Field Notes from the Red Oak Labyrinth

Deep gratitude to all those many many folks who visited Beyond the Edge:Artists Gardens this summer in Ottawa. A special thanks to those who left ” Oak Inspired Thoughts” in the notebooks. They inspired me and confirmed for me in more ways than I could have imagined, the mysterious ways of the labyrinth.

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All decked out for summer in a cloak of greenery.
All decked out for summer in a cloak of greenery.

 

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View from the centre on a sunny morning.
View from the centre on a sunny morning.

 

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Circles within circles, all welcoming.
Circles within circles, all welcoming.


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Patterns left in the inner bark from the Emeral Ash Borer. Beautiful but devastating at the same time.
Patterns left in the inner bark from the Emeral Ash Borer. Beautiful but devastating at the same time.

 

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Misty morning in late summer.
Misty morning in late summer.

 

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Essentics in the Labyrinth. Thanks Amanda!
Essentics in the Labyrinth. Thanks Amanda!

 

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Red Oak
Red Oak

 

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Arial View of the Red Oak Labyinth. Thanks to Dinesh Amamdavel and his drone photography.
Aerial View of the Red Oak Labyinth. Thanks to Dinesh Amamdavel and his drone photography.

 

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We would like to acknowledge funding support from theĀ Ontario Arts Council,

an Agency of the Government of Ontario

2014 OAC Logo Colour JPG


The Invisible Work of Preparation

Circular Tree Bench Plan
Circular Tree Bench Plan

Planning, organizing, shopping, and site preparation have me noticing the invisible quality of preparations. Preparing is essential and poor preparations can be ones undoing.

Considerable time has been spent on preparing for the Beyond the Edge Artists Gardens Project and very little of it can be seen. Mary Faught and Judith Parker are co-curating this project and have spent many long months in preparations. Many meetings with the powers that be, negotiating land use, grant writing, coordinating with artists and extensive planning have gone on this winter in preparation to invite 5 artists to engage with the future site of the Botanical Garden in Ottawa.

Now with preparations in hand we begin with shovel in hand…..well not so fast. More meetings and coordination behind the scenes. The artists are arriving on site and preparations begin in earnest. What seemed a good idea last fall may not hold up in the light of spring. Some rethinking, and more planning and rejigging are required as we approach the site and the realities of what our plans look like when laid out on the ground.

It’s an interesting process to review plans that were made in a “pie in the sky moment” six months ago. One of my calculations was missing “pie” in the formula and as a result the cost went up by 1/3rd, Yikes!

This weekend my partner Daniel stepped in as master carpenter. I am the assistance holding the other end of the board. We are making a round bench to encircle the trunk of the “Mighty Red Oak”. Hoping those who thread the path of the Labyrinth will appreciate a place to sit and rest a while.

 

Carpenter Man in the Middle
Carpenter Man in the Middle

We would like to acknowledge funding support from theĀ Ontario Arts Council,

an Agency of the Government of Ontario

2014 OAC Logo Colour JPG