To create these book stacks I went to the Guelph library and began looking through the shelves for any titles that I thought had potential for my stacks. I ended up deciding on the books below and captured these photos in different locations to help accentuate my created sentences. This first stack (The Aesthetic Body) suggests a concept or image of a beautiful and or artistic form that exists in a distant, unreachable place, free from external constraints or limitations. The second stack (Be Very Afraid) suggests that aging is a significant aspect of life that can evoke various emotions and experiences, including both fear and growth. It invites the reader to reflect on their perceptions of aging and its impact on identity and existence. The last stack (Shameful Behaviours)suggests a range of ideas or emotions related to personal relationships, experiences, or situations, such as a fight that had occurred leaving there to be an incident where the couples had disputes and ended up breaking up.
1. The Aesthetic Body
2. Be Very Afraid
3. Shameful Behaviours
Belmore’s known for her powerful and thought-provoking work that often addresses issues related to Indigenous rights, identity, colonialism, and social justice. I was drawn to Belmore’s performance art, as her own physical body is present in a majority of her peices as a means of expression, enabling her to explore the self and community boundaries between her own ideas and those of the viewer. She incorporates photography and video into her work to document her performance and create visual narratives that complement her themes. Additionally, Belmore creates sculptures and installations that often incorporate found objects and materials with historical and cultural significance. This aspect immediately seized my attention, lending greater strength to her artwork. She frequently employs symbols and metaphors in her work to convey complex ideas and emotions, allowing viewers to interpret the meaning on multiple levels.
Overall, Rebecca Belmore’s art is characterized by its multi-faceted approach, blending various mediums and strategies to create works that are not only aesthetically engaging but also deeply meaningful and thought-provoking in their content and messages, serving as a platform for dialogue and reflection on important societal issues.
In “Fountain”, Belmore repeatedly carries heavy buckets of ocean water, symbolizing the enduring Indigenous struggle against colonization, with water representing the journey’s challenges and witnessing the transformation from Indigenous beauty to oppression. The bucket itself symbolizes the weight of colonization’s burdens on Indigenous people, mirroring their centuries-long oppression. A distant fire unites land, water, fire, and air’s elemental forces, channeled through her body. Fire, crucial to Indigenous life for ceremonies and sustenance, also mirrors its destructive capacity, akin to the devastation of Indigenous culture during colonization. Belmore emerges from the water, walks toward the camera, and throws the water, which turns blood-red, symbolizing the connection between water and humanity. The act shifts the burden of Indigenous history’s bloodshed cycles back to its European source, illustrating how purity turned to violence due to colonialism. Red, signifying pain, represents the blood spilled in the abuse of Indigenous people, emphasizing the ongoing impact of brutality and colonization. Belmore’s work highlights the tragic repetition of such acts between water and blood.
Biinjiya’iing Onji (2017)
Rebecca Belmore has created a memorial to transience using locally sourced materials. She has painstakingly carved a tent, which is increasingly becoming a long-term dwelling for refugees and migrants, out of marble. This sculpture serves as a testament to the enduring state of crisis and the makeshift havens it compels. The tent’s design also draws inspiration from other traditional shelters, notably the wigwam, a significant part of Belmore’s Indigenous heritage. Wigwams, traditionally constructed with young tree branches and covered in birch bark, showcase a resourceful approach to building with available materials, allowing nomadic communities to establish homes wherever needed.
Rebecca Belmore responds to nature, creatures, and environmental conditions in her work by often incorporating natural elements, materials, and symbols that hold cultural significance, particularly as they relate to Indigenous perspectives. Her response is deeply informed by her Anishinaabe heritage and her commitment to addressing pressing issues. Belmore conducts fact-based research by delving into Indigenous histories, traditional knowledge, and contemporary challenges. She collaborates with Indigenous communities to ensure her work is authentic and representative. Her work is motivated by ideas of Indigenous sovereignty, resilience, and cultural survival. She values the importance of giving voice to Indigenous experiences and challenging the historical and ongoing injustices faced by Indigenous peoples. These ideas resonate in her final works through various mediums such as performance art, sculpture, and installation. Many of Belmore’s works, such as “Fountain” and “Biinjiya’iing Onji” are intended to challenge the status quo and raise awareness about social and political issues, Indigenous rights, identity, and the interconnectedness of nature and culture.
ARBORETUM VIDEO PROJECT
RESEARCH – BIRD CALLS
- SONGS: Across the majority of North America, you can typically hear a straightforward, melodious song consisting of two or three clear whistled notes, often resembling “fee-bee” or “hey, sweetie.” However, in the Pacific Northwest, the song differs slightly, featuring three or four notes at the same pitch. In many regions within its range, male birds commence their singing in mid-January, and as the winter season unfolds, the frequency of their song gradually intensifies. Interestingly, females in this species also occasionally join in with their own songs.
