Creative Futures: Documenting the Climate Crisis

Creative Futures:
Dean’s Speaker Series

“Documenting the
Climate Crisis”

With Sean Holman, Colin Malloy & Paul Walde

Moderated by Dennine Dudley

12:30pm (PST) Thursday, May 26, 2022

Online webinar 

Free & open to the public via Zoom

Register here

Presented by UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts

The climate crisis is one of the most urgent problems of our time, and the arts can play a vital role in helping people better understand its impact. This moderated panel discussion will explore current work aimed at documenting the impact of the climate crisis, and how Fine Arts artists, scholars and researchers are responding with innovative and compelling ideas. Audience Q&A to follow.

This session features moderator Dennine Dudley (instructor, “Environmental Art”, Art History & Visual Studies), 2022 Ocean Networks Canada artist-in-residence Colin Malloy (PhD candidate, School of Music), Crookes Professor in Environmental & Climate Journalism Sean Holman (Writing), sound & visual artist Paul Walde (professor, Visual Arts). 

“The arts have a central role to play in motivating the average citizen to not only care about the climate crisis but also take action,” says Fine Arts Dean Allana Lindgren. “Sustainability and climate change touch people in an emotional way, so action in this area by us has potential to spur action that, say, scientific reports will not. We have no shortage of faculty members who are doing fascinating work when it comes to sustainability, the environment and the climate crisis.”

About Creative Futures

This continuing Dean’s Speaker Series was established in 2021 by Dean Allana Lindgren to showcase the scholarly and artistic efforts of professors, instructors and graduate students in the Faculty of Fine Arts. Each year we will present two sessions (fall & spring) exploring a central theme showing how Fine Arts has a demonstrative impact on the most pressing social issues of our time. Our Fall 2021 session on Sustainability & the Arts featured Theatre professor Conrad Alexandrowicz (author of Theatre Pedagogy in the Era of Climate Crisis), Writing professor Kathryn Mockler (Watch Your Head: Writers & Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis) and moderator & Writing professor Shane Book. Watch a recording of it here

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

Orion Series presents Smum iem Matriarch Marilyn James

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Marilyn James

Smum iem Matriarch, Autonomous Sinixt 

“Counter mapping and Sinixt Resurgence” 

12:30pm (PST) Monday, May 16, 2022

Online webinar 

Free & open to the public via Zoom

Register here

Presented by UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies

For more information on this lecture please email: arthistory@uvic.ca

Marilyn James is a Smum iem Matriarch appointed by her Sinixt elders to uphold Sinixt protocols and laws in the Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ (homeland) under the laws of whuplak’n and smum iem. Her work has included the repatriation of 64 ancestral remains from museums and collections back to their rightful places in Nk̓ʕáwxtən, “a place for praying,” (Vallican).

She was the appointed spokesperson for the Sinixt Nation in Canada from 1990 to 2013. She continues her work as Smum iem Matriarch and knowledge-keeper for Sinixt. She is an accomplished storyteller of traditional and contemporary Sinixt stories as well as the co-author of Not Extinct: Keeping the Sinixt Way (Maa Press, 2018, 2021). Marilyn holds a Masters of Education from Simon Fraser University and has worked extensively in the field of curriculum development. She is an ardent advocate for her ancestors and the land and water of their təmxʷúlaʔxʷ.

Sinixt təmxʷúlaʔxʷ was divided by the Canada-US border with 80% of Sinixt territory is in what is now known as southeastern BC and the other 20% in what is now called Washington State. Find out more here.

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

Orion Series presents professor & architect Steve Mannell

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Steve Mannell

Professor & architect, Dalhousie University

“Living Lightly on the Earth”:

Building an Ark for Prince Edward Island, 1974-1976

11:30am (PST) Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Online webinar 

Free & open to the public via Zoom

Register here

Presented by UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies

For more information on this lecture please email: arthistory@uvic.ca

Built in 1976 as an “early exploration in weaving together the sun, wind, biology and architecture for the benefit of humanity,” the Ark bioshelter integrated ecological design features to provide a self-reliant life for a family. This talk explores the story of the Ark and its architectural vision of life led in collaboration with nature. While its legacy includes today’s technically focused sustainable architecture, crucial lessons remain to be learned from the eco-social imagination of the Ark experiment.

Steve Mannell is an architect with a fascination for the ways that human societies and settlements interact with their environments. After 20 years of professional practice and teaching in architecture schools, he created the vision for Dalhousie University’s College of Sustainability, where he served as director (2009-20).

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

School of Music debuts new Ballet BC collaboration

Christopher Butterfield performs “Scenes of Thought” with Sidney Chuckas, Kiana Jung & Emily Chessa (photo: Kristy Farkas)

There’s no question the COVID era has had a devastating impact on the arts industry, but it has also provided time and space for bold new creative collaborations. One such initiative is a new campus/community project involving the School of Music, Ballet BC and Dance Victoria, which sees three teams of choreographers and dancers create a triptych of new works set to brand new music by a trio of faculty composers.

After an initial Zoom meeting in late 2021 that saw Music professors Patrick Boyle, Christopher Butterfield and Anthony Tan connect with Ballet BC’s Justin Rapaport, Livona Ellis and Zenon Zubyk (respectively), the newly formed composer/choreographer teams then set to work, with the composers working in totally different musical styles and the choreographers each assembling their own team of dancers. The resulting pieces—titled 3 x 3 x 3—debuted at an intimate public workshop at the Dance Victoria studios on March 13, moderated by Fine Arts Dean Allana Lindgren.

