The canoe is an undisputed icon of Canadian culture. “Appropriated from First Nations culture, the canoe facilitated exploration, trade, mapping/surveying and, ultimately, colonization and settlement. Canoeing as a means of transportation made Canada possible and although it seems obvious, it should perhaps be stressed that canoes were used by anyone who travelled beyond the early developed eastern areas of the nation. Missionaries, explorers, fur traders, military topographic, and professional or fine artists who travelled north and west did so by canoe. So perfect and practical both in design and form, the canoe is still the most appropriate way to travel through boreal country” (Wylie, Web).
For this project we (Ellen Russell & Erich Stussi) are interested in creating an ongoing artist residency in a canoe and arranging for a series of ‘explorations’ through a range of both physical and conceptual spaces. We are interested in working together as well as inviting others to come aboard for various expeditions in which they will be invited to create a piece of artwork and/or document a performance. We see the canoe itself as a potential site for conversations, concerts, installations, studio-based art/design production – and the location of the canoe as an ever- changing and ephemeral way to interact with the environment of our West End neighbourhood. Transformation through transportation!
This project is the recipient of the ‘Neighborhood Small Grant’ 2013, graciously donated via the Gordon Neighborhood House.
With Ellen Russell