recent article in Powell River Living Magazine

Sept 2017: Over the summer we had multiple film shoots in the deep woods which have inspired the paintings and video production. These are hybrid images of the field experiences with the children, based on stories and collaged maps of the local areas. The paintings range from 4′ x 6′ to 10″ x 12″ on paper and wood panel.

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June 2017: Hildegard Westerkamp inspired us this past weekend about the possibilities for changing how we use our senses in experiencing the environment.  This was the first of hopefully many artist talks in the new art centre…

Thanks to Paul today we have some documentation stills of the painting and projection part of the project. Thanks Paul!

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Project Synopsis:

“The forest would know if you believed it was alive. You would sort of detect something in the trail, maybe you would hear a rustling of leaves, and a deer would show you the way a little bit…they may send ambassadors to people who they knew would protect their society, and not ruin it for humans own benefit”

The child’s voice speaking these words blends with forest soundscapes, projected video imagery, and paintings to create an immersive experience of a future forest ecology, according to the imagination of children ranging in age from five to twelve.

Future Forests is a multi media installation and evolving collaboration between artists Megan Dulcie Dill and Claudia Medina that originated with a single question posed to children – “What is a future forest fairytale?”  Thus began a multi year project that has led these artists to follow the themes and layers that came from this question and translate them into an experience that gives people a chance to get a very unique perspective of the forests that surround us. With the help of grants from the Canada Council of the Arts and the British Columbia Arts council, the artists are working on a new iteration of the project that has so far been shown at two local events. Audio interviews with children have guided the process and as more interviews are collected, imagery and sound will shape around their stories and reflect on the elements of interconnection in a forest. The stories tell tales of complex ecosystems, full of animate beings and societies, that communicate and create together, from the tiniest organism to the largest tree.

In these stories, forest elements are embodied with a kind of magical quality that only the most observant, and the most respectful humans are allowed access to.  The project touches on the ancient stories of nature spirits, the enchanted forests of fairy tales, and also the newest scientific research that is starting to understand that a forest is indeed a complex web of communicating entities. The child’s perspective is key to Future Forests, and the artists believe that their stories hold much wisdom and awareness that adults can learn a lot from.

Presently, they are crafting a version of the installation that will weave more stories and images that are also collected as part of art workshops with children in the community.

May 2, 2017 30 second clip of work

Installation shot

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Upcoming June 2, 2017

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This is one of the events that Claudia and I have planned through 2017 as part of the Future Forest project. Thanks to MAS, PRCAC, CCA and BCAC for support.

Hildegard Westerkamp will visit Powell River at the new (unfinished) art centre. We will be doing a community soundwalk the next day. Everyone welcome!

Hildegard Westerkamp on CBC’s Ideas 

Future Forest 2017 project:

Future Forests is a proposed immersive multi channel video, audio and painting installation imagining what a forest may become, told through the stories of children and seen through their interactions with the forests around them. Their stories and the sounds of life in and around the forest will fade in and out of a space layered with multiple screens and paintings, onto which projections of forest life in realities and imaginations play out, overlap, meld and recreate in ongoing loops. Children’s interpretations of the forest often focus on relationships between animal and human hierarchies with clarity and imagination.

The collaboration of artists Claudia Medina, Megan Dulcie Dill and the wider community will produce an installation including soundscapes and moving imagery in a multi sensory labyrinth of experience. Future Forests will be a meditation on how we unite and are separated with forest ecologies and how children can often intuit the seen and unseen aspects of a continual and ever-present living unfolding of forest life.

Claudia and Megan have been working together for several years and testing layers of their collective output through projects consisting of online videos, paintings, mapping projects, artist talks and community engagements. This project funded through multiple organizations will culminate as collected stories projected through digital mapping onto mixed media collaged maps, paintings and 3D shapes. The maps will be repurposed from discarded collections of the local surrounding areas through the years. A large component of the project will be experiencing and listening to the physical environment.