Riverworks is a new initiative by The River Clyde Pageant and Creative PEI in which three artists will create outdoor public artworks exploring ecological transformation through their distinct creative practices. Each artwork will be installed at one of three living shorelines in Charlottetown and Stratford.
The living shorelines initiative is led by the PEI Watershed Alliance, the City of Charlottetown, and the Town of Stratford, supported by the federal government’s Climate Action Fund. Living shorelines are a nature-based solution to coastline protection. Mimicking natural processes, living shorelines slow erosion and are made with natural, biodegradable materials, planted native species of trees, shrubs and grasses, all of which stabilize the shoreline to prevent erosion. This month, construction on the living shorelines begins, led by Helping Nature Heal and CB Wetlands & Environmental Specialists Inc.
The River Clyde Pageant and Creative PEI are pleased to announce the three Riverworks artists: Doug Dumais, Kirstie McCallum and Alexis Bulman. Beginning this July and unfolding over the coming months, each artist will create and present installation-based artworks that engage with the living shoreline projects and the natural environment. Artworks by Dumais and McCallum were selected by the Riverworks jury as part of a competitive public call for submissions. Bulman’s artwork is supported in part by the UPEI ClimateSense program.
The selected artists and projects are:
Doug Dumais, Shoreline Palimpsest
Location: QEH Shoreline
Kirstie McCallum, Pollinator Clock
Location: Tea Hill Park
Alexis Bulman, Lillian’s Place
Location of artwork: Stratford Waterfront Park
Doug Dumais’ artwork, Shoreline Palimpsest will consist of a three-day performance from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM on July 16th, 17th and 18th. For this project, a makeshift artist studio will be erected on the shore, serving as the site for Dumais’ durational performance.
The mobile studio will consist of a 6x6x6-feet cube frame holding the essentials of a photographer’s studio. Photography and poetry created on site by Dumais will document the daily, hourly, or even minute-by-minute changes along one section of the coast. After editing these images and then printing them in the mobile studio, observations will be noted through poems written directly on the prints, which will be given to visitors. The public is invited to observe this performance in progress, and join the artist in attending to the shifting shoreline landscape. Parking is available in the QEH parking lot. The shoreline can be accessed by foot at the shore entry along the boardwalk.
Kirstie McCallum’s artwork, Pollinator Clock, will be installed in Spring 2022. Pollinator Clock is designed to give back to the earth by delivering pollinator seed and soil enhancements to the meadow where it is installed at Tea Hill. The work consists of 12 baskets woven from red osier dogwood and raspberry cane, installed in the pattern of a circular clock-face. A sapling planted in the circle will represent the centre of a sundial. Each basket will be filled with local flower seed and bulbs mixed with soil, and compost. Over time, the baskets will break open, and the plants will disperse across the site, encouraging the growth of wildflowers and inviting insects and birds to reinhabit the area.
Alexis Bulman’s artwork, Lillian’s Place, will be installed on July 14th at the new Stratford Waterfront Park. Lillian’s Place is a sculpture, an art installation and a performance all at once. It will take the form of a small wooden house, situated on an embankment where it will live in tandem with a living shoreline along the Hillsborough River. As years pass, the structure will age and its bright wood will transform to a weathered grey color. Lilian’s Place will be an artwork in flux, a place where flowers grow, and a place where flowers are laid in remembrance. It will teeter on the edge of the shore, co-existing with living shoreline that stabilizes the littoral zone, striving to balance hope and loss, life and death, and past and future.