Monday, August 28 to Friday, September 8, 2023
As part of "A Hole in the Ground" project
Sandhills Park, Kitchener, Ontario
In "Drawing Time" artist Linda Duvall sat by a grave-sized hole in the park and engaged in the act of drawing her surroundings, her thoughts, the inspirations from her co-collaborators. Each act of markmaking, once completed, was contained or sealed, symbolically disappearing. This process emphasizes the impermanence of each moment, echoing the ephemeral quality of human existence. Each stroke of Duvall’s pen became a visual testament to the transient nature of time, capturing moments that remain unseen after the performance ends.
Duvall does not have a history with drawing, so each mark was part of a discovery or an ongoing conversation with the hole for her.
Duvall was present in the park from 10 a.m. to 12 noon, and then from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
The Waterlilies Portrait Project
A collaborative exhibition of portraits that pairs Saskatoon artists with women who escaped Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul.
The fall of Afghanistan has been especially devastating for young women and girls who can no longer get an education, work, or meet in public areas. The exhibition’s intent is to amplify the voices of these newcomers and bring attention to the injustice and oppression their female relatives continue to endure.
For the Waterlilies Portrait Project exhibition, each of the woman was paired with a local Saskatoon-based artist to collaborate in the creation of a portrait. While many of the artists (all women) are painters, the artworks on view represent different interpretations of what constitutes a portrait. They have in common a desire to support these young women in their struggle for basic human rights.
La Traversee in Ste Nicolas de Caen Church
I travelled to Caen France to participate in a residency at Le Labo des arts. A final exhibition Le Traversee took place in July 2023 at the Saint Nicolas de Caen church under the artistic co-direction of the visual artist Sophie Moraine.
"I laid out the panels on the floor - reaching for an existing stain glass - The green mottled panels are reflected in the panels on the floor. At different times of the day, the light lit sections of the photographs, or reflected the lights of the stained glass windows on the photographic panels
One strip up the center indicated photos on which visitors have embedded their answers about life, death and dreams On either side of this central path, a somewhat scattered path of images were available for visitors to peruse and choose from.
Each participant chose a color of pen - it could reveal or totally hide their answers, or allow tantalizing glimpses of names of places. This was not about showing specific answers, but rather about embedding the issues of place onto panels already hinting at specific sites in the ground either in Saskatchewan or the nearby cemetery. All images were taken from above, as if searching the ground to ascertain what might be revealed or hidden.
The first question was deceptively easy - important to begin on a friendly note. With the first answer, each figured out the ease of writing on the paper with the special makers. The second question - In what place would you like to die? En quelle endroit qu’es’ que vous le plus mourir? Immediately shifted the tone. As did latter questions What is the connection to the site? All the photos representing Cean and hence France were actually taken in the ancient crumbling but verdant cemetery adjoining L’Eglise St Nicolas. No longer is use for active burials, it is still a busy location for both domestic and wild animals, winding trailing vines hiding the graves that peek out, at odd angles and they lean and sink into the ground. Suitable images for questions about elusive place - for questions of death and dreams."
A Brief History of Nesting
in art+reading magazine
I'm delighted to be included in evolve, the third issue of art+reading, @artsletterspress, a project of Toronto-based artists Jenn Law and Penelope Stewart. This issue 3 takes the metaphor of the garden as a spring board for engaging the multifaceted material ways we instigate, respond, and adapt to change.
My contribution involved a collaboration with a bird, or rather with a bird's nest.
I started noticing many nests, particularly in the winter after the leaves had fallen.
The area where I walked was initially a treeless plot of land. Every year for the past 15 years, I have added a few thousand saplings and bare stick-roots. Slowly the sticks grew to the point of providing shelter for a few birds. And as more trees thrived, more nests were visible in the winter.
This is the resulting project.
