CAPE BRETON residency, winter 2015

I spent the winter of 2015 in solo residence in Margaree Harbor, a village on the St. Lawrence coast of the eastern Canadian provice of Nova Scotia.

Between my house and a tiny village (Margaree Harbour) was a large meadow, criss-crossed with desire paths. In the silence, the space was communicating. With my firewood I made a dome visible from all directions around the harbor.

bird feeder, 2015

Video documentation of installation (with narration).

Site-specific performance in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. 2015.

[Voice over] Winter in Cape Breton is solitary; wind is the most constant companion. At times the wind - 70-mph gales weekly for one or two days, is a fierce being remaking the landscape. Walls of snow dust dance across the meadow, coming to rest in the dunes. Trees grow lopsided. Scarce to begin with, these trees are sometimes removed to improve a “view” – but this human remaking removes the wind’s partner, leaving it no arms to dance in.

My other companions are birds. Windborne creatures themselves, mostly crows and gulls. Often they seem to patrol, looking over my activities.
I appreciate their visits. I make a place for them to gather in the meadow between my windows and the sleeping harbor. A small landscape of shallow pits in the snow, 10 meters by 20 meters, filled with food scraps from my kitchen.

The following morning a pioneer touches down and calls the others. The clans of crow, gull, and sparrow gather in the low meadow to feast and commune all morning. They bring the sky energy to the earth. And the meadow’s life, stripped of its trees the previous year, is rekindled.