The other week I took down my Dark Ocean exhibition at Xchanges Gallery.
I am thankful for everyone who came to the opening and to the gallery while I was there. Over three weeks I met many interesting people: travelers, art students, gallery workers, volunteers, fishermen, scientists, artists, poets and thinkers. A gallery space is the perfect setting for starting conversations about art, daily life, science, whales and discovering new ways of looking at the world. I feel energized from the stories people told me about their own encounters with whales and listening to interesting facts that I didn’t know before.
For instance, I learned orcas can use a hunting technique for salmon where they swim in a “<” shape up a channel to funnel the fish into their body-net. Then they take turns switching out from the outside to swimming through the centre to catch a fish. They swop positions back and forth to create a community-cooperative dinner!
I was very interested in how people read my “Pod” installation. The mass of thousands of tiny, black pyramids took shapes in peoples’ minds that I couldn’t have guessed and I was so thrilled to discover! A cloud of krill gathering near the surface, a bait ball of fish, a swarm, an explosion, an info graphic of the ocean’s depths, way points on a chart, etc!
While I have had an incredible month at the gallery, I felt like I was on hold. The time for making was on pause and I now had time to reflect on my work, listen to what other people saw in it and get back into my researching. I was asked many times, “So… what’s next?”. I wasn’t really sure what to say. While I know I will be making art about the ocean my whole life, I didn’t feel ready to answer the “what”.
As I began taking down the work at the end of the show I realized that now I can get back to experimenting and try to find new art-solutions for the information I have been reading about. Now is the time for testing and trying and making!
For images of the exhibition, click here.