Well finally, I am back on the road again with a group outdoor sculpture show in Canada, outside of Montreal. It is called Créations sur-le-champ Land Art at Mont-Saint Hilaire, Canada – October 15-18. Here is a Link to the show.
I am the first of 14 artists to arrive for a week of hard work in a beautiful orchard to create a floating Mandala in a small pond in the village of Mont. St. Hilaire. It is just the end of the picking season, so I am surrounded by fresh apples right from the tree just available for the eating. And thankfully the last two days have been beautiful, so lots of people from the community have been coming out to walk through the Autumn leaves and pick and eat the apples as well. The curator tells me that last year they had over 5,000 people come for the opening weekend to see the work and speak with the artists, but I fear we may be in for a lot of rain the rest of the week after tomorrow, so I am glad to get a head start now. Wednesday most of the other artists arrive from all over Canada. I am the only American who knows just a little French, but thankfully the younger generation speaks more english. It has been strange to hear french speakers speak english with more of an American accent. Really plays with my sense of geography and my past experiences of traveling and working in France.
But as some of the older members of my travelogues community know, I am no stranger to working in countries where I do not speak the language. It is the best way to learn the language and about the culture and history. But I realize that most of my traveling recently has been during odd numbered years, so this experience is a bit of an exception. Next year I am planning a project in India with Felicia Young of Earth Celebrations, and hopefully, maybe an installation in Sweden in collaboration with milliner extrodinaire Ellen Christine, Couture.
The owner of the Orchard is also named Michel, and he has been helping me set up my work table and hopefully clear the pond a bit for my mandala to float. Today we did a test run but the piece got caught up in the branches that have fallen in the water. It is beautiful to work out there (as long as the sun stays out) with the changing colors, the farm dog who jumps in the pond and then shakes himself off near you if you do not play fetch with him. I am working with willow branches, a new material for me and when I had to go pick them up they were next door to the pig pen with 3 humongous pigs grunting away. There is also a beautiful male deer with regal antlers living here with two females next door, I have seen at least 3 red hens walking about and a white goose who never stops eating.
Today was a test run for the first of 6 sections of my mandala. The design is based on the 5 pointed star found in the center of the apple holding the fruit seeds. Tomorrow I plan to experiment with incorporating hand made Kozo paper that I am going to try and water proof with bees wax from bees Michel the farmer rents to help pollinate his plants in the Spring. The temperature will be in the 70’s. Yay! and no longer the long weekend, so it should be nice and quiet with no more people walking around, and children running through my workspace so I can work in peace. hmmmmmm