monroe, she is caring, flexible and one in a million. I thank her for taking great care of my daughter, Miller.
For the past couple of months I have had the pleasure of having Suzie Lewis also come out and assist me with this project. She is a budding glass artist who will be attending Sheridan College this fall. Her assistance has been invaluable and her work ethic and enthusiasm greatly appreciated.
I have also been working with Kevin Lockau, a Bancroft based artist who won the Governor General’s Award for craft in 2009. He was my instructor at Sheridan College and has been challenging and pushing me for the last year while I have worked on the Waterway project. His input, thoughts and feedback have
been invaluable. He also helped install the show which I totally appreciate and so does my husband, Andrew.
If any of you know Andrew, you know how much he supports and contributes to my career. He supports me more than I ever imagined anyone could or would. He works hard at his own job and is always ready to help me achieve my goals on his time off. He often takes vacation around my shows. It is a partnership in every way.
I also have to thank Sara Atkins and Dennis Carter Edmonds of Parks Canada – the Trent Severn Waterway Division. Sara has thrown her support behind this project and allowed me to continue the project next summer. In 2012 I will be installing a series of sculptures at various locks throughout the waterway.
Dennis Carter Edmonds took me deep into the archives of the Trent Severn Waterway and shared his passion for the waterway and its history.
I must also thank the staff of the AGP, especially Celeste Scopilites and
Carla Garnet who have also supported this project. Without their backing and support I would not be continuing this project outside the gallery setting.
I thank them for seeing the potential and agreeing to partner with me in
the coming year.
Also Thanks the Ontario Arts Council for their support. Without financial
backing for this exhibition and the outdoor project in 2012 my ideas could not
become a reality. A project like this can’t happen without funding or support. It isn’t just one person working towards a goal but a community and I am glad I have such a supportive one.
Lastly I have to thank anyone who has supported my work or any artist’s work, be it a novel, a movie, a play, a dance production, a comedian or a band. Without the arts I can’t imagine the community we would live in. The arts make us think, laugh, learn, be delighted and imagine. I would hate to lose that in our society.
The Waterway Project - Wall Didatic
Written by Carla Garnet - AGP Curator
Inspired by Peterborough’s natural and engineered environment, Christy Haldane (Peterborough) has developed a series of sculptures using recycled window glass and other common building material. Haldane’s glass and concrete mixed media sculptures and maquettes preview five outdoor installations that will be exhibited at the locks between Peterborough and Lakefield along the Otonabee River in July and August of 2012.
Haldane’s body of work is situated at an intersection of art, craft and architecture. Concrete and steel echo the materials of the locks themselves,
which come to represent control and containment of the environment, while the transparency, fluidity, and bluish hue of water are suggested in the glass.
Monuments of human engineering, Haldane’s work simultaneously points to the ongoing erosion from the elements that the locks face, reflecting the passage of time and the subtle power of the water.
Based on these current works on view now through September 4, 2011 at the
Art Gallery of Peterborough, Haldane will be working with master glass sculptor and Governor General Award Winner Kevin Lockau to implement her site specific sculptures, along the Trent Severn Waterway in the summer of 2012. By placing the work outside the traditional gallery setting Haldane hopes The Waterway Project will reach a broader audience and provide viewers with a new perspective of the liftlocks in their natural setting.
The Waterway Project has received support from the Ontario Arts Council's Craft Projects program. The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of
This glass example is investigating the idea of the mark or stain that humanity leaves on the environment.
Work in Progress on the PB Liftlock
For the Peterborough Lift Lock I want to make two glass pieces that are identical to represent the two lifts. To do this I laminated Styrofoam and carved out the shape I wanted. I then made a two part mould with just plaster so I could produce wax positives from the original Styrofoam piece.
Sketches for the Peterborough Lift Lock Installation
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.