These new works on canvas and paper are a continuation and a new beginning. Through colour, gesture, and layers of texture, I am conveying a dreamt and imagined space of floating and transformation within memory of Anishinaabe territory. This place is imaginary, surreal, psychedelic, but very real. In the mental space between being awake and falling asleep, this new work started to grow.
In the paintings, within this space of memory, colour has heat and spark. Memory is felt, held deep within my body. Through colour, the tangible spirit of a place and how I can connect with it is created. Floating pods, cocoons, or seeds take on a animated quality, as entities that take flight – what is inside? Who is inside?
While taking the Seabus Downtown from North Vancouver, I recalled a memory of how my body felt floating on a lake north of Thunder Bay, Ontario, in 1995:
That summer of tree planting, of sleeping on Anishinaabe woodlands and swimming in freshwater lakes, was a source of spiritual balancing and recalibration. Everything was buzzing, humming and brimming with life there. After a full day of planting trees I would swim to the middle of the lake everyday. Floating on my back and looking at the sky was where I could fully feel centered and mentally rest and escape clouds of blackflies. Looking up at the sky, the sun was setting and the air pulsed with swarms of dragonflies mating.
This bodily experience of floating, and the memory of new life being created above me, is what I wanted to try to express through the new works.
A rebirth and reinvigoration of my creative process is what I am digging into – a wilder new ground.
When I am looking
Not at things
But within their insides
Move to match
I look for horizons
Spaces within closures of eye-lids
The shadows mixed with
Burning orange and pinks
That is where I am looking
Flutters of light
New circles around dark centres
The mimic of an outside pattern
A burn of an image
Slips into another space
An inner one
Strips of green meat
Stalks pared barest minimum
A vein exposed where a small growth
That is the spark
That is humility
Exhibition text by Charlene Vickers