I usually collaborate with individuals and communities for all of my public art projects. That doesn’t work during COVID, so luckily I have another big group of friends, Trees. I am building a project connecting trees with mental health and creativity which will result in a SOUND WALK up at the beautiful Arboretum at University of Guelph. Basically, we are matchmaking trees and humans for lifelong reciprocal friendships. After all, we are both in crisis- mental illness crisis and climate crisis. We can help each other. Thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for supporting this larger project called HOW TO DRAW A TREE! Thanks to the Arboretum and their smart staff for partnering with me. Stay tuned for announcements on some other pretty fantastic partnerships involving indigenous elders .
OLD LUMPY- THE TREE WITH THE ANSWERING MACHINE at EXHIBITION PARK.
On May 31, 2020, “Dreaming at Land’s End,” a new experimental video series by interdisciplinary artist Dawn Matheson, is launching on the University of Guelph’s International Institute for Improvisation’s online journal: “Critical Studies in Improvisation/Études critique en improvisation” criticalimprov.com
The release of the seven-video compilation is accompanied by a creative text by Matheson exploring her daytime and dreamtime video residency at the Musical Improvisation at Land’s End / Coin-du-Banc en folie camp on the Gaspe Coast in 2018.
Matheson recorded the dreams dreamt by participating musicians while at camp, then had the musicians improvise a live soundtrack to accompany the dream narrative while she provided the visuals.
“No portrait of a creative residency collaborating with musical improvisers felt complete without a deep exploration into the most intimate, untamed, and magical of states —dreamtime.”
This video is a test for improvisor Jane Bunnett. I watched Joe Sorbara conduct a band of university Jazz music students using these full body gestures. He said it was a technique developed by Walter Thompson– Jane, famed improvisor who happened to be Improvisor In Residence at University of Guelph where he teaches, had never heard of it.. So she gave it a try for the first time and let me tape it. Watch this gestural conducting embodied through Joe’s hands and body and see how Jane reasons with noise. Dancing hands and sound. Editing: Nick Loess.
Watch it here.