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Showing posts from July, 2017

Dialogue with Alice Ballard and Janice Mason Steeves

JANICE: I'm looking forward to teaching a workshop at Lake Logan in North Carolina  from October 25th-30th alongside Alice Ballard. Alice is a ceramic sculptor. You can see her work here: Although we are teaching separate workshops, we will work together for part of each day, so students will have some experience with both teachers.  Together, our workshops are called: Considering the Natural World as Source. Alice, I'd like you to tell me a little about your work and how you teach.
ALICE:  I am so excited to be working along side Janice Mason Steeves. You can see Janice’s work here:  Not only do I see wonderful opportunities to share what I will be teaching to her class but I get to be a student as well, as I learn about how Janice works with cold wax and oils along with the source of her ideas and inspiration! This is the richest of all ways to teach and to learn.  

In answer to Janice’s question I would say my work is a …

Breathing in the Spirit of Place

How do we access the felt experience of place and recreate it in our artwork?

I love doing artist residencies because I can spend a few weeks in one place, getting to know it a little. In order to sense the land, I go for long walks alone, so I won't be distracted by conversation. I smell the air, listen to the particular sounds of the place, notice the colours and the light.  I take lots of photographs so I can keep those images in my mind. Sometimes I collect things: stones, feathers, odd bits and pieces. But mostly stones. I come home with my suitcase loaded with stones. For me they hold the energy of a place.

The spirit of place is called the genius loci. In her book The Soul of Place, Linda Lappin writes, "Most people today might define the term 'genius loci' as the atmosphere or ambience of a locality or as the emotion or sensation that it evokes in us. To the ancient Romans, instead, it referred to an entity residing in a site and energizing it. In other words…