Landscapes - Winter 2015 - (Page 18)

UPFRONT | PROLOGUE 2 1 "WISDOM", WRIT LARGE THE VISION, HONOURED EN_ THE TECUMSEH MEMORIAL sculpture is not a bronze bust of the Shawnee leader. "That is the worst thing I could have done," said sculptor Gordon Reeve, who created the memorial for a site near Chatham-Kent, Ontario. "That would be just one more case of the white man telling the First Nations their story." He first consulted widely with people who shared a profound empathy for the history and traditions of Indigenous people, including two landscape architects, computer designers, fabricators and primarily, a great many First Nations people. As a white man, Gord Reeve listened to the First Nations with a keen sensitivity. In turn, the First Nations saw him as an artist, and they have the utmost respect for artistic people. Then, he contacted his "go-to" landscape architect, former student Brian Parker. Parker was honoured to "jump in with both feet...envisioning how Reeve's evolving sculptural idea would fit into the existing landscape and what could be done to that landscape to make it a real extension of the sculpture." Shortly thereafter, the two contacted Ryan James to work on conceptual renderings to capture the spirit of the piece. As they collaborated, the original concept for the site, called "The Place of Many Five months before the dedication of "Wisdom" this spring, Reeve happened upon a recording by renowned Navaho-ute flautist R. Carlos Nakai. While listening to the music, Reeve's imagination stirred with a vision of a ceremonial procession. This was an idea that literally brought him to tears - even though, as Reeve says with a dry smile, "I am not a man who is prone to spiritual visions." Reeve made contact with Nakai, explained his project, and mentioned the idea that had come to him. In return, Nakai explained that a very similar and powerful idea had recently come to him as well. Without hesitation he said, "This is too close. I will be there." On June 20, Nakai and Reeve led a procession along the Two Row Wampum path. The emotion evoked by R. Carlos' prayers and solo performance touched the four hundred people gathered at the site. "The prayers and the music were the driving part of the vision. That he offered them spontaneously and in his language was the central element in creating the place," said Gord. WITH bRIAN PARKER + RYAN JAMES 18 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES Grasses," evolved and grew. The grasses and landscape materials were chosen, the pathway modified, the details refined. "If any one of those people had been removed from the sequence of events, then we never would have succeeded," said Reeve. And yet, he admits that he may pretend to collaborate, but he certainly does not. "It's not about authorship...it's about the process that I work through," he said. "Once I have a clear intuition on what to do, then I don't question that idea. ... We just have to go... and all the other pieces will fall into place." And so they did. The proof is in the results that Reeve has orchestrated. The piece itself, named "Wisdom," is very large, captivating... even ethereal... and it is a good fit for the site and its cultural context. The collaboration is what Brian Parker calls a "small" collaboration. "Ryan and I tuned our design aesthetics to those of the artist. Our role was to support his vision...so that, as the site matures and the plant material grows, it will remain true to the artistic vision." That vision is endorsed by the community. Chief Greg Peters, Chief of the Delaware Nation - Moravian of the Thames, asked Reeve to join him during the opening ceremony, leading the procession. > Gordon Reeve's blog, a Place of Many Grasses www.aplaceofmanygrasses.com www.stoichoard.com 1 WINTER: A PLACE OF MANY GRASSES 2 R. CARLOS NAKAI, bEAR CLAN, ACKNOWLEDGES THE bEAR I | 1 HIVER : A PLACE OF MANY GRASSES 2 R. CARLOS NAKAI INDIQUE L'OURS PHOTOS 1 GREG LYNCH, HUFF MEDIA SOLUTIONS 2 MATHIAS REEVE http://www.aplaceofmanygrasses.com http://www.stoichoard.com

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Winter 2015

COVER | COUVERTURE
TO BEGIN WITH | POUR COMMENCER
WRITERS | NOS RÉDACTEURS
UPFRONT | PROLOGUE
MATHIAS REEVE
Celebrating the Charter | Célébrer!
INTERVIEW | ENTREVUE
!Vámonos! to Mexico City
Folk Ensemble
Cultural Dimensions of Contemporary Design
Tzintzuntzan
Keeping the Land
HTFC
Kingston: Vintage Grace Meets Modernist Style
OPINION | OPINION
NUNAVIK + LE PLAN NORD
Metamorphous: Vancouver’s Seawall Sculpture
bREAL ART + DESIGN
JEAN LANDRY, LAST WORD
LE MOT DE LA FIN | THE LAST WORD

Landscapes - Winter 2015

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