Location and Actuality

Christos Dikeakos, Jeff Wall, Ian Wallace

In the following interviews, artists Christos Dikeakos, Jeff Wall, and Ian Wallace speak about the importance of location to the production and meaning of their photographic work. While each of these artists has produced and exhibited artwork in far corners of the world, the focus of the Lake interviews is on work they have done in the South Okanagan region of British Columbia.

Gary Pearson
Your primary residence is in Vancouver, and most of your work has been sited in and around that city; however, you do have another home in Naramata in the south Okanagan, where you spend a certain amount of time each year. This interview
feature contains reproductions of some of your work produced in this area. Would you describe in general terms how these works make reference to the South Okanagan?

Reciprocities: Kindness and the Land

Jeannette C. Armstrong

The following interview took place at the En’owkin Centre on the lands of the Penticton Indian reserve in the spring of 2008. Jeannette C. Armstrong, an Indigenous Okanagan or s’yilx, is the Director of that Centre, which offers post-secondary educational programs in creative writing, fine arts, and Okanagan Indigenous history and culture. She is an internationally known activist for Indigenous rights, and she is also the author of two novels, Slash (1986) and Whispering In Shadows (2000), as well as a book of poetry, Breath Tracks (1991). Armstrong has long worked in the Okanagan region, and with others in Canada and the U.S. concerned about the environment, to share her Indigenous perspectives on land, community and sustainability.

Artist Feature - karen mccoy

For over two decades my primary work has been site-specific sculpture. This work is based on a complex web of information I gather through research, site visits, walking the landscape or urbanscape, discussion with community members and my own visual response to site and context. I am involved in the visual interpretation of a kind of deep mapping. My definition of site includes historical, cultural and political features, as well as the physical characteristics of a place. Many works are galvanized by consideration of the environmental plight of the site in question. I am interested in a relationship between the cultural and natural worlds that includes the earth, the body as a sensing being, language, and the artist’s potential to construct meaning through a process of participating with and within these systems.

Sangan River Meditations

Susan Musgrave

Across the river, children
are eating snow, their lips
the colour of tiny kingfishers
in the numbing cold. The delight
they take in the melting of each
snowflake on their tongues reminds me:
joy is there, in everything, and even
when we can’t see it.

Artist Feature: ernie kroeger

I have had a long-standing interest in landscape narratives and the experience of place, which can be seen in my earlier projects such as Family Stories and The Great Divide. This work led me to examine mapping as well as relationships between image and text. Recently, I’ve been looking at natural forms as a kind of proto-language or writing. When I was living in Alberta, I discovered the phenomenon of bark beetle engravings. The beetles bore through the bark, eat the nutrient rich layer of the sapwood, and as they do this, make intricate and beautiful engravings which eventually kill the tree. Since moving to British Columbia I have learned how serious the mountain pine beetle epidemic has become.

Quercus garrianus: Fire

Theresa Kishkan

In early May of 2007, my husband and I walked through the woodland
below Government House in Victoria, under mature Garry oaks. Blue camas bloomed in great drifts like a dream of heaven, punctuated by wild roses and snowberry, fawn lilies and grasses. It was sunny and warm and the heat released a smell that transported me back decades into my childhood.


Lake publishes fiction, poetry, critical essays, interviews, reviews and visual arts related to the environment.
The magazine is issued twice a year.

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