Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Sweetgrass Shadow Experiments: project overview

Birds Meadow (detail)
single-channel video: sunlight, wind, paper, grass, foam, feathers
©2007 Kirsten bradley

Sweetgrass Shadow Experiments is a series of animations and single-channel video pieces that were the result of some explorations I undertook while on a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, in the Canadian Rockies, in the northern hemisphere summer 0f 2007.

At the time I arrived at Banff, I had just completed a year of research into the western history of landscape and the simulation of nature (and the nature of simulation). I had, during this past year, created a pile of site-specific animations at various locations around Melbourne, Australia.

At Banff, I struggled to make sense of my environment and how to work with it. This part of the Canadian Rockies is famed (rightfully so) for its intense natural beauty... everything was picture-postcard-perfect, from the wild strawberries in the grass to the snow-capped peaks which encircled the Arts Centre. I think I got a bit freaked out, in retrospect. I must have, because I covered over my studio windows with paper, which hid the million-dollar view of the Bow Valley in all its alpine glory.

My studio windows at Banff faced due West, and from midday until dusk my studio was flooded with direct sunlight, as the Sun curled around from the South until it went down between a cleft in the Bow Valley sometime around 10pm. I decided to work with first principles, until I got the hang of this alpine environment. So I worked with the sunlight coming into my studio, and the Sweetgrass and other grasses and bits that I collected from the pine forest, just below my studio.

The results of these experiments exist in single-channel video and stop-motion pieces. This material has also formed the basis for several public projection installations.

Outcomes for Sweetgrass Shadow Experiments include:

a Public Projection for the City of Sydney, as part of the Laneways Projects 2007

Light Augmented
Site-specific projections for Electrofringe 2007

- process diary for Sweetgrass Shadow Experiments (Banff residency)
- photos for Sweetgrass Shadow Experiments (Banff residency)

- Birds Meadow - video
- Birds Bare - video
- Geometric Meadow - video

Birds Bare (detail)
single-channel video: sunlight, wind, paper, foam, feathers
©2007 Kirsten Bradley

Birds Meadow (construction)
single-channel video: sunlight, wind, paper, grass, foam, feathers
©2007 Kirsten bradley

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