Vulnerability and resiliency have been key themes in my 45 year career as a sculptor and a painter. Since the early 2000’s, I have been inspired by others including my friend Alanna Mitchell, author of Seasick: the Crisis of the Global Oceans and my network of Blackfoot women elders to explore human impact on the environment. As such, I’ve delved into the world of plankton, the Ponderosa Pine (a recent collaboration with poet Nancy Holmes) and its struggle to survive amidst the increasing presence of fires in Western Canada. I am intrigued by the intricate tangle of nature. My most recent installation, “SALVAGE: remnants of hope and despair”, featured at the The Art Gallery of Alberta in 2019-2020, reflected my deep need to explore the question of how to survive when everything around us collapses. This large installation, which had its first “performance” 40 years ago, is the connective tissue in much of my work and has literally grown alongside me as I’ve grown and struggled as a woman and an activist over decades. Interestingly, this massive piece just barely preceded the onslaught of Covid and continues to resonate as we attempt to regroup and move forward. I am currently working on its next format as well as continuing my painting explorations.
Jennifer Ireland is a research based, multi-medium artist, working to question with wonder; ways of knowing and ways of being in land. Ireland strives to make work that is mindful of situation, site, context, and access. This ethic is found in her work through materials and methods which are often light, sustainable and provisional. Ireland’s practice ranges from drawing, photography, video, and sculpture, to site-sensitive installation and performance. Each of their works strives to operate as speculative wayfinding in this Anthropocenic time.