Justin Rappaport and Patrick Boyle (far right) watch Sophie Robinson, Dex van ter Meij & Kiana Jung in “Letting Go”

The sound of dancers dancing

Tan, who recently won the Canada Council’s 2021 Jules Léger Prize for New Chamber Music, is creating a roughly 15-minute electronic composition which samples the very sounds of the four dancers themselves as the basis for his piece titled “Multiplicity is a Liberty”.

“I’m interested in the sound of people doing things, if that makes sense: in terms of musical composition, I often work with ancillary sounds that are apart from the primary instrument and are then electronically distorted, so you can’t really tell what it is anymore,” he explains. “In dance, I’m inspired by the sounds of people dancing—their leaps, their breathing, their feet hitting the floor—so I wanted to explore that idea.”

 

Anna Bekirova, Sarah Pippin, Miriam Gittens & Dex van ter Meij in Anthony Tan’s “Multiplicity is a Liberty” (photo: Kristy Farkas)

Creating together

 For Ballet BC’s Ellis, this is the first time she has worked directly with any composer—let alone Butterfield, who will be performing live onstage alongside her three dancers for their 12-minute piece, “Scenes of Thought”.

“It’s interesting because combining two artistic voices can create endless possibilities—or can end in stifling both artists’ expression,” she says. “I feel grateful that Christopher has been so supportive and so open to trying everything. It has allowed me to be more clear about my direction.”

That’s a sentiment echoed by Tan in his work with choreographer Zubyk. “The challenge and joy of interdisciplinary work is very much the process,” he says. “Being a composer is a lot like being a playwright: you’re often locked away on your own until you give your piece to the musicians, and only then do you finally hear it. But this is a collaboration with both a choreographer and dancers, so they’re improvising based on ideas and the piece just organically grows. When a new piece of music is involved, there’s always a certain amount that’s unknown . . . a good deal of delayed gratification is involved.”

Ballet BC artistic director Medhi Walerski (centre) speaks with Allana Lindgren and the composer/choreographer teams

A new approach to collaboration

Ellis—who has previously only choreographed to pre-existing music—is excited by this new approach. “It has been really wonderful to get to know Christopher and his musical history,” she says. “I could listen to him talk for hours; he has such a vast knowledge of music, both in his academic and lived experience . . . . I was interested in seeing how our exchange of ideas would influence my creative vision and what kind of balance we would find. Having the sound develop after the movement has challenged me to understand rhythm, timing and punctuation in a different way, and has pushed me to explore my choreography with a different lens.”

For both Tan and Zubyk, this project offers an opportunity to break down the walls between performers, audience and the artists themselves. “It’s been interesting to do it all remotely—there’s been a lot of back and forth because we haven’t been able to get in the same room very often,” Tan says. “I’m very curious to see how it all comes together.”

Much like a campus/community Venn diagram, finding common ground is very much at the heart of this project, whether between the composers and choreographers or the presenting partners themselves.

“I’m really excited to work with Ballet BC and grateful for this opportunity,” says Tan, who has previously composed for dancers in both Calgary and Montreal. “I’m happy that an academic institution can collaborate with a professional company like this—it’s a good way to bridge the different fields.”

Orion Series presents Islamic scholar Richard McClary

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Richard McClary

Visiting Scholar

“Islamic Tiles in Museums: Past, Present & Future”

11:30am – 1:30 pm (PST) Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Online webinar 

Free & open to the public via Zoom

Register here

Presented by UVic’s Department of Art History & Visual Studies

For more information on this lecture please email: arthistory@uvic.ca

Islamic tiles are always a challenge to present, as individually they are but one small part of a larger decorative programme. This talk offers a way to contextualise the objects and tell their stories more fully by examining the history of displaying Islamic tiles, some current approaches and through the prism of a series of tiles from a single building in Iran.

Richard McClary has conducted fieldwork in India, Iran, Turkey, Central Asia and across the Middle East. He is a trustee and Research Director for the British Institute of Persian Studies, and held a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship at the University of Edinburgh (2015-18), examining the surviving corpus of Qarakhanid architecture in Central Asia.

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

Orion Series presents visiting artist Jim Holyoak

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Jim Holyoak

Visiting Artist

7:30 – 9:00 pm (PST) Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Room A162, UVic Visual Arts building

 

Free & open to the public in-person or via Zoom

Presented by UVic’s Department of Visual Arts

For more information on this lecture please email: visualarts@uvic.ca

Jim Holyoak’s art practice consists of drawing and writing, artists’ books and room-sized drawing installations. Throughout his life, drawing has been a way of contemplating animals and monsters, the real and unreal, metamorphosis and other worlds. He received a BFA from the University of Victoria, an MFA from Concordia University, and studied as an apprentice to master ink-painter Shen Ling Xiang, in Yangshuo, China. In parallel to his solo practice, Holyoak has orchestrated numerous collaborative drawing projects, often with fellow artist Matt Shane, and sometimes involving hundreds of people drawing together. Holyoak has attended artist residencies in New York, Mumbai, Banff, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Iceland, England and throughout Norway. His work has circulated widely, including at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham, the GEM Museum in the Hague, the Drawing Association in Oslo, the Carnegie Mellon International Drawing Symposium in Pittsburgh, the Museum of Drawings in Sweden, and Open Space Arts Society in Victoria. Holyoak presently lives in Nelson, BC, while teaching remotely at Emily Carr University of Art + Design.

 

 

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events