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Adventures!

The House Project feels so long ago already, but the house was only demolished this week. Now the only thing left of 229 10A street is an empty pit.  Having known its fate since before setting foot in the house, and having embraced that impermanence as part of the concept and part its appeal, it struck me as odd how emotionally I reacted to that hole in the earth. Standing close to the fence, I looked down into the space and felt a deep nostalgia for something that was never really ours to begin with… but a space that had still, somehow, felt like home, even if only for a short while.

Then the moment was gone. Wayne Garrett drove up in his squeaky car, and we left the space to be filled with a new house, and a new future.

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Back in time for a moment: the day before the House Project Opened, I slept in a closet. That being said, that closet was lined with mattresses and surrounded by inflatable plastic fish. This is probably the most romantic way a person can become one with their art… which explains why Lane and Danny spent so much time sleeping in their pieces.

These are photos from the day before our show opened. Photos of the finished pieces will be posted in short order… you really had to be there.

Photo by Randy Gibson

Holy heck, the last three days have been a whirlwind. The House Project, after being featured in the Calgary Herald on Thursday, and Swerve Magazine on Friday, managed to scoop an audience of 400+ people at the Opening, and about 600 over Saturday and Sunday, for a total of 1000 viewers! (including my 86 year old Grama…)

And while that number is pretty baffling to me, as the curator and an artist in this entirely independent, community-run show with a budget of $400 plus a $190 Totem Gift Certificate, I reserve the majority of my admiration for Lane, Danny, Ian, Lauren, John and Wayne. For me, at least, this project has been an awesome, challenging and educational experiment in re-imagining potentials and trusting in my peers. Ashley and Chris, the next-door-neighbours and commissioners of this piece said nothing but YES throughout this entire process. For the House Project, encouragement and unconditional faith have been fantastic catalysts towards free imagination. I’m sure this won’t the last project of its kind in Calgary, but it might be the first one, with the least pressure, and the greatest pay-off.

In the next day or two, I’ll be posting images from the Opening of the House Project, but in the mean time, take a look at Drew Anderson’s take on the House Project for Swerve Magazine here.

Wayne Garrett and I had the fantastic fortune of scoring this amazing slide from CDC Recreation (the same folks who remove old playground equipment for the City, refurbish anything salvageable, and send the used playground equipment to 3rd World Countries). This is the story of us making up our minds where to install it, and then doing just that.

Special thanks to Wayne from the City of Calgary, and Mike from CDC Recreation.

This gallery contains 9 photos.

There are certain learning curves to every project. The House Project just happens to come with a full set of learning slides! Early on, one of the artists mentioned that we should turn the entire house into a giant game of snakes & ladders. I guess that kind of stuck with Wayne Garrett and I, …

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