ABOUT THE ART
Creating a portrait of the river + exhibiting while paddling
I’ve been creating and presenting a growing series of images in two art galleries along the river as I travel; Kootenay Gallery in Castlegar, BC from June 20 to August 24 and Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River, OR for September and October. Each week I upload a new batch of photographs to be printed and shipped directly to the galleries.
Rather than creating art based solely on my opinions of the river, I’m allowing my process to be shaped by the concerns of people I meet. These concerns may relate to flood control, energy production, fisheries and migration, ecosystems, agriculture and food security, navigation, economic stability and growth, loss of sacred sites, displaced communities, and changes in climate and hydrology.
I’m inviting people along the way to contribute to a collaborative trip log by sharing their words, art, and other contributions relating to the river. I see myself literally carrying the weight of these collected stories downstream, packing the trip log into my kayak and shouldering it as I portage around dams. If you are an artist, writer, poet living near the river, or simply passionate about the Columbia River, please get in touch to make plans to meet up. I would love to include your voice in the collaborative journal.
Every interaction with local river residents along my journey shapes the way I view each new section I paddle, creating a kaleidoscope of experience as I travel. The overall goal is to highlight both the diversity of people living along the Columbia, and the commonalities we all share.
A final exhibition will show the handcrafted kayak I built for the journey, photographic prints, an installation of a large-scale river map, and the collaborative trip log. This will encourage viewers to contemplate their connection to the natural environment, while also allowing people with differing views to see one another through a lens of compassion and interest. A venue for the final exhibition has yet to be set.