Friday, July 30, 2010

The Brackendale Pantry

I've returned from my Brackendale adventure. Artists for Kids operates under the auspices of the North Vancouver School Board. Over the years it has invited more than forty of the best-known artists in the country to the art camp to inspire both teachers and children.

As artist in residence I designed two projects for the students: one studio project and one environmental.

After a short slide talk about my pantries and jars, I produced a ceramic gallon of fish I had made and passed it around while we talked about what it was the students wanted to preserve. They were keen and pumped up with the magic of creation. "Just give us the clay!"... and the Brackendale Pantry was born, a collection of the jars these bright and talented students made.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brackendale Outdoors

The spectacular Paradise Valley near Brackendale, B.C. is an important gathering place for Bald Eagles. In the late fall, thousands of eagles congregate in this area from as far away as Saskatchewan, to feed on salmon. How do they all know when the salmon are running? Like so much in nature we know little about this "lower life" form phenomenon. To understand more about these birds we invited local Squamish elders to tell us about their history in this place. Around the fire in the Big House they drummed and sang their songs and told us stories about fish and taught us an eagle dance.

The next day we decided to build the biggest eagle's nest ever on Eagle's Point. The nest is 25 feet in diameter and the eggs are about the size of a small car. The first image is the nest. In the second image, the teachers, assistants and staff are all doing the eagle dance. In the final image, the nest builders proudly pose for the camera.