Material Witness will focus on extreme textile process. Images will be posted here showing the history of my work, new work, developing projects and inspiration.

Monday, October 31, 2011


Peeling mine door

One of my cases for the miniature work.

Roof Rust

Peeling paint

Mine Messages

Metal Cocoons

Biotite Snake pyro-textile


Rust and Connectors
Part of the Unearthed show with some of the rust dyed and intentionally deteriorating cloth

Crust and rust

My copper patination develops

Rust on tank

Window crack

Inside the mine with mine photographs


In the mine building

Stairway to Heaven Britannia Beach Mine
Inside the large buildings in the mine

Grill from one of the mine vehicles

Part of the Unearthed Show with the unlit cases

Marshall the Miner in full Hallowe'en Gear

Adorable Hallowe'en Mine Bunny.

What a wonderful day! Bright, a little windy and chilly.

Didn't start out that way though.

I woke up late only to discover that hideous brown water was pouring from all my taps and the shower and toilet. Tim convinced me by phone to run all the taps to see if the water would clear.
It didn't until it had completely made the tub disgusting. I had to leave the house in 15 minutes with no way for a nice shower. I made myself as decent as possible using ice cold water when the tap finally cleared. Certainly glad I still had some water in the kettle to brush my teeth.

Scott and Celine picked me up for our inspiration date. Celine only arrived home from Indonesia yesterday and decided to come along too. We had breakfast of Jamaican Patties, Chai, and turkey baguettes and packed into the car for a drive to Britannia Beach and Squamish.

The sun was shining on the sea all the way from Vancouver to the Mine.

We decided to do a mine tour and ride the train underground. Marshall, the miner and guide, recognized me and introduced me to the other riders which took me completely off guard. He told everyone to go into my show. So nice. He has let me crawl around in there a few times now and get inspired. He does such a good tour of the mine because he worked as a miner there for years.

Scott crawled into all the nooks and corners he could find. His photographs must be exciting.

We went into see the show. I rely on these two to give me appropriate and honest feedback. Celine is a wonderful curator and has a strong relationship too and knowledge of my work.
Unfortunately the Museum has decided to save power and cut the illumination to my cases. They are trying to save money but... I know it is an unconventional space. It isn't really an art gallery but a museum. It has been a thrill to show in the space which is filled with old mine machines and equipment. Thousands of people saw the show through the summer and fall. Many more than any gallery would have done.

The cases, however, have been designed to have light to enhance the work. Celine pointed out that the cases really needed the light.

I am pleased that the work has been respected other wise and cared for. Thrilled that the staff have been so supportive and the volunteers are exceptional. I love the huge banners Krisztina made for me and the sandwich board is gorgeous. All the physical help with hanging the show.

It gets dismantled next week. I am really going to miss visiting it there. I could move right into the tunnels.

Scot, Celine an I had lunch at Gallelio's, a little coffee place on the highway at Britannia Beach, and laughed and for hours.

I got home to prepare the house for Hallowe'en.

Tomorrow I get the keys and to the new house and gallery. Tim gave it to me as a gift. And he is finally coming home!!!

Happy Hallowe'en!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Hallowe'en Beasties

Our lovely Charlotte ready for Hallowe'en early this year.

Can't say I slept much last night. The Hallowe'en Beasties were out in full force along the "Drive".
Fire crackers exploding, people screaming like injured wolves, sirens and very loud music.
I am likely the only one up this morning.

So I decided to get domestically productive and do laundry, bake corn muffins, scrub tubs, toilets and sinks and wash the kitchen floor. I am now making cookies to bring down to the "Occupy Vancouver" encampment.

It is hard for me not to go down to Occupy. I am not well enough and would be afraid I'd get in the way if something happened.

When did I get this cautious?

Breast cancer has made me more self protective.

I spent so much of my life on the front lines of things like this. Organizing demos and events. Marshalling marches. Making sure the people taking part had what they needed to carry out positive action. Fighting greed. Looking for positive alternatives.

I remember the older women coming down and delivering muffins. I wondered why they did it and didn't just join the crowd. Some of them did. My "Raging Grannies"! But I understand now the need to step aside and let younger passion take over. I want them to know I am with them. That I will help the little I can. That this fight has been going on for a very long time.

I remember Pauline Weinstein today. She was a remarkable education activist. She died a few years ago of lung cancer. Once she took me aside and asked me not to tire myself out. That I was needed for the long run. That this fight against greed would take a lifetime and that I needed to plan for that if I was serious about helping make change.

My maternal grandfather worked all his life to make change against greed. He arrived in Montreal, Canada as a child. His father had a heart attack a few months later and in the next year or so his mother went blind. He was responsible to try and support a family of 6 by the time he was 12. He became a Communist and involved in the Union Movement. He worked with amazing people like Dr. Norman Bethune. He suffered through what was attached to that in the late forties and fifties. He died in a rooming house in the poorest neighbourhood in Calgary.
He used to bring my friends and I treats when we were protesting the Vietnam War. In retrospect he was the love of my life. Nothing like a loving grandfather to influence your life!

My Grandfather always delivered molasses taffy and liquorice ropes on Hallowe'en Eve.

The Day of the Dead is on November 2. One of my little sugar skeletons will hold a tiny Hammer and Sickle and put his fist in the air.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Holey Molar Gallery?

I dreamt last night that I was visiting Calgary and it had changed so much. There was an event going on in a number of public places. Each one needed to be visited and contemplated on like the Stations of the Cross. There was a solitary dancer in each location. But the meaning of the work was unclear.

