Marlene Creates

  • February 5, 2017 from the series What Came to Light at Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland (ongoing since 2015)
  • Slob, Pummy, Sish, Scattering Ice, Slack Ice, and Pancake Ice, Conception Bay, March 2014, 6 excerpts from A Newfoundland Treasury of Terms for Ice and Snow
  • Water Flowing to the Sea Captured at the Speed of Light, Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland 2002-2003 (Winter)
  • Water Flowing to the Sea Captured at the Speed of Light, Blast Hole Pond River, Newfoundland 2002-2003 (Spring)
  • 6 excerpts from Larch, Spruce, Fir, Birch, Hand, Blast Hole Pond Road, Newfoundland 2011 (ongoing since 2007)

Underlying all my work has been an interest in place — not as a geographical location but as a process that involves memory, multiple narratives, ecology, language, and both scientific and vernacular knowledge.

Since 2002, my principal artistic venture has been to pay close attention to one particular place — the six acres of boreal forest where I live in Newfoundland, Canada.

I first stepped away from the studio to work outside in 1979 when I started the series Paper, Stones and Water. I did this work in deliberate opposition to large-scale earthworks — high-impact interventions made in the land with excavators and bulldozers in the 1960s and ’70s — mostly by male artists in the United States. As a young artist (twenty-seven years old), I didn’t have the courage to verbalize this and challenge artworks that were celebrated at the time. What I said was, “With the paper I was able to make a simple gesture which left no permanent mark on the land.” The non-monumental has preoccupied me since then.

The most recent works, What Came to Light at Blast Hole Pond River, are another stepping away — this time from even being the photographer. I’m leaving that role to a trail camera and the workings of nature: the movement of wildlife at ground level and of celestial bodies overhead. Heaven and Earth, if you like. The fleeting and ephemeral nature of being has been very compelling to me all this time.

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