PAVED Arts 20/50 Double Anniversary Exhibition
On March 31st, 2023, PAVED Arts marked twenty years since the time of its formation from the amalgamation between The Photographers Gallery and Video Vérité, a singular event in the annals of artist-run culture. I was delighted to be one of the artists invited to participate in this eclectic and celebratory exhibition project.
I presented short video clips from everyone who participated in the In The Holeproject a few years ago.
Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible
Artists Linda Duvall (SK) and Jillian McDonald (MB/NY) animated a community-engaged artwork and residency in consultation with diverse members of the Regina community to share extraordinary encounters with unseen forces that animate the land - 2021 - 2023
Art Gallery of Regina - 2022 Elphinstone Street, Regina SK.
And finally here is our Field Guide - 3 years in the making!!
Messages from the Rocks / Stories of the Invisible
An Alternative Field Guide to the Unknown
Linda Duvall & Jillian McDonald
Field guides tell us what we are looking for, and help us to explain what we have seen. A field guide gives answers. This alternative field guide lingers on the questions.
Published by Art Gallery of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada
Curator: Sandee Moore
Reflection Texts: Lorne Kequahtooway, Tomas Jonsson, Sandee Moore
Designer: Brent Pylot, Epic Art + Design
Linda Duvall & Avi Ratnayake
There Was and There Was Not confronts and vanquishes the power of the omnipresent video conferencing platforms.
Linda Duvall & Avi Ratnayake’s www adventure sends users on a search through a network of connections by engaging with stories, sound and visual, and playing games.
The artists invite you to join them on the web as they traipse around informed failure / digital inertia.
Part of project - ‘Dear www’ presented by PAVED Arts & glór (Ireland)
October 29, 2021 to January 21, 2022
Curated by Moran Been-noon. Presented by PAVED Arts (Saskatoon, Canada) & glór (Co. Clare, Ireland)
Artists include: Martina Hynan & Monique Blom, Linda Duvall & Avi Ratnayake, & Martina Cleary & Janelle Pewapsconias.
We’re all tired of looking at each other through framed bunches of pixels. The years 2020 and 2021 made digital communication, and the internet, into our most “natural” way to see and hear each other. For Dear www. glór’s curator-in-residence Moran Been-noon invited six artists to respond to this reality. All the artwork offers a critical view, challenged by the technology, but at the same time acknowledges the road we’ve all walked and the value that can be found in digital channels.
This project brings together Irish artists based in the West, and Canadian artists based in Treaty 6 Territories – Saskatchewan, to pay tribute to digital art projects from the 20th century. Each Irish-Canadian pair created an artistic response to a historical digital art project, from a 2021 point of view.
PAVED Arts has joined forces with glór in Co. Clare, Ireland to co-present each digital project. glór is a multi-disciplinary arts centre located in the heart of Ennis. glór hosts local, national and international music, theatre, talks, dance, Film, comedy and visual arts events throughout the year.
In the Hole Residency
In the Hole was a short-term residency located in an earthen hole on Treaty 6 territory in rural Saskatchewan, Canada. Each resident spent 6 hours each day in this hole as a participant in this residency. Residents came for either one or two consecutive days.
This residency coincided with an exhibition at PAVED Arts Saskatoon.
This 6 foot deep hole was dug in 2012 with a 5 foot walkway circling a central mound of earth. This hole has been hollowed out of thick prairie grassland with roots dangling overhead. Since then this space has been subject to ongoing weather events like rain, snow, hail and wind. Various transformations have occurred due to gopher and swallow incursions, and larger animals like deer, foxes, skunks and coyotes that discovered this sheltered space.
A space such as this hole can be approached from the perspective of the Anthropocene and ecology, spirituality and burials, secrecy or revelations, history and agriculture, and metaphor and symbol. This land is especially significant in terms of the history of Saskatchewan since there is no evidence that it has ever been tilled.
The premise of this residency was that new knowledge comes from the concentrated interaction of people with varying knowledge bases and perspectives.
