Sunday, March 6, 2011

2011 Shadow Box for Literacy

Here is this year's contribution to the "Articles" invitational show and sale of shadow boxes on behalf of youth literacy. As this show is being held in conjunction with a showing of the movie "Waterlife" it seemed appropriate to explore the theme of the Great Lakes environment. I also wanted to inject something related to literacy. My train of thought brought me back to favourite book from my childhood: Paddle-to-the-Sea. What would he see if he retraced his route through Lake Huron in 2011?

The image inside the box is printed onto lightweight cotton canvas. Using a scanned replica antique map as a background, I added a variety of manipulated digital images representing some current Great Lakes issues: wind turbines, nuclear power development, asian carp, zebra mussels and industrial pollution. There is also an image of the late Dudley George placed near the site of his death at Ipperwash. The route that Paddle-to-the-Sea might have taken in 2011 is hand embroidered in metallic thread.

Here is the canvas, mounted in the box. The box is painted with acrylic paint and sealed with varathane.

Next the "frame" is added to the map.

The birchbark canoe, made from bark fallen from my neighbour's tree, stitched with sewing thread and varathaned.

Finally, Paddles' canoe is installed and the shadowbox is complete.

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