Art about Finn Slough 2019 Borrowed Landscape, Finn Slough, Artists …And the Photography of David Carey
A few important things! Huge thanks to so many people for making this possible to Richmond Cultural Centre and Camyar to Finn Slough Heritage and Wetlands Society to my amazing friends and neighbours who worked so hard to make this space be what it is, make this event happen: Arlene, Ann, David, Dave, Gus, KevinLeanne, Marina, Simon, Tom, Ulrich, And many many thanks to the artists! All of you! Your willingness and ability to “see”… to ‘borrow’ the landscape and return it with interest as art…. Without you, we would not be here. And I’d like to acknowledge that this event takes place on un-ceded territory of the Coast Salish people
Things to note This year: the 19th annual • New official lighting arrangements as part of the Cultural Centre now. • A bit more Art about Finn Slough upstairs in the rotunda: Banners and Borrowing, Birds, Boats Tomorrow: an afternoon of seasonally related egg embellishment activities for young and old And the speaker? Last year we had Lenore Newman who spoke compellingly about land and food security, fishing, and fighting for agricultural land survival. • Today: sorry, me. I would like to right now introduce you to David Carey, photographer… but it will be a virtual introduction as we only have his slides. He had to be out of town
But what is this ‘borrowed landscape’ thing? • It matters what words we use to say what we see because they go ahead and get reused… the meanings linger sometimes even when we don’t intend them • Words shape expectations: “tidal community” doesn’t ever make the same meaning as “rustic landscape”; what we do with our expectations after matters, too • Let’s look at these seperately • Borrowing • Landscaping
To Borrow • Temporary usage of something: to have a relationship • As soon as you ask your neighbour if you can borrow a cup of sugar, you enter a relationship; you agree to return it. • Borrowing is the ebb and flow of relation • We borrow oxygen from the air, give back carbon dioxide; plants do it in reverse; we can relate! • Richmond is all ‘borrowed’ from the Fraser River; the Fraser borrows the silt from mountains up stream • Take a look at the silt relationship in front of houses at Finn Slough, next: over ten years… the Fraser busily borrowing and making deposits, visible at low tide
OK: So, is THIS a landscape?? (this is pretty low on land and high on water)
What is a “landscape”? What a good question! • Answers are horticultural, architectural, artistic, and all about a point of view, about how we see what we want or don’t want to see and who we are when we are seeing, what we see and who we re-present our seeing to. • Think of the Mona Lisa: SHE is looking at YOU the viewer. She is gazing away from the landscape behind her. BUT the artist makes you look at the landscape and makes her part of it. • Using the word “Landscape” to describe something is like editing; look here, don’t look there.
Some usual definitions of landscape Noun: visible features of an area of countryside or land, in terms of aesthetic appeal (so, a term that is judgemental too) . [there are ‘good’ landscapes and ‘bad’ landscapes) Verb: to make (a piece of land) more attractive by altering the existing design, in the service of some ideal or plan. "the site has been tastefully landscaped“ And… to get really nerdy: the history of the word • c. 1600, "painting representing an extensive view of natural scenery," from Dutch landschap"landscape," in art, a secondary sense from Middle Dutch landscap "region," from land "land" + -scap "-ship, condition" • So… it talks about the Condition of the land and there are value judgements here too.
Borrowed scenery, borrowed landscape • (借景; Japanese: shakkei; Chinese: jièjǐng) is the principle of "incorporating background landscape into the composition of a garden" found in traditional East Asian garden design. The term borrowing of scenery ("shakkei") is Chinese in origin, and appears in the 17th century garden treatise Yuanye.
Architects and designers borrow landscape • they “borrow” what you can see to enhance one space (kind of at the expense of another); the neighbor’s stunningly beautiful mature red oak tree becomes YOURs because you can see it from your window, from your back garden. So this kind of borrowing is when a garden or a building is intentionally placed to see someone else’s structure…to create a garden or a building that makes use of a view on a totally different property, to enhance the happiness of the viewer
Landscape and borrowing: historical Capability Brown, 18th landscape architect who Terra-formed much of Britain that was owned by the aristocracy into an idealized countryside that looked “natural” but was highly contrived, highly organized “Borrowing”, adding water features, creating hills, creating valleys all in the name of creating views, and moving inconvenient or insufficiently picturesque villagers away. Idealization!!
Artists come to Finn Slough, see it, “borrow” by capturing images, taking images away, and MAKING ART. • Artists give back WITH INTEREST because they make art. • And of course the art show is a way to honour that interest, appreciate the borrowing and tonight Finn Slough gives back by celebrating the artists! • The subject of art looks back and says thanks! And that is a relationship!
Why David Carey? Why Now? Janis Cleugh of Tricity News said: Just after David Carey moved from Winnipeg to Port Moody five years ago, his adult son told him about a small fishing village in Richmond called Finn Slough. Carey was fascinated to see the place — “the last kind of shanty area of B.C.,” he said — that’s home to about 30 residents who live in wooden houses on the Fraser River, floating and on stilts. [landscape] “I wanted to isolate [the cabins] in some way and appreciate them as sculptures on their own,” he said. [borrowing] [return of interest by repositioning to make a point] The concept of scaling down objects and removing them from their natural setting isn’t new for Carey. A former computer programmer who holds a master’s degree in photography from Bard College in New York, Carey extracted pieces of classical art and superimposed his images around the home for a series called Appropriated Art. And, in Animals, he dreamt up a project that saw children’s toy animals come to life and playing around his condo. Recently, Carey finished another offbeat work called Gnomes of Port Moody, in which the forest creatures take part in special events around town.
As we look at the slides • Please feel free to shout out a word that comes to mind to describe all this borrowing and returning of landscape • What does Carey’s magical photoshopping do to your view of Finn Slough structures?
Who is David Carey? Here’s what the gallery showing him says: His present show: Old Shacks – New Context • Photography in the Leonore Peyton Salon • Please note: the Leonore Peyton Salon is a multi-purpose space; therefore, viewing times are limited. To avoid disappointment, please call 604.664.1636 for viewing availability prior to your visit. A few years ago, David Carey visited the shanty shacks at Finn Slough in Richmond, BC. These wooden houses, some floating and some built on stilts, line the marshy riverbank of the Fraser River and are characterized by their weathered sides, the maze of wooden support beams beneath them, their patchwork repairs and the fascinating collections of objects that adorn their decks and walls. Carey presents the dilapidated beauty of these rugged cabins in a format where they can be appreciated as unique sculptural objects. Carey extracted the shacks from their native surroundings and placed them in scenes within his own condo. This process recalls found art, a practice in which an everyday object gains significance by being transported from its original environment to an art gallery setting where the artist gives people the time and place to contemplate the object. Reflecting on his recent work, Carey imagines tiny people coming out of their cabins, standing on their decks and being amazed as they take in the views of their new locations; the comfy back of a couch, the view of a soft carpet or the smooth top of a desk.
His show is on at Place des Arts in historic Maillardville Date: March 29 • 2019 End date: April 27 • 2019 Opening Reception March 29 • 7pm to 9pm • 1120 Brunette Avenue, Coquitlam Please note: the Leonore Peyton Salon is a multi-purpose space; therefore, viewing times are limited. To avoid disappointment, please call 604.664.1636 for viewing availability prior to your visit.