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Making art is about taking risks, finding courage, then making the leap of faith. When the work is completed, as an artist, I am often left with questions. What will the audience think?  Should I even care? Has my work answered a question?  Does it have a narrative? Will the work have an extension period? Meaning, will the work be relevant or speak to a subject a number of years from the date of completion or will it just fade away?  Is this even important?  As an answer to some of these questions I look to the work I completed and exhibited in Vienna in 2010, titled Blue Print for a Shroud.

In 2009 I responded to a call for entry for an exhibition titled Shelter.  The curators, Victoria Hindley and Nina Goldnagl, asked the question, what is shelter? For the proposal I wrote:

The notion of shelter speaks to different levels and many circumstances: social conditions, transient movements, governmental barometers, economic benchmarks and internal self, constructions.    I plan to construct a work that references shelter as a form of protection; a protection that comes not from an architectural stance of permanence built with tangible and concrete materials but rather from the organic and obscure point of identity that we carry within. How do we define ourselves, how do we protect ourselves, how do we shelter ourselves in order to maneuver through life?  For me the ultimate form of shelter/protection is like a psychological cloak that one wears or an elusive shroud that one wraps themselves in or a translucent veil through which we filter information. This cloak, shroud or veil is constructed from our experiences, our sense of place, dignity, pride and self-esteem.  It is our heritage, our voice, our security (or not). It is our home where we feel less or more vulnerable.  It is our identity.  It is our name.

A huge component of the preparation process was how to transport the completed work to the gallery from Canada to Austria and still be cost effective. This important piece to the puzzle determined the direction my work took.  

After a lot of thought and many silent walks, Blue Print for a Shroud, evolved into a twenty foot length of cotton sheeting with red stitches, retired passports, dark textures rubbed into the fabric, three spikes and a flat museum box for shipping.


When the work arrived back in my studio I mentally ticked off my questions. I could mark “yes” beside all the boxes. Blue Print for a Shroud formed a dialogue among audience members and received positive feed back. Blue Print for a Shroud  responded to  the question  "what is shelter."   Is the work relevant today?   For me, absolutely.  Blue Print for a Shroud  carries my name, my identity, my experience, my pride and more importantly my self-esteem.