I got the chance to work with Team Emily to doc­u­ment their lat­est artist vision, titled Transplant. The bril­liant con­cept:

This sum­mer, Emily Comeau (a fibre artist from Quebec) and Emily Cook (a book and paper artist from Ontario) will be col­lab­o­rat­ing to cre­ate an immense and inter­ac­tive tun­nel book made from local plant mate­ri­als to install in a bar­ren patch of city.

Transplant is an out­door liv­ing book instal­la­tion. Constructed from found nat­ur­al mate­ri­als both liv­ing and dead, this instal­la­tion is sub­ject to the whims of nature and the designs of man. Each page of this book resem­bles an arch invit­ing the audi­ence to enter the immense tun­nel book. Within the pages are paper pock­ets where seeds will begin to sprout as the struc­ture is grad­u­al­ly beat­en down by the weath­er. Additional arches/pages will be added through­out the exhi­bi­tion as the evo­lu­tion of decay and growth take over. This evo­lu­tion speaks to the ebb and flow of con­struc­tion and decay as the man­made world inter­acts with the nat­ur­al one. The sto­ry of this project is one of trans­for­ma­tion and recla­ma­tion of the urban land­scape by nature. It is the sto­ry of a cycle of decay and rebirth and of a bal­ance that can be achieved when nature’s col­lab­o­ra­tion is desired rather than fought

The sun­light com­ing through the seed­ed paper is such a won­der­ful­ly strik­ing image. This is just the first arch­way, con­struct­ed on the lawn at the Ottawa Arts Court, which is a very high-pro­file place (you can see the Rideau Centre right across the street). More details and orna­ments are planned as the project con­tin­ues over the next year.

My desire to record things comes from the fact that most things in this world are so ephemer­al. This being a struc­ture that can dis­solve in the rain, as well as being an area fre­quent­ed by drunks1 and home­less peo­ple, meant I was pret­ty adamant about doc­u­ment­ing the whole process.

  1. As we were leav­ing the area at the end of the day, some guy just up and peed into the bush­es next to us. []

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