It was a pleasure to have Rae Marie Taylor with us for a Nonesuch Residency during the month of September. Despite weather disruptions Rae gave two outdoor poetry readings and managed to accomplish much of what she hoped. Below is her brief summary of the residency and what she took from it…
In spite of Hurricane Dorian and being evacuated for a week (from cliffside cabin to apartment in town), the time at Main & Station for the research for my long-term multi-disciplinary project “Steady Against the Absurd. Kinship at the Core” was wonderfully rich!
The beaches of the Bay of Fundy offered themselves as perfect sites for two readings, the first on First Beach then on Partridge Island beach where the intention of us finding kinship with the earth and each other was nourished. Many Thanks to all who walked with me for the performance! And to Judith for the video!
Being evacuated gave unexpected extra time to the development of Parts 2 and 3 of the poetry scenario, through simply writing and two wonderful interviews with Parrsboro women whose work gives them insight into both violence, healing and kinship between men and women.
Warm thanks for their willingness to share their thoughts.
From its inception I have seen this scenario accompanied by an installation.
The Fundy Geological Museum, the Carboniferous cliffs near Parrsboro, as well as Joggins Cliffs and Judith and Harvey’s Black Rock beach were all perfect – at low tide of course!! – for my intended study of fossils and documenting them for material for an installation in process that will create a timeless “place” for the poetry scenario’s performance in exhibit settings. On horseback with Bill Gilbert or on foot, the upending of the earth, fossilized raindrops and ripples, cyanobacteria fossils (the first bacteria on the earth), and a dragonfly fossil are all powerfully inspiring material!
Another research focus was gathering natural materials which have now found there way to my studio in Montreal: dulse, tidal grasses, wild paper, kelp, and lichen and bark from Shoreline Spruce broken by the hurricane.
Although not initially a focus for the project, the highest tides in the world in the Bay of Fundy never escape notice! Meeting with Sandra Currie at FORCE, (a center for harnessing tidal energies for clean energy), was wonderfully valuable for deepening my grasp of our planet’s rotations, and our possibilities.
All this of course with peace, lots of thinking, fun in and out of the studio, and daily amazement, alone or with the welcoming people at Main & Station and in Parrsboro.
Then there was, the incredible density of stars at night.. dew in the sun, the daily presence of heron, eagles and raven…more than a little bit of wild that strengthened my rapport with a Canadian land. And finally, all’s well that ends well, the satisfaction that my Raku sculpture “Pietà, ” has found a permanent outdoor home with Main & Station.
Rae Marie Taylor’s work bridges her creative activities in Montreal and her homeland in the American Southwest. As a writer her book of essays The Land Our Gift and Wild Hope was awarded Finalist from the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards. Here In the North, as a poet she performs in various venues with Montreal musicians Pierre Tanguay and Diane Labrosse and in Quebec City with the jazz duo Michel and Pierre Côté.
In both places, Rae’s visual art has included painting, sculpture and installation. She first experienced land art at the annual El Ancon Outdoor Sculpture show while living in New Mexico where the concern with relationship with place is dominant in the cultures as well as art and literature. Having immigrated to Montreal, her occasional installation work was taken inside to gallery spaces.
For more information about RAE MARIE TAYLOR http://thelandwildhope.com/