Dowsing and Digging: Walks and Workshops

Documentation of dowsing workshops with artist Alana Bartol and plant walks with Head Horticulturalist Kara Matthews at the Coutts Centre for Western Heritage in Nanton, AB on Treaty 7 territory. Participants were introduced to many plants (native, non-native, or naturalized) in gardens, meadows, and plots, learning about their qualities, uses, and origins, and practices of cultivation. The dowsing workshops introduced participants to the tools and techniques of dowsing (aka water-witching), providing an opportunity to test their abilities.

 

We also experienced the magic of artist Donald Lawrence’s Nanton Camera Obscura, 2019. Made from a 1920s grain bin, Nanton Camera Obscura is a permanent artwork at the Coutts Centre. To learn more about this artwork, read The Darkened Room and Reflected Magic: Donald Lawrence and the Camera Obscura published in Luma by Keline Divine herePhotos: blkarts.ca

Work in Progress

Video stills from a work in progress (2020). Martine's hands exploring a dead tree at the site of the Burmis Tree, iconic to the Crowsnest Pass. See my blog posts for more on the Crowsnest Pass and Martine de Bertereau. Images: Alana Bartol and blkarts.ca

Drawings

Seams, Chutes, and Streams

A clip from a video work in progress (no sound). This scene was shot at the Greenhill Mine, an abandoned mining operation in the Crowsnest Pass in Treaty 7 territory in southwestern Alberta. Learn more here. Video: Alana Bartol and blkarts.ca.  

A look at a new series of drawings using frottage to capture the textures of coal chutes in abandoned mining operations in the Crowsnest Pass. How many tonnes of coal were mined and moved through these operations? A sense of movement and rippling patterns emerge as the indentations left on surfaces are captured through rubbings.  Working on vellum, I am using charcoal made from willow collected in the Crowsnest Pass as well as charcoal collected from fire pits in the region. Click to view individual images. The drawings will be presented in an exhibition a uLethbridge Art Gallery in 2021. Read more here.

With A Finger To Her Lips

Clips from a video work in progress (no sound). These scenes were shot at the Greenhill Mine, an abandoned mining operation in the Crowsnest Pass in Treaty 7 territory in southwestern Alberta. The stream runs from the mouth of an abandoned coal mine that is now blasted shut. Learn more here. Video: Alana Bartol and blkarts.ca.  

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