Nature Present

Nature Present PosterThe representation of Nature has been a primary subject of visual artists since the beginning of recorded history. From symbolic and spiritual representations evidenced by the world’s aboriginal cultures to colonial expansion and the building of nations, images of Nature serve as social, political, and spiritual mirrors to their complementing cultures. Today, reflections of the natural world by contemporary artists represent layers of embodied experience, local knowledge, historical attachments, future desires, and imaginative possibilities. These perspectives or rather “views” are up to us to decipher, to consider, or to reject. How far are we willing to go to sustain a comfortable view of Nature – safe and sellable – or might we also include alternative views that cause us to pause, reflect, and consider the future of our oldest subject? This exhibition explores multiple Newfoundland and Labrador artists whose work presents a perspective of nature now.

Artists featured in Nature Present are Marlene Creates, Will Gill, Pam Hall, Matthew Hollett, Philippa Jones, Ingrid Mary Percy, Gerald Squires, and Peter Wilkins.

Opening September 11th 2015 at 4:30pm
Rotary Arts Centre, 5 Park Street, Corner Brook, NL.

You can see some images of the exhibition on curator Mary MacDonald’s website.

coeurPulse – Candice Pike and Kara Friesen

“Only by re-contacting the full reach and education potential of our kinesthetic intelligence will we have any hope of finding a balanced relationship with the larger systems of the world around us…” –Thomas Berry

Hearts are powerful physiological and energetic forces in human lives. Their constant pulsation is a signifier of life. coeurPulse emerged out of research into how ‘heartbeats’ (rhythmic forces) and ‘heartsounds’ (stories of the heart) can inform the creative process.

The research for coeurPulse was supported by Neighbourhood Dance Works’ Roberta Thomas Legacy Award and Mocean Dance’s CLEaR Forum. Creative contributions were made by Olivia Albrecht, David Barry, Kara Friesen, and Louise Gauthier.

Candice is a dance maker-researcher-teacher based in Corner Brook, NL. She has used her multi-disciplinary approach to choreograph and dance in several full-length, community-based works as well as a number of site-specific, improvised, durational pieces presented throughout Canada.

Kara Friesen is trained as a contemporary choreographer, ballet and jazz dancer. Trained under the Vaganova Ballet Technique, she earned her BFA from Concordia University and danced with the Sonia Balazovjech Dance Company during her 8 years in Montreal before returning to her native Nova Scotia.

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the worth of – Sarah Joy Stoker

Created and performed by Sarah Joy Stoker. Sound design and music performance by Lori Clarke. Light design by Robert Gauthier. Video by Sarah Joy Stoker in collaboration with Lori Clarke, Phil Winters and Robert Gauthier. Midway Island Bird photographs presented with permission of the artist, Chris Jordan.

“On Midway Atoll, a remote cluster of islands more than 2000 miles from the nearest continent, the detritus of our mass consumption surfaces in an astonishing place: inside the stomachs of thousands of dead baby albatrosses… These birds reflect back an appallingly emblematic result of the collective trance of our consumerism and runaway industrial growth. Like the albatross, we first-world humans find ourselves lacking the ability to discern anymore what is nourishing from what is toxic to our lives and our spirits. Choked to death on our waste, the mythical albatross calls upon us to recognize that our greatest challenge lies not out there, but in here.” – Chris Jordan, Seattle, February 2011.

A St. John’s native, Sarah Stoker is an accomplished professional contemporary dance artist with over 15 years of professional experience, performing nationally and internationally, since graduating from the School of Toronto Dance Theatre in 1996. She worked as an independent dance artist in Toronto and Montreal for David Pressault Danse, Pigeons International and Lynda Gaudreau’s compagnie de Brune, among others, performing throughout Canada, Europe, and in Brazil. Her own work has been presented throughout Canada, in New York and Italy. In 2001 Sarah returned home to St. John’s, founding Gutsink Productions Inc. and Collective Gutsink to help generate opportunities for creation, improvisation and experimentation within the community.

