All of ARTCi's artists not only create and collaborate with our team but they also have strong personal practices and strong artistic values that fuel them. January's feature artist is Tracie Stewart, who is currently the lead artist for the Aldergrove Legacy Project, and who has recently completed a very 'solid' community art project in Chilliwack, BC. In her own words, here is Tracie's tale of developing her latest permanent installation.
"When LSC Precast Concrete Facilities put out a call for artists to submit an idea for a mural that celebrated nature, I had to ask myself; “what is concrete?” The answer that came to me was,
“Crushed stories mixed together, bring those stories of subterranean earth to the surface.”
This is what I proposed: to bring the joy of frolicking on a mountainside amongst ferns to
the surface of this cement wall. Celebrate the unfurling stories in their most elemental
form as the circle, the fern, or the Fibonacci spiral. The ferns would explode out of the cracks in the cement then roll and lift across the wall like musical notes, reading the lines of the existing cement wall like sheet music, growing out of the cracks like a bursting of life, atoms circulating like spores on the wind.
Using mold making material, with the help of Brian, Glen, and the team at LSC Precast, I created an artistic rendition of a series of individual ferns unfurling. Some are simply circular balls, created in different sizes and placed in such a way so as to convey movement and depth as atmosphere, a floating orb of green. I then connected the landscape to the mural by planting 7 boxwood balls of varying sizes and a smattering of Mexican feather-grass in the bank to the right and slightly in front of the mural, thereby extending the space and creating depth.
My focus was to paint with intention and I wanted that green heart energy to shine through. While I spent my days painting in the sun or rain I met and talked with many of the pedestrians who used the community trail along the Hepner Ditch just north off of Lickman Road in Chilliwack, B.C. There was much positive feedback over this now popular selfie spot.
I hope you get a chance to check it out. Thank you to Brian, Sylvie and the staff of: LSC Pre-cast Systems Ltd 8285 Lickman Rd Chilliwack B.C."