Kent Harrison Arts Council Artist in Residence: Week One-ish

We are settling in at last!

What a whirlwind it has been. Two weddings: one in Ontario, one my little sister’s. Two bouts of sickness: one while moving off the island, one while prepping for sister’s wedding. Two acts of moving: one from Victoria to a storage unit in Chilliwack, one from the storage unit into the wonderful residency space at Kent Harrison Ranger Station. And now, finally, we are settling in.

Sometimes I do wonder what kind of crazy I must be to have chosen this nomadic artist life. And then, I look out of the window in this lovely little town and see the clouds hugging the mountainside and the birds flying low over the lake and I realise that this is exactly how life should be. A little anxiety inducing, a lot chaotic, but full of experiences and beauty.

Today is my first day of gallery duties for the Kent Harrison Arts Council. I have to go oh so far from my residency space and studio, a whole 15 steps downstairs. We are at the old Ranger Station on the edge of town and the view is superb. It is never still as the light and clouds shift across the lake. Right now at the gallery there is a lovely little exhibition of silkscreen prints by students from an Emily Carr summer intensive course with previous artist-in-residence Aimee Henny Brown. Aimee has been a great help in the transition and makes amazing print works that speak very well to my own way of researching and thinking about art and place.

My mind and body are still adjusting to the shift in landscape. We spent 5 happy years on Vancouver Island and the ocean is always close to my heart. But, waking up to the sound of the lake lapping against the rocks and boats is a pretty special substitute. I am looking forward to getting out and exploring, especially now that my cold is finally loosening its grasp on my throat, and I have set myself a weekly schedule to keep me focussed and active. There is a day for material searches at the local thrift store, a day for collaging, a day for finding a place in town or in the forest to sit and embroider my developing narrative and plenty of time for other endeavours. I have much to learn about this place and my role as artist in residence and it is both exciting and scary to be somewhere new again, but I have a feeling that a year from now it will be hard to say goodbye.

I hope to keep updating you on my adventures here at Harrison Hot Springs throughout the year. A weekly post is my goal but we will see what time I end up having. Keep reading!

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