- CALLS: Chickadees employ their distinctive “chickadee-dee-dee” call, which includes an increasing number of “dee” notes, as an alarm signal when they sense danger. Additionally, they utilize a specific gargling call, particularly in confrontational situations, such as when a lower-ranking bird approaches a higher-ranking one. This call is also exchanged between members of a pair. In the case of Black-capped Chickadees, they emit a high-pitched “see” call as a high-intensity alarm signal, typically in response to the presence of a rapidly approaching predator. When other chickadees hear this alarm, they instinctively freeze in their current position until they receive the reassuring “chickadee-dee” call, which signifies that the threat has passed. Notably, the high “see” calls are most frequently produced by male chickadees.
- OTHER SOUNDS: Nestling chickadees employ a defensive strategy by emitting a sudden and forceful hissing sound while simultaneously striking the interior of their nest cavity when they perceive an intruder peering inside.
- To hear samples of the calls and songs of the Chickadee, click on the following link:
2. Eastern Screech Owl
- SONG: Their most common song is a high pitched tremolo that can sometimes resemble a soft “purr.” It is a 3-6 second long song that the screech owl uses to keep in touch with their family or mate. The second song is one called the whinny. It is a 0.5–2 second long shrill that resembles the sound of a horse neighing, and is used to defend territories.
- CALLS: Screech Owl calls can often sound like a soft, low “caw” or “hoot” sound. As their name suggests, these owls can also produce a screeching call that is used to indicate danger, alarm, or agitation.
- To hear samples of the calls and songs of the Eastern Screeching Owl, click on the following link:
- Loons exhibit a diverse range of vocalizations, comprising four primary types: the wail, tremolo, yodel, and hoot.
- The wail, often the most frequently heard, is a haunting call employed by loons when they find themselves separated from their chick or in cases where their mate has not returned. It serves as an expression of their willingness to engage with others.
- The tremolo, conversely, serves as an assertive response when loons feel disturbed by boaters or potential predators. This wavering call communicates their distress and encourages a move to a safer location. It also functions as a means of announcing their presence at a particular lake.
- The yodel is another vocalization that signifies aggression and is typically emitted by males during confrontations. It plays a crucial role in territorial disputes, effectively conveying a message to nearby loons, asserting, “This territory belongs to us!” Interestingly, each male loon possesses a unique signature yodel, which they may modify if they relocate to a different territory.
- Lastly, the hoot is a softer, brief call used to symbolize curiosity and/or happiness. Loons employ hoots to maintain contact with one another, with parents using hoots to communicate with their chicks and mates hooting to stay connected with each other.
- To hear samples of the calls and songs of the Loon, click on the following link:
4. Pileated Woodpecker
- CALLS: The Pileated Woodpecker call consists of a fast staccato high pitched repeated sound. The call can last up to several seconds. They have a second call that is more spaced out and is lower in pitch. It usually sounds like cuk, cuk, and indicates danger, or marking of territory.
- OTHER SOUNDS: Woodpeckers are most known for their drumming sound that they make by repeatedly pecking their beak against a tree trunk. This sound may be used to solicit mating/courtship, or to alert others of a predator near a nest. For males, drumming may also be used to mark or defend their territory.
- To hear samples of the calls and songs of the Pileated Woodpecker, click on the following link:
Idea 1: Hanging from a Tree Until you Fall
“hanging from a tree until you fall” serves as a thought-provoking symbol that unites environmental concerns with the human experience. It underscores the importance of perseverance, resilience, and responsible stewardship of our natural world while acknowledging the inevitability of occasional setbacks in our journey toward a sustainable future.
Idea 2: Hide and Seek
Hide and seek in the forest is more than just a childhood game; it’s a transformative encounter that binds individuals to the natural world. Through sensory immersion, physical interaction, and environmental awareness, participants learn not only about the forest but also about themselves. This connection between body and nature cultivated through play endures, fostering a lifelong reverence for the natural world and a desire to preserve its beauty and vitality.
Idea 3: Imitating the Sounds we Hear in Nature (FINAL IDEA)
Embracing the harmonious symphony of nature, our project focuses on the art of imitating the diverse sounds we encounter outside. This endeavor offers a unique opportunity to compile an auditory journey, seamlessly weaving together recordings from the serene landscapes of the arboretum and our own attempts at replicating these natural sounds. Here, we immerse ourselves in the richness of the environment, capturing the chirping of birds, the rustling of leaves, the distant echoes of wildlife and more. It’s an exploration that celebrates the interconnectedness of humans and nature and invites listeners to experience the beauty of the outdoors in a novel and creative way.