|Kugaaruk Nunavut inukshuk in distance, |
New York City children on crosswalk.
Photomontage by Sandra Hawkins, c. 2008.
Quick Background: I first photographed these communities in February 1981, never expecting that they would become an inspiration for me in a contemporary visual art practice. In 2008, I rediscovered my original prints, so carefully labelled in the family album, and my journals of each day the photograph was taken. Contemporary digital technology made it possible to scan, restore and reposition these in a contemporary aesthetic and socio-environmental discussion on the dynamic of memory and ecology of narrative space. The resulting 2-part series of photomontage prints create a visual tactile opportunity for viewer interpretation and contemporary meaning. Images of different arctic community landscapes and New York City streets, vulnerable to flooding by melting arctic ice, are juxtaposed in a socio-environmental and aesthetic discussion on the ecology of narrative space. I also use my spidery journal hand writing to veil these arctic landscapes, thereby inserting myself across time. The photomontage prints have shown widely in Canada and around the world. According to media coverage, these art images resonate with viewers regardless of their geo-political location or culture. There has been a Part 3 and Part 4 to this body of work. The Arctic Journal Reading Performance (20-minutes) was at the Banff Centre's Other Gallery, 2009; and the photo-based and performance video installation, Ecology of Identities, was shown in Toronto in 2010. Each work explores the idea and my feeling of a displaced personal experience and voice across time. The only way for reclaiming them as mine and part of my identity is through reinvention of these memories within the context of the present.