The original idea for The Place was to explore ways to fuse my aesthetic interests, such as geometric shapes, repetition and my love for the minimalist movement, and my academic interests in my personal history and ancestry as well as the history of aboriginals around the world and the affects of the colonial regime. This was when I started taking an interest in my ancestral background and starting to form questions around identity, and how I could use my personal experiences and history to form concepts in my work. The Place was the beginning of the materialization of my exploration into notions of identity.
The Place is a deconstruction of a childhood hiding place (a wardrobe closet) that I would visit in times I wished to be alone. When I was young there was a time, for a few years, that I didn’t have a bedroom, I slept in the living room of a tiny apartment with my mom and sister. During this time the closet was the only place I could be truly alone.
The installation is both accessible and inaccessible in its construction; this is to symbolize the notion of a memory – how a memory can be so vivid but completely untouchable, referring to the memory of the closet. The exterior panels consist of one layer of Stonehenge paper and two sheets of mylar. Together these layers form a repetitious and geometric design. This outer shell is used to symbolize my university experience as a growing artist, while the interior symbolizes my internal growth as a someone exploring their own notions of identity. The interior of the piece has 24 different water color images of indigenous plants that grow across the Americas. These plants have been used for centuries by aboriginal medicine men. The idea to use plants as symbols of my ancestry came from my great grandfather being a medicine man in Northern Alberta.