Responding to sites around the world through works
created in site specific installation, intervention, ephemeral sculpture,
video, sound, web, permanent site-specific sculpture, photography, printmaking,painting
Welcoming opportunities to work in different geographic regions &
locations in the world, creating site-specific works in response to the
on the photos below to get a closer look:
Map to North Shore sites
Earth: Water: Reliquary
on the photos below to get a closer look at a few examples of the possible
combinations of sky, earth and water imagery in the Sky: Earth: Water:
Reliquary. The images change every 30 seconds - there are 12 sky photos,
12 water photos and 144 macro land photos.
Tree Stone Echo in forground
with Sky: Earth: Water: Reqliuary in background
Sky: Earth: Water: Reliquary
for the Earth Reflections Exhibition
Gallery, North Vancouver, BC
the same as Tree Stone Echo)
As an environmental artist I work in response to sites in the natural
world. I work intuitively at sites, with site energies - sometimes through
dreams, impressions or waking dreams. Once the work emerges and is on
its way to completion I will begin a site research based on local history,
stories, and connections to the larger universe - celestial, botanical,
animal and spiritual. Much of my work is an attempt to provide the viewer
with a starting point to begin contemplating their own landscape and possibly
their part in its preservation.
It is simply amazing to think that our physical bodies are made up of
stardust, ancient dinosaur bones, trillions of cells that communicate
with other cells, water that is controlled by the moon just as the tides
are water that is affected by our very thoughts. We breathe air
that has been recirculating around the globe for millennia we breathe
the same air that our ancient ancestors once did. We are interwoven into
the very fabric of the Earth the Earth is interwoven into each
of our physical beings. We also share these physical connections, and
are further interwoven, with every other living being on this planet.
We each carry genetic memories within us, for at one time all of our ancestors
lived in harmony with the Earth and understood the delicate balance between
what was seen and what was intuited
The new works created for the Earth Reflections exhibition are based on
sites on the North Shore - from Deep Cove in North Vancouver to Whytecliffe
Park in West Vancouver. I wanted to provide viewers with basic information
on how they could access the sites Id visited. With this in mind
I overlaid a map (left) of the North Shore with an infinity symbol. The
infinity symbol signifies the constantly evolving universe, the cycles
of life including natures cycle of birth, death and regeneration.
This line intersected many parks and nature areas, I chose to work at
12 of them: Bridgeman, Cates, Deep Cove, Seymour, Lynn Headwaters, Capilano,
Dundareve, Lighthouse, Eagleridge, Whytecliffe, Cypress and Mahon Parks.
Numerology, a metaphysical system based on the esoteric relationships
between numbers and physical objects or living beings, often enters my
work. After contemplating many different numbers I decided to work with
the number 12. There are 12 months in a calendar year, in China a 12 cycle
system called Earthly Branches is used for time reckoning. The day is
divided into two 12 hour sections, ancient measurement systems are based
on 12. Astrology is based on time being divided into 12 zodiac signs and
in China 12 animals. The bible has many references to including the 12
tribes of Israel, 12 Apostles and 12 Angels.
My early intention for the Earth Reflections exhibition
had been to create a series of reliquaries based on each of the 12 sites.
A reliquary, also known as a shrine, is a container for sacred relics.
They have been used in some form by people throughout the ages. Hindus
and Buddhists house reliquaries in their temples and people make pilgrimages
to them. In parts of Africa reliquaries are used in rituals and can contain
the bones of ancestors. They were especially popular in Medieval times
and have been an important element of Christianity since the 4th Century.
They can contain bones, special and/or magical objects and sometimes include
the remains of holy people or holy sites.
I began with taking photographs at each of the sites thinking that the
photos could somehow be incorporated into a reliquary along with natural
materials collected at the sites. I had an idea that each reliquary would
contain directions that would act as map of sorts to enable people to
visit each of the sites - kind of a reverse pilgrimage. The viewer could
begin at the reliquary, situated in a House of Art, but they would be
able to access the original sacred site. It wouldnt matter if the
viewer went to the exact photo site - for truly all sites in nature are
sacred - the journey and the awareness of our connections and inter-connectedness
with everything around us was more the point.
As I began to see the everyday-secrets that the sites were revealing through
the photographs I realized that they were already the work.
The 12 original reliquaries eventually merged and became one digital reliquary
consisting of three screens, representing Air, Earth and Water. Father
Sky, Mother Earth and Water as the boundary between the otherworld and
our world - water as the giver of life. The three screens are stacked
one over the other. Sky at the top, Earth in the middle and Water on the
bottom. I took over a thousand site photographs, this reliquary holds
12 sky photos, 144 site photographs (12 from each of the 12 sites) and
12 water photos. As I was working on this piece I was struck with the
idea that perhaps one day all we might have left of a site are digital
representations, digital reliquaries of natural sites.
NorthShore Reflections, is an artist book
that has its roots in the Sky: Earth: Water: Reliquary installation work.
©Ingrid Koivukangas 2008