We are back!
10 days away. 5 days on the water. 1 day of camp-side bonding. 1 day de-constructing. 3 days wandering.
I quite honestly can’t describe in words what this experience was…but I will try and then try again in pictures.
Barb and Sean of Department of Biological Flow set us up on a journey. The challenge being to learn while in the flow; of the canal, of meeting new people, of heart beats and mind meanderings . We were a floating atelier. A team of artists, philosophers, academics, labourers and lovers set adrift on this constructed waterway: the Rideau River Canal system. Their real success in this project (in my opinion) was allowing the space for circumstance, personality and chance to intervene while getting us all to safety each day. This project was a flow of minds but a force of the physical body as we fought the currents, winds, mosquitos and muscle aches to get from site A to sight B.
Each person had entered into this challenge from a different perspective and background. For myself, I have been attempting to open up my artistic practice to more community engagement, more access to stories and memories and allowing for the element of chance to creep in and shift my mindset. My mind is most definitely shifted by being on this journey and I find it incredible that six days can seem like a lifetime of learning when surrounded by a kind, interesting, engaging community of individuals. Right now I feel like I am gushing a bit and that it is not doing justice to the challenges and complexities of this art/thought/motion/community work.
Perhaps more perspective will come over the next few days. Tomorrow I will attempt to talk about community engagement during the project and after that I will anarchive the Anarchive exhibition which we have left in the capable hands of Laura and Georgia at Gallery 101 in Ottawa.
What I do want to do is thank everyone involved. I wish me and Len could have been there for the full 12 days, although I have enjoyed engaging with the mythologies of that which came before. I am confident that some of us will work/play together again. My heart is full of appreciation, my body is covered in bites and bruises.
A philosophical debate over the pros and cons of living through a lightning storm by turning back or rowing ahead into the unknown.
Each lock station is an example of manual dexterity in a technologically driven society.
Each lock station is also a gathering.
Reflecting on the landscape as studio.
Innovation is power
and team work is key to increasing speed
By constantly shifting partners new challenges emerged and conversations evolved.
This is just pretty…
and so is this 😉
Docks and Campsites provided space to rest, recharge, come together and contemplate
The herb garden was delicately moved with us. Providing flavour, visual pleasure and a sense of nurturing that spread out into how we treated ourselves and each other.
We are the fireflies.
There is pain in teamwork as well as pleasure.
We are all marked
but not scarred.
Nourishment was often at the forefront of our minds
and after food comes conversation
It was important to make time for personal silence
to respond to the rhythm of others
be a guiding light
and have fun.