MACROMAREAL (a rising tide lifts all boats)
Duo exhibition by Sydney Lancaster & Scott Smallwood
MACROMAREAL (a rising tide lifts all boats) approaches the tidal range of the Bay of Fundy and its documentation in tide tables and real data through a series of interrelated works that explore ways of understanding natural processes, and our relationship to those processes as perceived from different vantage points and through different scales of time. The history of human interaction with the Bay, including tide-related industries and oceanographic research in the Parrsboro area offered unique opportunities to create a body of work that explores the relationships between human actions, the coastal landscape, and tidal patterns and processes. Parrsboro’s proximity to the Fundy Geological Museum, the FORCE tidal power research station, the Ottawa House Museum, and Maritime Museum of the Atlantic presented further opportunities to investigate & incorporate both historical documents and current scientific research into our creative process. Moreover, the Bay and its tides also figure prominently in Mi’kmaw legend and story; this oral tradition situates geological history and processes firmly in the living memory of the Mi’kmaw.
Initially, MACROMAREAL developed over the course of two residencies (2016 & 2017) at Main & Station in Parrsboro, NS. The current iteration of the project has evolved from additional research and subsequent presentations at the IAST (Interactive Art, Science, and Technology) Crossing Boundaries Symposium at University of Lethbridge (2018) and at Emily Carr University of Art & Design (2019). The resulting work combines sculptural elements, video, and sound to create a multi-layered environment that allows viewers to consider the interactions between human-built spaces and things, intertidal environments, and ocean ecosystems globally. Through the lens of the Fundy tides and their impact on a specific place (Parrsboro, NS), MACROMAREAL offers an opportunity to consider the different scales of time and memory we each experience (geological, tidal/celestial, transgenerational, diurnal, the brevity of a human lifespan), and the processes of change, loss, and transformation inherent in each of them.
By extension, MACROMAREAL draws attention to the intersection of human activities, time and the tidal environment, particularly the cyclic, durational aspects of living systems, human life, and work on or near tidal waters. Humans have sought to understand and harness the power of the world’s tides historically, and in the present; now more than ever, it is vital to understand our relationship to (and impact on) this immensely powerful natural phenomenon.
Opening reception – Friday, September 11th 7-9pm: Online and in-person by appointment
Book an in-person ticket for the Opening Reception
How to join the opening reception online: Please click this link to request access and enter your information.
You will then receive an automatic email with the passcode and UNIQUE link to the meeting. Once you click the link, you will be admitted by the host and can join the fun!
Live outdoor sound score performance – Saturday, September 12th at 1pm: Outdoor, in-person
Artist Talk – Saturday, October 10th at 1pm: Online
About the artists
Sydney Lancaster and Scott Smallwood have forged a partnership nurturing their shared interest in geography & sense of place. Their collaboration is informed by an awareness of geology, the deep history and composition of materials, personal stories, archival records, legends, and material culture (of all species). They tap into these ways of knowing through extended observation and listening, collecting and playing with local materials, & collaborating with musicians and scientists. They then document their findings in audio, video, photographs, object-making, & writing. Originally produced on location at the end of two Nonesuch Artist Residencies, MACROMAREAL reflects our efforts to understand the resonance & magnitude of world’s highest tides, and the complex, ongoing relationship between the tides, the environment, and human endeavour worldwide.
Various stages of this project have been funded by the Edmonton Arts Council, City of Edmonton, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Fellowship support provided to both artists in 2017 by Main and Station/Nonesuch Centre for the Performing Arts. Archival support and research for historical images, use of ship’s bell provided by Ottawa House Museum. Archival images support/waived fees for image duplication provided by Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. Support provided to Scott Smallwood by University of Alberta, President’s Fund.
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