Freezing rain last week, high of 17 degrees today—winter and spring are still dancing together in these parts. In many ways I feel like I’m following their lead.
A few days ago I launched my new website http://wendytrusler.ca. Next week, I’m mounting, Still Ice, a photography exhibit that has been gestating for years.
March 13 1996, NYC
Siting here in Central Park, enjoying the sun and cacophony of city sounds — horns, traffic, voices, songbirds, ducks, footsteps, bustle.
Carol is off trying to scare up work—and me, well I’m trying to fight off the scariness of going home. In a way I’m ready. I want to plant my garden, buy some flowers, clean my cupboards. Finish projects and start new ones. Develop my photographs and relive King George. But I have this anxiety about how I’m going to share everything. Where do I start? How do I hold onto things? If I just spew it out I’ll lose details.
I guess I’ll have to prepare something for different audiences. Maybe rough letters? Yes, that’s it and Letters I Never Sent will be a mixed media show with paintings, vignettes, sculpture, installation about my experience and also about communication. Maybe with a table with bricks on it, chairs, maybe a kitchen, excerpts from letters…This is going to be good!
Okay, I feel better now. Looking at the pond. Ducks on ice. Still Ice — must have been a very cold winter here.
Carol and I often discuss the extent to which Antarctica has stayed with us. On route home after three months, as I fretted about adjusting to civilization and detailed next steps in a stream of consciousness journal entry, I unknowingly laid foundations for years of art-making.
The work that first emerged was Antarctic Chronicles (1998), an installation of encaustic on slate works layered with images and text —and a meditation on the fragility of the environment and the fragility of memory. Bread Breaking Boundaries (2000) explored ways in which food brings people together, and in 2010 my on-going archival piece, Voices at Hand, became the home for the Letters Never Sent from Antarctica. You can find images from all these projects, plus others I mention in our book (Forest Stories and Dancing in a Northern Kitchen) on my new site.
Soon to be re-released with Harpers Design, The Antarctic Book of Cooking and Cleaning, distills many of the ideas I explored in these earlier works. It also contains the tip of the iceberg of photographs I took on King George Island.
Nearly twenty years later, Still Ice is the first exhibition of my photographs from that austral summer. An accounting of both the everyday and the extraordinary in small still life moments, portraits and landscapes digitally captured from contact sheets. Flashes of discovery, hints of projects in the making and painterly effects of time that remind me of the potential in becoming.
Still Ice runs from April 16th to mid-May at Evans Contemporary in Peterborough Canada.