Cleaving - Notes
This ongoing grouping relates first to the dual meanings of the word cleave being both a grasping and dividing.
When I was a child most of my weekends were spent passing through or in the Qu'Appelle Valley region and the small tributaries that fed it which were in contrast with the surrounding flat, prairie farmland on its boundaries. Its' diversity and richness was a stark contrast from the monoculture agriculture and the provincial city I grew up in. It was my most primary educator and that basic spiritual inspiration that comes from epic landscapes.
Land and environmental forces were traditionally the means to structure or organize meaning. As paradoxical as this may seem, we need something natural to form an abstract or conceptual. Intuitively in the current flux and challenge of tradtition. The capitalistic, technocratic or liberal justice formats have some merit but left me cold and empty as both are only of advantage to their elites.
As with all which holds meaning we tend to find life between contrasts. This valley hillsides hold two similar but distinct faces one which is virtually a desert and the other a patchy forest. There is a third ecosystem which ebbs and flows with the seasons and the river levels. This all is held within something less than a mile wide.
As an adult I rediscovered this place and it became the basis of a type of personal belief system where its' landforms and underlying organization provided a replacement. It is a place to seek meaning and to understand through the local a hint of the universal and eternal. It was both an epiphony or gift and an act of desperation.
Most all of art pieces I have made for almost 30 years have this place and its teaching at the core.With hesitation, I see it as a religion of sorts.
The pieces are a means to work through these poles drawing upon each but finding a method to use in everyday life. The river valley floodplain as mindset.