Peaty and tannic, soft and saturated with water, a bog is place brimming with life forms, yet built up on a bed of decay. Veils of a Bog is a collaboration between artists Vanessa Brown and Michelle Helene Mackenzie that combines Brown’s material practice in sculpture with Mackenzie’s multi-channel sound composition Post Meridiem. Slowly rotating in a dark gallery, three steel armatured mobiles, clad with paper, fabric, leaves and moss are suspended in an aural wash of crickets, toads, birds and a blanket of droning tones to imagine the bog as a meditative and regenerative place.
Veils of a Bog was produced with the support of the Esker Foundation Commission Fund
Vanessa Brown is an artist who works in sculpture and installation. Her primary medium is steel and she is interested in challenging its historical associations with industry, war, and monument, by focusing its subtler qualities such as pliability, versatility, and slightness. The imagery in her work draws from various sources including landscapes, historical crafts, recurring symbols from her own dreams, feminized labour, gestures of comfort, and ideas of escape.
Vanessa Brown is based in Vancouver on the unceded territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people. Brown graduated with a BFA from Emily Carr University, Vancouver in 2013 and was the recipient of the Chancellor’s Award. She has exhibited in Canada, Germany, the USA, and Mexico, notably with solo and two-person exhibitions at The Esker Foundation, Calgary; Erin Stump Projects, Toronto; Wil Aballe Art Projects, Vancouver; and group exhibitions at the Nanaimo Art Gallery; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; and King Street Station, Seattle.
Michelle Helene Mackenzie is a writer and interdisciplinary artist who works primarily with sound, video and text. She uses modular synthesizers, found sound, field recordings, digital processing, video, text, and archival research to explore sonic gesture, modes of perception, and acoustic imaginaries. This has culminated in site-specific sound installations, video, sound works, performances, and writing. Mackenzie holds a BA from Simon Fraser University, and spent five years pursuing a PhD in Literature from Duke University, where she studied with Fredric Jameson, Anne Garréta, and others. While there, she researched questions around the violence and cultural amnesia that devours female genius, time and temporality, early twentieth century French literature and film, and the history of sound studies, sonic philosophy, and the sonic arts. Mackenzie’s works have been performed and exhibited in San Francisco at Kadist Gallery, in Brooklyn at The Hand, in Calgary at Esker Foundation and in Vancouver at Western Front, 221A, VIVO, Sunset Terrace, The Fishbowl and Polygon Gallery. Her work has also been released in conjunction with writing via The Operating System (Brooklyn), The Cultch’s Soft Cedar and The Capilano Review’s Small Caps (Vancouver).