Mixed media artist Cyril Sacobie is an artist from Kingsclear First Nation, who’s love of nature and his culture helps him in creating his work. He also draws inspiration from cultures other than his own, and finds that being open to this helps his drive and motivation in not only in art, but in all aspects of life.
For THIRD SHIFT, Cyril will apply his wood carving skills to create a work on site. In choosing only the materials he works with, and leaving the piece itself to unfold naturally as he works, his method of fluid creatively stems from the importance of keeping the artwork pure.
Saint John based writer, photographer and emerging fibre artist Marie-Hélène Morell works in recycled textiles, tapestry weaving and more. She gravitates toward fibre arts and textiles because they are among the oldest and most prevalent tangible expressions of culture and manipulating and sharing them communicates about who we are.
Her THIRD SHIFT installation, “Tapestory”, will allow the public to participate in coming together to weave a piece of fabric, which will gradually bind in creating a larger tapestry. The hand-picked materials of colorful yarn and recycled fabric work well in reflection of mixing new and old as a nod to the gritty/classy facets of Saint John.
“The idea is that we are all part of a larger narrative, that living in a certain geographical area weaves our stories together whether our lives touch or not and the important part is showing up.” The piece will afterward be offered to the Regional Hospital as a gift. “Giving it to the hospital is significant because it is the place where many of our stories begin and end. Hospitals can be a bit sterile and the colour and warmth of a tapestry reminds one of the beauty of a life well lived.”
Marie-Hélène’s main inspiration, creative outlet and networking tool is through a website and print magazine called CreatedHere, which functions in connecting and showcasing the arts community in New Brunswick.
The exhibition Falling Sky consists of two separate sculptures: Sputnik Returned 2 installed in Charlottetown and Challenger installed in Saint John. Sputnik Returned 2 consists of a replica of
Sputnik, the first man made satellite to orbit the earth, installed as if it has crash landed into parked sedan; while Challenger consists of a replica of the escape hatch from the NASA space shuttle Challenger installed as if it has fallen from the sky and flattened a Canada Post mailbox.
The project Falling Sky is a metaphor for the failed promise of a future of scientific advancement that was once heralded by modernism. The sleek futuristic design of the crashed objects, resting lifelessly in their respective craters, will recall a modern-day Icarus whose faith in technology lead to hubris and his imminent demise as he fell back to earth. Sputnik Returned 2 has a simple
design, both streamlined and reflective, alludes to the space race of the 1950s. Today this design appears as a wonderfully crude relic of the period, a potential unmanned doomsday weapon mirroring the excesses of the cold war while also recalling the proto-modernist sculptures of Brancusi. Challenger presents a somber narrative, drawing on the cultural legacy of failed attempts at space travel and provoking viewers to question the heroic narrative of space exploration.
As an artist I create public installations that do not immediately reveal themselves as sculpture, but instead seek to insert an anomaly into the viewer’s experience of the everyday. The context
of the public setting and the lack of institutional signifiers such as pedestals or signage allows the viewer to experience the work in the same way they approach common objects. Upon initially viewing Falling Sky, the audience will be unaware that they are an audience. They will be confronted with the artifacts of a narrative, causing them look upwards, tracing the imagined trajectory of these fallen objects. Trying to rectify the various crash sites with the empty sky above, the viewer will be left to question our culture’s faith in the promises of technological advancement.
Exp Architects inc. duo Melissa Wakefield and Alana O’Halloran have strong connections to the Heritage Buildings of Saint John’s Uptown. Both have involvement with the city’s preservation and renewal of Saint John’s protected districts, and together they’re bringing their love of Saint John’s old brick buildings to THIRD SHIFT.
For their project, Silent Figures, they will be transmitting messages in Morse code via the brick walls of our built heritage Uptown – giving a voice to the silent figures that are the backdrop of our modern lives in Saint John. The selected buildings will represent a vignette of our architectural past, present, and future; important heritage properties, the recently rehabilitated, and those waiting to be revitalized.
The team recognizes that Morse code has its roots in the Maritimes as a means of transmitting stories across railway and naval channels, and they hope to encourage the public to look at their build environment through a different lens, in considering “what is this building telling me?”. The projects outcome “is not to have the message un-coded … but rather to create an understanding that buildings speak to us without realizing it, and perhaps we should listen more attentively.”
Jud Crandall is an artist who explores the spatial and narrative possibilities in audio. By using a sort of sonic collage featuring found sounds, field recordings, typical instruments and live improvisation, Jud constructs the sound of a space. His work is to be listened to, and he suggests you ignore the performer and focus on the sounds.
Jud’s THIRD SHIFT project, You make a better door than a window uses the sounds of wind, radio, breath and “the consequences of environmental interruption” to “illustrate politics of disruption and negotiation”. Jud is interested in what will happen to “communication, relationships and meaning” within the new modes of perception found in You make a better door than a window. He aims to explore the opportunities that could be granted by confronting personal, domestic and governmental structures of power.
Investigating the practical, spiritual, and aesthetic nature of art, Moncton and Montreal based artist Maryse Arseneault experiments with ways of inserting performance, audio-video installation and print media into public spaces. There is often an interactive component to her interventions, highlighting the role of the spectator in the work of art. Strongly inspired by dreams and intuitive experiences, her creation process includes daily exercises such as drawing, cooking, poetry and song. Informed by
contemporary metaphysics and feminist theory, my research addresses concepts of power, agency and objectification.
At THIRD SHIFT, Maryse will engage with her audience in an interactive and time based performance, Comment couper l’oignon sans pleurer / French Onion.
“Comment couper l’oignon sans pleurer / French Onion is a durational performance where I cut pounds and
pounds of onions over a whole day. How do we cut an onion without crying? How do we learn to take care of others
and our own anxieties? How do we maintain an ecological awareness in a capitalist society, dominated by the idea of
materialistic value? These are a few questions I ask myself and the crowd, during a five hour piece, sweating over onions I later donate to a local soup kitchen. Based on Mi’kmaq formats of oral traditions, such as wigwams and talking circles, I hope to share meditative and philosophic observations with the visitor. The major
themes that anchor these discussions will compare notions of human agency, systemic power structures, capitalism,
artistic production, agriculture and empirical prescriptiveness.”
Experimentation and improvisation are the game for Open Arts. Comprised of members of the new Brunswick musical improv community (ensemble bassist Andrew Reed Miller, Nadia Francavilla, violin; Robins Streb, viola; Joel Leblanc, guitar and Joël Cormier, percussion) Open Arts presents Charade Parade: “a post-classical experimental marching band.”
During their THIRD SHIFT performance Open Arts will be on the move. Drums strapped to chests and amps stuffed into backpacks Open Arts only play mobile instruments. Don’t worry about their restless feet, we’re sure you’ll always be able to follow the music to their parade route.
Open Arts is produced by Motion Ensemble Inc., and as they put it they’ve “organized adventurous music since 1998.”