This hole in the ground became a site for conversation, contemplation, reading out loud, making sounds, or being silent. This is also about duration, about spending extended blocks of time surrounded by earth and sky, and one other person
The Remai Modern presented
Saskatoon Symphony 408 20th Street West, Saskatoon
The Unacknowledged is an ongoing, multi-faceted project by Linda Duvall that focuses on deceased individuals whose bodies have gone unclaimed. Due to the person’s situation at the time of death, there is no funeral, no obituary, and no celebration of life. While it can be easy to make assumptions about the circumstances and decisions that lead to this, the reasons are complex and each story is unique. The Unacknowledged allows for the recognition of the lives and deaths of these anonymous men and women, who are a vital part of our families and our communities.
For this presentation of The Unacknowledged, Duvall has been in dialog with different communities and faith groups about how they approach death. These ceremonies, rituals, music, and food customs will be incorporated into a commemoration event featuring diverse participants, each honoring an unclaimed person. While these gestures reflect the background and personal beliefs of the participants, together they reflect on our shared social bonds and the vulnerability and fragility of all lives. By naming the unclaimed in a shared public context, The Unacknowledged recognizes that there are people in our community without family supports, either through estrangement, geographical distance, containment in institutions, and other complicated situations.
For an earlier component of the project, Duvall worked with collaborators from across Canada—including theologians, poets, lawyers, inmates, filmmakers, health care workers, and street involved women—to produce commemorative banners for over 30 unclaimed individuals.
A selection of these were displayed from June 21 - July 3, 2016
May 2021 - Norrnal Service will be Resumed as Soon as Possible, Artcore Gallery, Darby, UK (in person)
April 2021 -Tune in to Green”, Short Film Series, Exhibition Two, Austin, Texas (online)
February 2021 The (notso) Short Film Fest, Ely Center for the Arts, New Haven, Connecticut (online)
November 2020 Shed-1, Artcore Gallery, Darby, England (online)
2019 Saskatchewan Home Movies - Paved and VUCAVU, Saskatoon (online)
November 2019 - Books that Make Us Cry Residency and Exhibition with Alana Moore at BAM (Bridges Art Movement) 115 Third Avenue South, Saskatoon
August 2019 - POPLUCK Exhibition in the Pump House at River Landing, Saskatoon, SK
June 2019 - SPACEBODIES 111 Residency at Small Arms Inspection Building and Neilson Park Creative Center, Mississauga, ON
Nov 2018 - Hospitalfield Interdisciplinary Residency, Arbroath, Scotland
Nov 2018 - Social Art Summit, Sheffield, England
August 2018 - Exhibition Woven Together: The Influence of Sherri Smith at Crooked Tree Cultural Center, Petoskey, Michigan
August 2018 - EMMA International Collaboration at Big River, Saskatchewan
August 2018 - Murmur Land Studio Workshop, Saskatchewan
May 2018 - Biophony : Ayatana Artists' Research Program in Gatineau, PQ
May 2018 - The final Open Engagement Conference in New York, NY
"Duvall’s work is as much about sociology and anthropology as it is about art. She takes, however, the role of ‘rebel sociologist’ … her interest is less in scientific methodology than in constructing work that fascinates in its final presentation."
Linda Jansma 'Sanctioned Deception' in catalogue Linda Duvall Enough White Lies 2005
"Linda Duvall engineers temporary relationships between strangers. Her social engagement art works bring people together to share stories across divides of culture, class and region. She uses artifice to encourage authenticity. These initially awkward meetings soon melt barriers to reveal a common humanity. The projects are fuelled by a faith in the healing properties of purposeless dialogue. Success is measured by feelings of quality engagement rather than the achievement of some end. The work is goalless but not guileless. The encounters are not ephemeral; Duvall records some of the sessions, others can be eavesdropped, so we can marvel at the richness of interpersonal discourse."
David Garneau 'Engaging Strangers' in catalogue Linda Duvall Where were the Mothers? 2009