I invited both my children, separately, to take me on a one kilometre walk beginning at our home. I followed their lead, allowing them to set the pace and route (including stops and diversions) and gave myself the task of simply being with them and experiencing the terrain as they might. When the kilometre ended, I took the lead again.
Walking With Kilometre #1 Juniper Khagram, 3 years old. 2 hours and 24 minutes.
Notes: We walked down to the river, meandering and stopping often in driveways, at houses, balancing on logs and investigating holes in the ground, leaves, plants and faerie dwellings. At 128 metres, we walked back home to get Juniper’s balance bicycle, which she rode (walking) for the rest of the walk. We sang songs to the leaves and trees, knocked on neighbors doors, and swung on a tire swing in a neighbor’s yard we did not know.
Walking With Kilometre #2 Anand Khagram, 6 years old. 1 hour 31 minutes.
Notes: We spent the first 10 minutes of the walk lying in the grass on our neighbor’s boulevard resting and watching clouds. Anand had a piece of chalk in his pocket. He broke it and gave half to me. Along the walk, we drew shapes on telephone poles, tree trunks and fallen logs and on the pavement and ground. We spent much of the walk in the trees, climbing a connected network of leaning and fallen Manitoba Maple trees that criss-crossed over the path and extended into the river. We fell in the river and got soakers, looked for mushrooms, found minnows, fish, old glass and slag and made silly sounds.
Yellow Walk is a project I completed on October 29, 2016. The sky was cloudy and it was late in the day when I set out on my one kilometer walk. It was measured to be exactly one kilometer using a pedometer. My walk had no destination, simply a goal – to find, collect, and document objects the colour of the sun on a day when the sun was hiding. My sister Elise accompanied me and together we walked for one kilometer, simply continuing to move in the direction of the next yellow object. I documented the findings of my walk in the form of a photo collage (for those objects that could not be moved) and a collection (for those objects that could be collected).
The inspiration for this project came from my desire to find brightness on a cloudy day and from my love for searching and finding (it reminds me of playing eye spy as a child). By combining these two ideas my project was formed.
For me, my walk was a physical way to experience the process of searching for bright spots when the obvious light, like the sun, is missing. It was also a way for me to be in my home neighbourhood in a new way. Instead of my usual walking from one place to the next, this walk directed my attention to the smaller details of my neighbourhood that I had not previously taken the time to notice.
Overall, I enjoyed the process of creating and performing Yellow Walk, and I think that one would be surprised by how much joy can come from finding bright coloured things on a grey day.
I harvested some lavender from the university of Guelph campus from a flowerbed in the parking lot of Alexander Hall. I made some jelly and simple syrup with the lavender which I am then going to give to the workers who cultivate and maintain the lavender on campus.
The Space Terrarium — so named as a nod to the N.A.S.A. research that inspired it — is a vertical, modular, triangular garden sculpture, designed and fabricated to support young plants and to clean the air.
Ready-made fluorescent light fixtures operate at the 6500k colour light spectrum and mounted on a custom welded armature, surround the plants from all sides. Laser cut acrylic containers feature drainage holes in each of their floors, allowing gravity to irrigate the small terrariums from the top down.
This piece is meant be practical as well as to celebrate life — and at the same time to highlight the symbiotic relationship between humans and plants.
Work in process images (below)
Initial design images (below – plant models and light fixtures are stock)
Astronomy vs Astrology is a recording of two voices discussing their thoughts on the cosmos.
This audio track combines the responses from separate interviews of an astronomer and astrologer answering identical questions. Historically, Astronomy (the scientific study of the universe) and Astrology (how the universe affects people i.e. horoscopes) were studied academically as the same practice but have since been disconnected.
This piece explores the relationship between the two fields. The voices seem to have a conversation as they dispute and reconcile their beliefs.
The audio piece was created as a limited edition CD
The back cover outlines instructions on how to listen to the piece
“Play this CD on an audio system with separate left and right speakers if possible. Place speakers on different sides of the room. Eliminate all light sources in order to listen in complete darkness. Lie down facing up in a stargazing position. Closing your eyes is optional.
Play the audio track to meditate, reflect, and contemplate the universe.”
Special Thanks To:
Mike Massa, Judith Sainsbury, & Nathan Saliwonchyk
*the order in which “Astronomy” and “Astrology” appear in the title is meant to be reversible.
The Portable Herb Garden Diaries is an artist multiple as well as a useable kit. The idea began during the transitioning of the season from fall to winter. Plants are known to not sprout outdoors in the soil during the cold weather thus I thought why not have a plant that is transportable and can be grown indoors all year around in pots. I also wanted the work to feel personalized and catered towards each participant that is in possession of this kit. As a result, all the materials required were included in the kit as a sense of motivation.
This kit includes a big plant pot, plant markers, soil, manure, peat moss, a marker, paper plant cups, a scoop, a spray bottle, a disposable camera, herb seed paper (chives, rosemary, oregano, parsley), terra cotta bases, a napkin, and instructions. The plantable seed paper was inspired by handmade paper and by submerging the seeds into the paper for planting it supports the growth of the plant. Brief instructions are included due to the project being open for creativity and interpretation by the participants. Participants are expected to follow the procedures to successfully sprout the herbs. The participants are expected to document the occurrences of the plants however, the content of the photos are to be determined by the participants. The disposable camera is to be returned to me within a specific time frame. Whether the camera is empty or contains the roll of film, that is the participants discretion. If the participants decide to return the camera back to me with the film intact I will develop it to reveal the content of the photos.
Portable Herb Garden Diaries was shrink wrapped with all the contents contained within the wrapper and all the multiples were presented on top of a shelf lined up. Once the herbs have been fully grown they are ready to be preserved or used in cooking. Each herb has a different taste and scent. Some are mild and some are peppery. The Portable Herb Garden Diaries is an ongoing project that is left open for creativity, interpretation, and for participants to help me complete.
“Getting to know plants” is about our human interaction with the botanical world. Our goal is to create a space to facilitate conversation and physical contact between humans and plants. This work challenges the conventions of interaction and the way we handle plants.
We have many friendly plants that want to meet you, talk with you, and touch you. Don’t be shy, this is a safe space for interaction.
There will be refreshments for both you and our botanical friends.
A plant social will be taking place this Friday in the Alexander Hall project space (room 365). All plant-friendly people are welcome to attend and interact with our rooted friends. We encourage discussion and a hug goodbye.
Join us in celebration of communication and friendship across all boundaries.