Ghosts in the gallery: NSCAD University students open show inspired by Parks Canada sites
Two groups went on trips to Kejimkujik, Halifax Citadel, and the Fortress of Louisbourgh for the NSCAD course
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Colourful tents sit empty in the forest with shoes scattered about, tarps and flies left ajar.
Beginning Tuesday and running till Saturday, more than 20 NSCAD University students are presenting their work inspired by trips led by instructor Anna Sprague to Parks Canada sites of Kejimkujik, Halifax Citadel, and Fortress of Louisbourgh.
“I was hyper-inspired at Keji being surrounded by nature,” said Frankie Macaulay on Monday as she stood in front of her Tent Portraits work.
The title of the show is ghosts, playing with the idea of “guests, hosts and ghosts” in the context of collective memory, history and mythology of the parks and sites to inspire art.
Macaulay said she’d been looking forward to participating in the Keji project since she saw the show last year, and added it was great to have a few classroom sessions then five full days in the woods at the end of August.
Having the opportunity to focus purely on art with no work or other classes was “amazing,” Macaulay said.
After taking photos of signs around the park for the first couple of days in Keji, which are also in the show, Macaulay said the empty tents caught her eye on the first sunny day of the trip when everyone abandoned the site to go swimming.
Parks Canada has been partnering with NSCAD in the project for four years, and also grabbed the attention of second-year student Luke Mahon last year.
Mahon’s collage piece, remember?, involves images transferred from photocopies to acetate or other translucent material as well as embroidery and sketches of people fishing, nature, and other things related to Keji.
“Sort of in commentary on the processes of archiving and that delicate process and how we remember experiences and events, and the history of places,” Mahon said.
Mahon said he’s excited for people to come down get a better understanding of not only the art but the potential of historic sites and parks for creative collaboration.