At Berton House last winter, Julien shot timelapses of the Northern Lights from the kitchen window. Back home in Cape Breton, we decided to take those timelapses, add a soundscape, and pitch it to Lumière, Sydney's art-at-night-festival. The result was Polar Opposites, a multimedia video installation we projected onto the side of the Royal Hotel in downtown Sydney.
Polar Opposites has been making the rounds--it was part of New Glasgow's Art at Night Festival, as well as Dawson's City's (s)hiver. The photos, below, were taken by Blair Douglas during this year's (s)hiver. The video was projected onto the front of Bill Big's Blacksmith Shop.
Collaborating with Julien on Polar Opposites, in part, inspired me to write my essay, "Permaculture on the Permafrost," which is forthcoming now available from Canadian Notes and Queries. The essay is about a bunch of things, but, particularly, the benefits of arts collaborations and building communities using permaculture design techniques.
As part of Lumière, Julien and I were asked to give a talk about art and community. So we talked about how Polar Opposites came about, and I highlighted some points from my CNQ essay. The talk is now on YouTube (and embedded, below).
I'm all set to read at both the Dawson City and Whitehorse libraries this month. Leaving Dawson is going to be quite bittersweet--it'll be hard to give up all this writing and thinking time, but I'm really looking forward to being back on Cape Breton Island, enjoying the woodstove and saying "hi" to the ocean. Still, being in the north has been wonderful. I love the Yukon and can't wait to come back. Here are my reading dates!
It's official: I'll be heading to Dawson City, Yukon, next January-March, to be the writer-in-resident at the Pierre Berton House. The promise of 3 months to write and only write would tempt any writer to the Yukon in January...right? For more info about the program, you can read the Writers' Trust's official press release.