Watershed+

Artist Residency 2012-13

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Between October 2012 and October 2013, I was an artist in residence for The City of Calgary’s WATERSHED+ program.

I worked at Ralph Klein Park, TELUS Spark Science Centre and The Water Centre, where I learnt from a range of specialists including water engineers, planning engineers and scientists about how water moves through city infrastructure. I made drawings and etchings in consultation with various City employees whose knowledge, data, maps, models, photographs and stories helped me understand how Calgary’s Bow and Elbow rivers flow under normal circumstances and during flood events.

In June 2013 a 100 year flood event hit Southern Alberta and devastated many areas including the one I’d focused my research on. Because my practice was already based on responding to people and place, my work evolved to respond to the flood event through continued conversation, drawing and printmaking.

WATERSHED+ is an innovative and unique public art program hosted by Utilities and Environment Protections department (UEP) of the City of Calgary. The program was developed by artist team sans façon through the UEP Public Art Plan.

It aims to develop awareness and pleasure in the environment by creating a climate of opportunity for water initiatives to build an emotional connection between people and the watershed.

Their Artist Residency program supports national and international creative practitioners working on issues relevant to the watershed in Calgary to develop, experiment and make new work.

The other Artists in Residence 2012/13 were Minty Donald & Nick MillarJay Mosher & Rory Middleton and Broken City Lab.

My research began with my sketchbook; observation, drawing and conversation. With the help of staff I researched what was happening under the ice outside my studio. I investigated the architecture of the water in the storm water treatment cells, which make up the largest constructed wetland in Canada.

My research began with my sketchbook; observation, drawing and conversation. With the help of staff I researched what was happening under the ice outside my studio. I investigated the architecture of the water in the storm water treatment cells, which make up the largest constructed wetland in Canada.

I became particularly interested in how to describe the movement of flowing water, and was introduced to Bert Van Duin, Water Engineer extraordinaire at The Water Centre, who introduced me to the basics of fluid dynamics.

I became particularly interested in how to describe the movement of flowing water, and was introduced to Bert Van Duin, Water Engineer extraordinaire at The Water Centre, who introduced me to the basics of fluid dynamics.

Chromatography studies of the Bow River, 2013 I used water-soluble black ink on rice paper to create two stage drawings exploring the physical nature of fluid dynamics. I drew my own version of river flows then dipped the drawing in river water, allowing the water to redraw the image as the ink travelled up the paper. 

Chromatography studies of the Bow River, 2013

I used water-soluble black ink on rice paper to create two stage drawings exploring the physical nature of fluid dynamics. I drew my own version of river flows then dipped the drawing in river water, allowing the water to redraw the image as the ink travelled up the paper. 

Pages from Only Flow publication in support of TRUCK show. With the help of The Water Centre staff I chose a specific area of SE Calgary to begin two large scale drawings. It included the Bonnybrook Waste Water Treatment facility where I spent time observing the flows of different treatment processes.

Pages from Only Flow publication in support of TRUCK show.

With the help of The Water Centre staff I chose a specific area of SE Calgary to begin two large scale drawings. It included the Bonnybrook Waste Water Treatment facility where I spent time observing the flows of different treatment processes.

The Deeper, The Faster, etching. Derived from City Water Services engineers’ cross section data of the Bow River, Calgary.

The Deeper, The Faster, etching.

Derived from City Water Services engineers’ cross section data of the Bow River, Calgary.

Painted concrete floor Only Flow, TRUCK, Calgary,

Painted concrete floor

Only Flow, TRUCK, Calgary,

The Bow River by Bonnybrook Bridge, November 2012/June 2013. A week after my drawings went on show at TRUCK, a 100 year flood event hit Southern Alberta and devastated many areas including the part of SE Calgary I had been drawing. 

The Bow River by Bonnybrook Bridge, November 2012/June 2013.

A week after my drawings went on show at TRUCK, a 100 year flood event hit Southern Alberta and devastated many areas including the part of SE Calgary I had been drawing. 

The Bow River by Bonnybrook Bridge, November 2012/June 2013. A week after my drawings went on show at TRUCK, a 100 year flood event hit Southern Alberta and devastated many areas including the part of SE Calgary I had been drawing. 

The Bow River by Bonnybrook Bridge, November 2012/June 2013.

A week after my drawings went on show at TRUCK, a 100 year flood event hit Southern Alberta and devastated many areas including the part of SE Calgary I had been drawing. 

Bow Flow 1 (detail) Pen and ink drawing. Detail of 8ft pen and ink drawing that visualises the flow of water through SE Calgary. The first part of the drawing in black ink was made before the flood of June 2013, the second brown layer was made after the flood to depict the peak flood flows.

Bow Flow 1 (detail) Pen and ink drawing.

Detail of 8ft pen and ink drawing that visualises the flow of water through SE Calgary. The first part of the drawing in black ink was made before the flood of June 2013, the second brown layer was made after the flood to depict the peak flood flows.

104 23 Ave SW, Screen print, 2013 Imagining the flow of floodwater that destroyed a basement apartment in Calgary, June 2013. Two of my friends lost their home, and this piece was the result of conversations and collaborative drawing between us as we imagined the flow through the interior space. 

104 23 Ave SW, Screen print, 2013

Imagining the flow of floodwater that destroyed a basement apartment in Calgary, June 2013. Two of my friends lost their home, and this piece was the result of conversations and collaborative drawing between us as we imagined the flow through the interior space.