cast off at the fiftyfifty
During 10 days of working in the fifty fifty space, I created pieces from discarded ship rope. I worked with decorative knots and with tatting patterns. Tatting is a technique of creating lace from a series of loops and knots. This is considered a feminine practice, whereas ship rope and sailing knots are conventionally masculine assigned. In some cases, the base knots for tatting are the same that have been used by sailors. This use of textiles is meant to reflect on the theme of mutable identities and the shifting and arbitrary gender assignments to objects, practices and presentations.
These rope pieces will be paired with representations of a selkie, a shapeshifting creature from Scottish mythology that is part seal and part human. Selkies are beings that exist in the liminal space between worlds, they are seen as both beautiful and abject, monsters that capture the imagination. The representation of these seal creatures with ghost-like imagery is also related to the decline in biodiversity, and to these familiar animals in our shared environments. This ghost imagery also references the past, specifically the obscured past that is not at peace. As a settler artist, my work with animals is about my complicated relationship to land and to the so called “natural” world. While much of the tourism and myth building around British Columbia is about wide open wild space, that narrative purposefully evades a history of colonialism and the appropriation of indigenous lands.
the fifty fifty arts collective is comprised of individuals living and working on unceded and occupied First Nations Territories, specifically the lands of the Songhees and Esquimalt Nations, as well as the W̱SÁNEĆ, Sc’ianew and T’Souke First Nations.
The programming space itself is situated on Songhees and Esquimalt Territory but engages with individuals and communities across Turtle Island.
As a collective they endeavor to deepen our thei understandings of how we are all implicated in the history and in the present ongoing project of settler colonialism. As members of the fifty fifty arts collective they continually responsibilize themselves to the complex kind of space that is the fifty fifty which hosts and facilitates the dissemination of the ideas and work of others.