Lori Clarke has been creating work for stage, screen and installation for more than 30 years. Her award winning music and sound design refers to multiple aesthetics from musique concrete to jazz to electronica. Lori’s studies and practice in somatics and contemplative spiritual care contribute to the collaborative work she does with movement-based artists. Lori holds an MA Somatics from the California Institute of Integral Studies (1995) and is currently working towards an Interdisciplinary PhD at Memorial University – arts-based research exploring grief, ecology and emergence.

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St. John's logoThe creation of this this work was funded by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, the City of St. John’s and Neighbourhood Dance Works – Technical Residence program.

The presentation of this work at the Grenfell Theatre as part of the Future of Nature has been supported by the Future of Nature, Grenfell Campus and the Canada Council for the Arts.

Song and Story with Gerald Squires and Pamela Morgan

Photo by Eric WalshA beloved Newfoundland artist, Gerald Squires was born in Change Islands on November 17, 1937. A painter, sculptor, printmaker, art activist and teacher, much of Squires’ large body of work finds its inspiration in the landscape and culture of Newfoundland. His solo exhibitions have travelled to public art galleries across Canada and his work has been included in numerous juried exhibitions in Canada, Great Britain, the United States, France and India.

Corporate and public collectors of his works include Hibernia Management & Development Ltd.; The National Library, Ottawa; The Permanent collection of the Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s; the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; the Robert McLaughlin Art Gallery, Oshawa; and the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, P.E.I. Several of his works deemed as ‘national treasures’ have been collected through the Certified Canadian Cultural Properties Act. Squires has been the recipient of many honours, including the Saidye & Samuel Bronfman ‘Best Young Artist Award’ (1965); the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s ‘Ted Drover Award for Excellence in Visual Arts’ (1984); The Canada Council for the Arts “B” Award (1987); the honourary degree of ‘doctor of letters’ from Memorial University of Newfoundland (1992); the Order of Canada (1999); member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts (1999); The Newfoundland & Labrador Arts’ Council’s ‘recognition of a significant contribution to the Arts’, Hall of Honour award (2008).

Pamela MorganFor 19 years, Pamela Morgan was lead singer, guitarist, and arranger for Canada’s pioneering “Celtic” band, Newfoundland’s Figgy Duff, who brought the traditional music of Newfoundland to the world stage. Since then, Pamela has spearheaded the independent record label, Amber Music, producing music for NL’s finest roots artists, including four of her own solo CDs, and licensing tracks to various labels worldwide.

As a solo artist she has graced stages in England, Canada, the US and Europe, and overseen productions of original scores for live theatre. In 2007 she received an honorary doctorate from Memorial University. She released her handmade book “Newfoundland Ballads for Piano and Voice” in 2011. In 2013 Pamela completed recording Figgy Duff’s Tempest score, “Sounds and Sweet Airs” and released her fourth solo CD, entitled “Play On.” Further development of her original folk opera “The Nobleman’s Wedding” is ongoing, inspired by a 2014 production of the opera at the Stephenville Theatre Festival. Pamela continues to write, arrange, perform and tour in her own highly original and hauntingly beautiful style.

The Muscle We Long With

Funded by the Canada Council’s Interarts Office, Gros Morne Summer Music’s production of The Muscle We Long With features the poetry of Don McKay, set to imagery from Tom Cochrane and Marlene Creates, and music from Dark by Five, a classical fusion ensemble of 8 players. Created by David Maggs and directed by Rachael Peake, the interest here is in exploring the limits of language in both content and form. Can we experience the world off the edge of our linguistic maps? Do our selves stop where our words end? Or is there a kind of attention to, and experience of, the world that our words are constantly reaching for, and falling short of? And if so, how can we tell? And if we can tell, what do we do? These are some of the questions we will be rubbing up against in this integration of music, imagery, and words.

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Reading by Lisa Moore

Lisa MooreLisa Moore has written two collections of short stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open, and three novels, Alligator, February and Caught. She has edited The Penguin Anthology of Canadian Short Fiction by Women, and co-edited (along with Dede Crane) Great Expectations: 24 True Stories about Birth by Canadian Authors. She has adapted her novel February for the stage. Her first young adult novel, Flannery, will be published in May, 2016.

Gala Program