I watched each dancer kick, twirl, shuffle and leap. But I felt silly just watching and not taking part in the dance. Truth is I find liturgical dance completely annoying like most rituals from the Church.

Was the dance they were doing a political act or was it a message at all?

Each dancer looked similar to the next and I reacted with confusion. In real life most dancers are not all alike. The body dynamics are different and so was the expression of each movement. An original signature in movement.

I moved from place to place and felt that I might be analysing too much. That the meaning didn't matter but that the expression and taking part was all that counted. But taking strong action without understanding always frightens me.

One room had a tired but clean and ill fitting grey carpet. The dancer was trying to use the wrinkles as a way to define her movement. She kept getting caught and somehow managed not to fall. This was embarrassing but riveting and compelling. Awful to watch someone failing. Awesome to watch such effort.

I woke up drenched with sweat and feeling lonely. I am at a new stage with the medication and I have let myself get tired from the gallery purchase. Doctors and labs again this week and throughout November. Mostly I feel well.

I went back to sleep and dreamed that I named my gallery The Holey Molar Gallery after the fact the building used to be a dentist's office years ago.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Getting Ready For The Crawl

Some of my work from current shows.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Handed Over

Spent the day with accountants, notaries, bankers and delivered the final payment for my gallery and new home in Wells, B.C.

The day started with me throwing a full Irish fit at Tim (the wrong target because his fits always equal mine!), losing my I.D., spilling the coffee and generally falling apart until just the right time where I actually appeared competent and highly organized.

The deed took less than one hour.

The money has now been transfered to the notary. All of it!

Just a few more days and the keys are mine! All mine!

Everything is just fine now...Tim and I are half skiffed drinking celebratory champaigne.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Love List

1. Raspberries from my garden
2. Red shoes
3. The smell of saddle soap and Murphy's oil
4. Fall wind
5. Big cuddly men
6. Silver rings
7. Rice paper and new charcoal
8. Amber
9. White blond children
10. Rusty tools
11. Lichen
12. Bone
13. Red bookshelves
14. Old mirrors with cracking silver
15. Boxes of all sorts
16. Birds
17. Bees
18. The combination of both
19. Rusted barb wire
20. Old woman's voices
21. Chai and Baileys
22. Solo dancers
23. Raven calls
24. Mouth organs
25. Wasp paper
26. Occupyers
27. Flannel nighties and ice cold rooms
28. Ear phoned singers walking down the street
29. Teal
30. Bells
31. Wells
32. Shivers
33. The smell of sweaty horses
34. Clean white sheets
35. Libraries
36. The Marais neighbourhood in Paris
37. Maps
38. Packed suitcases
39. Feathers
40. Rude teenagers

Details, Details, Details

Curator Krisztina Egyed and I sharing a cuddle.

My little corner of the Into The Woods show in the S.A.C. Gallery

Filming "Into The Woods" profile with Ivan Woods, me and Krisztina Egyed at S.A.C. in Squamish

The last few weeks have been so busy. I have learned so much about purchasing a Northern home and gallery. I have moved from excitement, determination, terror, certainty and a calm hopefulness. Tim is so very on board this time and is excited about the changes.

I have wanted to be in Wells for the last 7 years. It took two to go up there and set up the first two galleries. A huge learning curve. I have a good idea about what I am getting myself into.

The plan is to have the gallery up and running by the first week in June. It requires very little work to get it going because the space has been a functioning gallery before.

In the meantime life continues for me in Vancouver. Tim has decided to move home and work on his contract from the Vancouver office. He should be home by the end of November. The CRAWL is my next activity.

I spent the most beautiful day yesterday in Squamish filming another artist profile with Ivan Hughes. There were a collection of artists there all talking about themselves and the work they do. It is for one of the shows called Into the Woods at the Squamish Arts Building Gallery. A really fabulous show. The work will be shown in the CRAWL and then move to the ARTISAN Gallery in Squamish.

We stopped off at the Britannia Beach Mining Museum and checked out my show UNEARTHED.
It looked cared for. I spoke with one of the miners and got really honest feedback which thrilled me. It will be up until November 5th.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wells Gallery

I have spent the last few weeks focusing on purchasing my new gallery and home in Wells, B.C. Canada.

There is so much to do but I am flying to Wells in the morning to do an inspection on the building and to learn how it works. Am also taking part in the Arts As A Business Conference organized by Island Mountain Arts for the weekend.

Decided not to call it the Outhouse Gallery.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Offer Accepted!

I will be the owner of an art retreat and gallery on November 1, 2011. They accepted my modest offer.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Making It Happen

I have gone and done it!

Today I made an offer on a gallery and house in Wells, B.C. It was the Art Rush Gallery which has now moved to Kimberly. I know it very well and have always liked it. I love being in Wells. The people, the location, the beautiful little town, the art school and the pub all thrill me to pieces.

I have now spent enough time there to become attached. Very attached! I ran a gallery up there two years ago. Every day part of my day is spent fantasizing about going back.

SO I pulled together my pennies and learned to read contracts and talk to banks and notaries. My brilliant husband usually does this. But he is buried under work once again and still in the North.

The next few days will reveal what will happen. In the meantime almost everyone in Wells has contacted me to give advice and wish me luck. Old friends and new friends are offering support and encouragement. I am pouring over paint palettes and finding boxes to pack.

Trust me...I am way to Irish to count chickens before they hatch. But it looks really good.
And I feel sure it is what I really, really want!