20 years ago during a professional artists’ workshop I began researching ways to expand my work, to push beyond the boundaries of my artistic practice – primarily painting – to come up with new ways of mark making. I challenged myself to do so with only the most basic materials…rice paper and glue. What emerged from this exploration were these beautiful paper collages – little divisions of space, light and shadow.
Initially I hung them from the ceiling and referred to the work as ‘the path’. However it wasn’t until 10 years later, when Eric Cameron insisted that I find a way to include the piece for the ‘Sublime” exhibition that he was curating, that I discovered piano wire as a means of installing the collages. Only then did the full potential of the work begin to reveal itself.
Inspired by a note that my buddhist teacher and mentor, R. Gyō-zō Spickett, wrote after viewing the piece in my studio, I began to refer to the work as ‘hai’lights (hī-lites).
‘the path’ apriori Studios Vancouver BC 1996
‘hai’ lights Triangle Gallery, Calgary AB 2007
I had always ‘seen’ the possibilities of outdoor installations for this work and was inspired to write a proposal to do so for a winter residency in Finland in 2016. When that opportunity fell through, I found a way to make the piece anyway, on a wide open plateau in the Blaeberry Valley in BC – ‘hai’lights : labyrinth.
Realizing that piece was a creatively liberating experience on so many levels. Free from the constraints of deadlines, curator’s expectations / ‘themes’, commercial considerations and space restrictions, a new and exciting area of investigation opened up for me.
Using the environment as canvas, mark making in space, the transient nature of the work/process, the surprises, the potential of this unique expression, are all aspects of this inquiry that I love working with.
‘hai’ lights : labyrinth Blaeberry Valley, Golden BC 2016-2017
drawn to respond : ‘hai’ lights on the road
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail” Ralph Waldo Emerson
Since seeing how the rice paper and wire collages responded outdoors in nature, I began to see them everywhere…on the prairies, in fields, along cliffs, hanging in the forest, floating on water, spiralling up hills, down in valleys, along rivers……
I saw this distinctly unique visual expression weaving its’ way through the countryside – much like a spider weaves its’ web throughout the landscape, both seen and unseen, visible and invisible…..
Initially I thought I would begin on the BC coast, but as the project unfolded I felt myself being drawn to wide open spaces, fields and forests. Eventually it became clear that northern Sask was calling – calling me home, back to the beginning –
I needed to begin where it all began in the first place –
Waskesiu Prince Albert National Park SK May 19th – 20th 2017
Douglas provincial park SK June 1st 2017
Great Sandhill Dunes SK June 25th – 26th 2017
Sundial Medicine Wheel AB June 28th 2017
Solar eclipse Castle mountain AB August 21st 2017
smoky spiral scattered Castlegar, BC Sept 6th – 7th 2017
swinging bridge Kooteney lake BC Sept 11th – 12th 2017
Winter Solstice backyard gratitude offering 2017
click here to read blog post https://bornonthe263.com/2018/02/06/intermission
‘hai’ lights : koivu
Arteles residency Haukijärvi Finland January 2019
‘hai’ lights : kokko
Arteles residency Haukijärvi Finalnd January 2019
‘hai’ lights : Grindavik
Iceland August 2019
All images © Louise Pagé 1996-2017