Last October I had my first solo art show at the University of Manitoba. (I know, that was a while ago, I’ve been busy.) Karen Wilson Baptist, a professor in the landscape architecture program, found my work by googling something like ‘up and coming landscape architects’. That miraculously lead her to an interview I’d done for an old student and then to my website. There was no contact information on my website (duh) so she tracked me down on Facebook and invited me to do a show. The Fates were smiling.
It took a over a year for everything to fall into place. Finally, with the opening looming on I dove into another round of exploring the intersection between landscape architecture and printmaking; something I’d been threatening to do since my sojourn at MacDowell. I took over our guestroom, got out my prints and set about getting inspired. For about 6 weeks I worked and thought and didn’t really sleep. As with any worthwhile endeavor, those six weeks were both torturous and exhilarating.
Design is hard, especially when you’re trying to find your way through a process that has no precedent. Interpreting an abstract prints onto a site is a pretty unexplored process. For me the allure of this idea is the potential for developing alternative ways to vision a design. Instead of working from site plan forward, working between site and an evocative abstraction holds great potential. Designing in plan is standard practice for a reason- it works well and is fairly predictable. In the end, to make the actual design work, I fell back on those conventions because that is how I have worked for over a decade. On the visioning side, I started to develop three-dimensional collages that transform elements of the print into imagined spaces. While I’ll still work in and through plans, these print-collages have led me in a new direction for interpreting prints.
I was in Winnipeg for 5 days to install the show. It was quite the adventure. My work got caught in customs and was extracted in the nick of time. Men with white gloves and power drills hung my work in the gallery. I was ‘the speaker’ and gave a 45 minute lecture on my work and process. It was surreal and exciting to be the person that has something to say. I also got to meet all of the lovely University of Manitoba landscape architecture professors and teach a one-day printmaking workshop. Images from the show are below. Close ups of the pieces can be found on my website.