Gillian Dykeman

Born in Saint-John’s (New Brunswick)

Lives and works in Fredericton (New Brunswick)

Bio

Gillian Dykeman’s work spans mediums and disciplines such as performance, sculpture, video, sound, installation, and art criticism. She has a Masters in Visual Culture from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD. Dykeman is an instructor in Foundation Visual Arts and Advanced Studio Practice at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design.

 

Approach

Gillian Dykeman’s art has grown out of a personal connection to the act of chopping wood, a fascination with dark forests, her feminist politics, and an interest in both critiquing extraction technologies while positing ecologically sound alternatives. She is deeply concerned about the way extraction technologies are shaping our planet. The land is a witness and a sensitive surface, hosting strata of love, suffering, and ideological impulses. The practice of small woodlot operations has piqued her interest as an alternative proposition for resource sharing. These operators work through principles of renewal and sustainable harvest, create a high-quality wood product (more likely to be used in the making of furniture), and encourage biodiversity. Could we connect with this process and would it deepen our relationship to the forest?

Dispatches from the Feminist Utopian Future, 2016, video still

Artist’s website

Project

The artist is proposing to create a large-scale installation and durational performance work entitled Appetite. It engages the tradition of land art/earthworks but is instead ephemeral and tied to human survival cycles. This sculpture will take the form of a spiral, in particular emulating the shape of theSpiral Jetty. This work is at once a homage and critique directed at industrial-scale earthworks which treated vast areas of colonized land as tabula rasa. Her alternative spiral will instead dissolve as firewood. It endeavours to facilitate a dialogue around extraction industries and the tension between seeking to become stewards of the Earth and our shared ecology while also needing to eat, stay warm, and survive.