Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible
May 23 - July 31, 2022
opening reception: Friday, June 3, 7-9 PM
Linda Duvall and Jillian McDonald
Photo credit: Royal Saskatchewan Museum, Regina Urban Wildlife Project
Artists Linda Duvall (Saskatoon) and Jillian McDonald (Brooklyn, New York) will spend three weeks co-creating their exhibition Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible at the Art Gallery of Regina with the public, beginning on May 23.
Funded by a grant from Sk-arts Artists In Communities program, Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible is both a community-engaged project and a creation residency. Duvall and McDonald's activities include events, artworks in the public realm and transforming the art gallery into a laboratory for participatory art-making. Their expansive project includes:
An exhibition co-created with gallery visitors;
Posters and flags;
An electronics workshop;
A field guide co-authored with school children, senior citizens and other members of the public.
Duvall and McDonald's collaborative 2-channel video in which the two artists dug holes together on their respective properties in Saskatchewan and New York serves as the starting point of this residency and expanded artwork called Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible.
Duvall and McDonald spent two years connecting with the Land and the people of Regina. Travel restrictions meant that in June 2021, the artists met with vertebrate biologists, provincial building project managers, archeologists, Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and geologists over online video conferences, followed by a one-week residency at the Art Gallery of Regina in August 2021. (Learn more about their research and community-engaged events here: www.artgalleryofregina.ca/messagesfromtherocks.) A key concept for their project emerged from the artists' visit to Regina: listening to the Land and the forces that animate it.
Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible extends beyond the gallery and expands notions of what Art is. The artists propose Art as a transformative research model that values participation, creation, experience, and the unexplained.
Duvall and McDonald will turn the Art Gallery of Regina into a laboratory for experimentation and co-creation of the exhibition with the public from June 2 to July 31. Pictures, and stories contributed by community members all form part of the completed exhibition alongside a two-channel video of the artists' connection across distances through the shared act of digging in their rural (Duvall) and urban (McDonald) backyards.
Images of Messages from the Rocks - Stories of the Invisible by Linda Duvall & Jillian McDonald at the Art Gallery of Regina. Photos by Don Hall or AGR Staff.
The artists invited the public to share stories of encounters with unseen forces at Art Gallery of Regina and other locations from May 24 - June 10, 2022. The artists have collected these community-sourced drawings and tales in their exhibition at the Art Gallery of Regina. Over the summer, they will categorize this research and publish a field guide. Unlike field guides to the flora and fauna of the natural world, Linda Duvall and Jillian McDonald are creating a field guide to the invisible, the intangible and the unexplained.
Unfolding over three weeks, the artists created participatory experiences for Regina residents. Among these were a series of free "nature walks" led by scientists, Knowledge Keepers, and audio artists. The walks were opportunities to discover what we may typically fail to notice: animals in the urban landscape, spirits that live on the Land, and sounds of animals and electronics beyond human hearing. (View the archive of activities on our "workshops" page.)
Click the button below for more photographs, videos, written descriptions and other documentation of the artists' research and public activities in Regina.
The Art Gallery of Regina is grateful to Sk Arts for funding this community-engaged artist residency project and the City of Regina's accessibility fund for funding accessible aspects of this project.
We thank the Dunlop Art Gallery for their in-kind projector rental for the duration of this exhibition.
Talk of the Town. Reported by Lisa Peters, Access 7, Regina, airs June 13-16, 2022.
"Stories of the Invisible, told through art." Reported by Shauna Powers, Saskatchewan Weekend, CBC Radio, aired May 28, 2022. https://www.cbc.ca/listen/live-radio/1-205-saskatchewan-weekend/clip/15915472-stories-invisible-told-art
self-guided tour pamphlet:
audio tour transcript:
The Art Gallery of Regina is grateful to Sk Arts and the City of Regina for their core funding.