Within each community I visit I find bright pigments that hold the potential to reconnect us to that place through colour. My spidergrams are part of an ongoing mapping project connecting places to pigments. Each one begins with a single rock, plant, bone, or bug, at its centre and from this visually explores the resulting colourful possibilities. These local materials are typically crushed, ground, levitated, and fired—which in some cases creates a rainbow of harmonious hues but in others simply a beautiful subtlety between similar tones. As the spidergram grows in complexity, it begins to reveal that place’s local-colour.
It’s especially important to me that this exploration of local-colour is done within the human umwelt—that knowing of reality through our senses. So much of scientific work today is done at an unexperiential level (and in sterile laboratories) that I’m afraid it’s literally dehumanizing the way we interact with our environment. Therefore, the way in which I get to know the soil of a place is through methods echoing back into our earliest prehistoric interactions with the world: I wet it, I crush it, I fire it. Each of these processes result in a host of extrasensory experiences—intense heat or sweet smells—which form my personal experience and inform the work as a whole.
All these projects aim to visually document the time and methods spent seeing a place’s local-colours within our umwelt. And, ultimately, each project affirms a way of mindfully connecting with our environment that—by instilling a sense of beauty—I believe is our best chance to save the world.
|New Local Colour Map Underway | March 4, 2013|
I’m busy at work today exploring the local colours of Eldorado, Ontario. This is a place that I’ve visited many times over the years and I love the colour that comes from this location. Over the past few days I’ve managed to take the natural ochre from this community and subject it to temperatures ranging ...
|Local-colour spidergram installation | October 22, 2012|
I’m very excited to share that my local-colour spidergram installation has been recently finished! All of my local-colour spidergrams—whether on paper or on walls—are about exploring a place through its colours. As a visual artist, this has proven to be a great adventure for me and for the communities with which I’ve worked. This installation originates from earth collected ...
|Saskatchewan Sampler | May 31, 2012|
“Saskatchewan Sampler Spidergram” 25½” x 38½” an assortment of local-colour pigments from Saskatchewan; egg tempera; paper.
|Unterwegs | July 24, 2011|
The Unterwegs show (July 24th through August 12th) in Berlin, Germany is a chance to share where I’ve taken my idea of local-colour spidergrams during the time of my studies. Here you’ll find an exploration of local pigments on paper and across a wall. In every case I think you’ll be amazed at what’s just ...
|Brandenburg Brick | July 13, 2011|
“Brandenburg Brick Spidergram” 18″ x 24″ local-colour pigment; egg tempera; paper.
|Hohenschönhausen Berlin | July 13, 2011|
“Hohenschönhausen Berlin Spidergram” 18″ x 24″ local-colour pigment; egg tempera; paper.
|Mamaise Point Malachite | July 12, 2011|
“Mamaise Point Malachite Spidergram” 18″ x 24″ local-colour pigment; egg tempera; paper.
|Sault Ste Marie Ochre | July 5, 2011|
“Sault Ste Marie Ochre Spidergram” 18″ x 24″ local-colour pigment; egg tempera; paper.
|Madoc Green Earth | June 30, 2011|
“Madoc Green Earth Spidergram” 18″ x 24″ local-colour pigment; egg tempera; paper.
|Eldorado Ochre | May 6, 2011|
“Eldorado Ochre Spidergram” 18″ x 24″ local-colour pigment; egg tempera; paper.