“I Stand Alone”
Contemporary drawing installation and performance
Inspired by the bravery and authenticity of the iconic Canadian landscape painter Emily Carr, this series of drawings was created as part of an art residency in Victoria British Columbia (BC) in 2022. Following in the footsteps of this feminist painter and influenced by her later work like Odds and Ends (1939), I share her concern for the environment in constantly changing landscapes. Irreversible natural resource extraction and its impact on Indigenous ways of life continue to be important political and societal issues in Canada to this day.
These drawings were created using charcoal collected from wood burnt by fire at a logging site of an old growth forest in the unceded territories of the Pacheedaht First Nation, near Port Renfrew, BC. The act of drawing solely with this found material in an expressive and raw way brings new life and meaning to the subject by creating a conversation about vulnerability and hope. One tree, locally known as Big Lonely Doug (a Douglas Fur), was spared from logging in 2012 and left to stand alone, a powerful statement of the disappearing old-growth forests. This series honours that symbol of defiance by associating it with a burnt tree stump with roots exposed, which gives us the illusion of new life stemming from loss.
In my work, I let myself be guided by my intuition by starting with found objects, plants or materials to inform the direction in which I tell my story. I play with reflections, mirrored images and positive/negative space to question how the viewer sees a subject, thus their own perspective is reshaped. With this symbol of the lonely tree you are confronted to your own mortality, fragility and are reminded that the landscape that surrounds us is in constant flux, fragile just as we are.