I Smell Smoke  183cm square, fabric paint, hand embroidery, backpack webbing, satin. photo: Ted Clarke, Image This Photographics

I Smell Smoke 183cm square, fabric paint, hand embroidery, backpack webbing, satin. photo: Ted Clarke, Image This Photographics

Amongst a series that looks at trails, the piece above has none. Through the summers of 2017 and 2018 many of my hikes were affected by ominous forest fires and the constant smell/taste of smoke. BC communities were devastated by the fires, not to mention communities of flora and fauna. Global warming puts humans in a place where we don’t have ready made trails to find our way out. This is a time of bushwhacking, getting lost and anxiety.

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This is a new body of work where I think about trails, walking, and nature. A trail is really a proposition to lead one somewhere -or mislead. One can abandon it, return to it, lose it or follow along. People who build trails often wrestle with the conundrum that by building it, easier access to a place results in increased traffic, while without it there is often extensive damage from hikers trampling sensitive areas. Some of the map works are from memory or are fictitious. I like Denis Wood's idea of the "poetics of  cartography" –mapping things that seem incidental, ephemeral or personal. Many thanks to the BC Arts Council.

Embroidered footprints on a length of cloth were unspooled on many hikes this year to show up in photographs. Thanks to all my hiking buddies for their patience.

Two pieces: "Bliss" and "Ignorance" are a nod to the North Shore Mountain Rescue folks who volunteer to save hapless hikers often at considerable risk to themselves. They always plead for hikers to be prepared.

Small works remembering routes above the treeline. Ink drawing and hand embroidery.

Trails that converge, that switchback, that are followed over and over, that lead to…..