With the closing of the exhibition Beyond the Edge:Artist Gardens came the obligation to dismantle and restore the site of the Red Oak Labyrinth. Much more happened under the branches of this grand old oak tree then I ever could have imagined. Many visitors to the site wrote about their experiences in the notebooks left at the centre to capture inspirations and comments. It was important to me to honour all that had taken place in the labyrinth over the summer and while I could have quietly put the project to bed, I wanted the support of the community for whom the place had become meaningful. For me and for many this labyrinth had gone beyond art project or perhaps it was art at its best, really touching people in profound ways.
Gratitude and Thanks Giving
Gratitude and thanks giving to she who is Red Oak for spreading wide her branches, offering shelter, shade and centering to host our wanderings in the labyrinth.
Gratitude and thanks giving to all those ancient ones whose wisdom, knowledge and spirit informs our time beneath this grand old Red Oak in the meandering path of the labyrinth.
Gratitude and thanks giving to the Candensis Botanical Garden Society and Agriculture Canada for collectively taking a leap of faith in hosting and facilitating Beyond the Edge: Artist Gardens. This is the first installation and intervention on the land that has been designated to become the future home of a National Botanical Garden and I am so very pleased to have been a part of it.
Gratitude to Canadensis for acquiring the Round Tree Bench and ensuring that this spot will continue to be a available as a place of contemplation for all who visit.
Gratitude and thanks giving to Mary Faught for her visionary willingness to imagine this exhibition into existence with Co-curator Judith Parker whose gift with words and deep experience helped secure the needed funding to make all this possible.
Gratitude and thanks giving to my fellow “Artists of the Field” with whom I shared a deep and meaningful connection, all be it on the fly with shovels in hand. I met my soul siblings in Glynis, Deborah, cj, Judith, Deirdre, Mary, and Karl. Thank you for your companionship in exploring and forging deeper connections between nature and culture.
Gratitude and thanks giving to the Ontario Arts Council, the City of Ottawa, and the Community Foundation of Ottawa and Canadensis Botanical Garden Society for financial support in this fledgling endeavor.
Gratitude and thanks giving to the hundreds of people, who visited the exhibition, walked the labyrinth and left many, many notes, of thanks, “Oak Inspired Thoughts” and reflective insights in the 8 notebooks, which were filled over the course of the exhibition.
Gratitude and thanks giving to all those many hands and strong backs who responded to the call for help to build this labyrinth.
Gratitude and thanks giving to all who gathered to help celebrate, honor and restore this fine place to its natural state.
Photos of the Closing Ceremony and Dismantaling of the Red Oak Labyrinth by Stephen Hutchings, with thanks!
We would like to acknowledge funding support from the Ontario Arts Council,
an Agency of the Government of Ontario