Exhibition Runs September 16th – 26th / Closing Reception Wednesday, September 25th at 7pm
CIVIC Space – 411 Pelissier Street, Windsor, Ontario
Triage: A Propagation Project by Patricia Coates is an ecological intervention and a commitment to acquiring a personal knowledge of the land where she lives. Essex County is a microcosm for global environmental and social concerns. A place of globally significant bio-diverse prairie and wetland, heavy industry, agriculture, and nuclear technology on the Detroit River, the area reveals a shaping of rural and urban landscapes where human disturbance is ongoing. The interface of natural and man-made environments further suggests a complex and conflicted human nature playing out in our relationship with the land: we want to save, own, and exploit it all at the same time. From this entangled, self-driven motive to protect and ‘save nature’ surfaces contradiction and, at times, a wilful, and absurd relationship with the ecology, revealing a significant human psychological dimension that defines us irreconcilably as both creative and destructive beings. During Triage, a search to acquire a personal knowledge of how the land, trees, soil, and the ecosystem as a whole function has revealed her own complicated relationship, in which good intentions and ‘saving nature’ are questioned.
The seedlings are grown from acorns gathered from Pin and Chinquapin Oaks, two Carolinian species indigenous to Essex County. The ‘pots’ were gleaned from city streets, rural roads, dumpsters and contributed to by family, friends and her own consumption. The trees will be planted on the restoration site and the Essex County landfill: enthalpy and entropy–growth and decay–playing out simultaneously.
Please join us on Wednesday, September 25th at 7pm for a closing reception at CIVIC Space.
It was a quick week, but such an excellent start to our Artist-in-Residence program at CIVIC SPACE. Sam Lefort, bee lover, excellent designer, and most generous workshop host spent the week teaching members of the Windsor-Essex (and beyond) community about a range of sustainably minded practices and interventions, hopefully many of which will be carried on in numerous locations around the region.
We’re already looking forward to bringing Sam back, but in the meantime, here’s a look at the week (and possibly what you missed!)…
Ailanthus altissima, a name that may not be in any way familiar, though there is a very good chance that a person who lives in the urban centers of Windsor or Detroit sees this “ancient” tree on a daily basis. This tree is known as “Tree of Heaven” or to some “Tree from Hell.”
The tree of heaven is a native to northeast China and Taiwan, it thrives in temperate climates and is capable of reaching heights of 15 meters in 25 years, though it has a relatively short lifespan of 50 years. What might be the significance of this tree you may ask. Well, it’s on the forefront of the cultural mythos of Detroit’s current revitalization.
This is not the first time that the Tree of Heaven has been reclaimed as an icon for cultural growth in circumstances and environments of neglected or “broken” urban centers. In 1943, Betty Smith wrote A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, which features the Tree of Heaven as its main metaphor for “the ability to thrive in a difficult environment.”
There’s a tree that grows in Brooklyn. Some people call it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed falls, it makes a tree which struggles to reach the sky. It grows in boarded up lots and out of neglected rubbish heaps. It grows up out of cellar gratings. It is the only tree that grows out of cement. It grows lushly…survives without sun, water, and seemingly earth. It would be considered beautiful except that there are too many of it.
Daragh Sankey has been working hard to release this promo video documenting Andrea Carvalho‘s three tactics to engage in non-places in the city of Windsor. Daragh is filming, logging and editing as much as he can during his residency, and will complete the post-production of the documentary later on this year.
Another day went by quickly here on the 400 block of Pelissier. I met another member of the Department of Unusual Certainties through Skype, The Breakroom celebrated its last day, Leesa painted some chalkboard paint on a few walls for her project, we found a blooming cactus in Andrea’s space and made some potato stamps with Jefferson.
Our magnetic planters have finally been finished and installed (temporarily) along the alley that runs behind our headquarters. Consider yourself cordially invited to take a planter or two and move them to some other space in the city in need of a micro-garden.
I don’t mean for this to be such a lazy post/reblog, but there’s a few images I’ve been meaning to post for a while. I figured they were good reference points for our magnetic planters project, among others, given the variety of display and function of these planters and the use of recycled materials (see below). So, consider this less any sort of critical discussion of these works, and more just a compilation of image research for stuff we’re doing and would like to do. That being said, I’d highly recommend following the links throughout to read more about the projects.
First up, pictured above is, “The Hanging Smoking Garden”, 2007 by Mikala Dwyer from vvork.
It’s a product made by MIO from recycled paper, and is available at Target, but I mainly wanted to post this as a note. As we’ve now “mastered” the process of making paper, we should consider different shapes for the planters we’re working on, which will likely help to guide the process of making the planter frames from the wire we have.
I’m not sure if anyone visiting this blog has seen this specific project, but from an ecological standpoint, this house seems quite easy on its surrounding flora and fauna. I also think it’s quite elegant and well designed. Compartments are integrated into the home for trees and surrounding soil doesn’t look like it’s been modified much. I’d imagine this type of structure would only be inhabitable in tropical-type regions. Nonetheless, where do I sign?
“This house by Hiroshi Iguchi is part of the Fifth World project which aims to promote eco friendly, sustainable architecture. The house takes natural elements and blends them all into the design of the interior. Warm, natural materials are used. Wood for the floors, light, traditional Japanese panels for compartments and white canvas to protect the interior from excessive heat. Even more, some of the trees were literally incorporated into the house, by letting them grow up to the sky in between the walls of the house.”