U of A Alumni Association, Green and Glow winterfest 2015

laser cut lanterns, green and gold for the University of Alberta Alumni Assn's 100th anniversary
one hundred lanterns for one hundred years

Jan, 2015.  The University of Alberta’s Alumni Association turns 100 this year, one hundred years after the first class graduated.  I got a call to imagine something special for their Winter Event.  This became one of the best University events I’ve been to, and we produced a genuinely magical moment.

Had some deeper learning moments about high speed production of large numbers of objects… 100 lanterns is quite a lot of lanterns. Even when you have a cnc machine to laser cut your parts. The opposite side of that learning is that 100 lanterns is a good number of lanterns to have a parade with. Especially when they each put out 2 watts worth of coloured LED light. At the last minute I decided to walk in the parade with the prototype lanterns, and it induced a pleasantly expansive feeling

The Association produced a great video, and an image gallery follows below.


Winter Light 2012: Mill Creek Adventure Walk

People passing thru the Gate of Winter Light
January 27 and 28, 2012, myself and the rest of the Winter Light team launched an ambitious project; to do more with less at our now hopefully annual Mill Creek Adventure Walk. The story this year was seeded by Carol and Bill, and told the tale of an Eager Beaver’s attempt to build a Lodge big enough to Block Out the Stars.

The cast of this adventure took their places thru the ravine: Beavers Built (when not on coffee break), Skunks Investigated disturbances in the light, Magpies Reported for the local weekly, Crows Appreciated shiny things, and Aurora and the Light People let everyone know it was all going to be okay.


Mill Creek Adventure Walk Flys Again

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Adventure Walk Flys Again

February 1st and 2nd marks the 3rd Mill Creek Adventure Walk, and the first time this walk has been produced by La Cité Francophone. As you may or may not know, Winter Light, the previous producer has ceased operations in September, so myself and vast numbers of the public are grateful and excited that La Cité has picked up this amazing event.

This year’s event featured the legend of The Flying Canoe and The City of Light, an old French and native story about some Voyageurs who make a deal with the devil to fly their canoe home to visit loved ones. And they had to be back by midnight or they all turn into pumpkins. Or something like that, I never have much time to follow the story, to busy setting up lanterns.

Installation-wise, we had a limited new-work budget to play with, so the focus was on revising and re-arraigning. Fortunately I have a lot I material that has never shown in the creek before, so that plus some subtle upgrades and the new, shorter walking path made for fresh lighting experience.

The other big change was a fancy new home base at La Cité. Great venue for performance and gathering. Also an amazing workshop setup to develop and stage from.

I’m going to take this opportunity to
thank and recognize some people:
Robin, Brett, and Scott for throwing down without much notice, yet with enough understanding of my scene to deal with the work efficiently.
Memi for the use of her fabric lanterns.
MiHu, for his can-punching work for Crystal Cradle of last year that finally made it into something public.
Winter Light for putting all that material into the hands of artists and event producers.
La Cité (Daniel, Mirielle, Shannon, and the rest) for picking this event up.
Matt for being the full time winter guy that makes it all stick.
Marissa for keeping track of batteries an all the rest.
Hydrosion, for supporting my design with the robot-assisted cutting you all saw.
Rose, my boss, for all the time off to make this happen.
The weather for being awesome.
And my wife Janelle and baby for coming out to enjoy the walk with me, and patience thru the way too busy develop and install phase of the work.
And you know, everybody …

You can see more at the city of lights.

Send an email to someone ( La Cité, City Councillor, Edmonton arts council) if you want to see this event again next year!


Lanterns in the Snow

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lanterns under the bridge... like trolls made of light?

Walking With Lanterns

last week some friends and i went for a walk in the local ravine.  we brought some lanterns and a firepit on a wagon. all accounts concur that it was a  great evening in the park.  the weather was perfect too, chilly but not dangerous.  and the snow that had been threatening for the last week held off until we were back at the beginning around a big fire. pictures by Luke Smith, thanks!


Winter Light Gala and 2012 season launch

winter light logo, waterjet cut from plywood and lit upI’m involved in a festival project in my home town of Edmonton, AB, that takes on the colder half of our year.  It’s called Winter Light, cause we light up the long dark days of winter.  At our latitude, we can have as little as 4 hours of daylight in December.  Which is crazy.  Especially if you are stuck in school or work for those 4 hours.  You can see all about Winter Light at our styley website here:  www.winterlight.ca (website no longer maintained)

Last weekend we launched our new Season and our newly founded Non-Profit Society.  Up till now we have been a City of Edmonton created and funded project, that startup situation is now over and we are free to find our own fate as a non profit.  Comes with perks and challenges ;)

I get to be the Lantern Co-Ordinator and Artistic Director of one of our events, which is about the  most interesting job title I’ve ever had.  And it means I get to build really fun things.  For our launch, I worked on some more vector design + waterjet cut wood construction, and built a really fancy stage.

Best Part was everyone loved everything.   Food, Music, Art, Fires.  Other best part was we got the whole thing installed with time to spare.  Must be practice or something.

so, Pictures! thats what you and me are here for right?  Here’s the pictures:

Thanks to Robin George for taking the pictures.  I think I had the time to take two?  Must have been busy doing art or something.   I’ll be adding descriptions to the gallery as time goes by.

Astral Harvest Lantern Installation

the top of a Lantern Tower at Astral Harvest
Lantern Tower

A big part of my art is site specific lighting installations. I created a new set of cad + waterjet woodcut Lanterns and Light Towers for Astral Harvest. Fun times.

Extending my scope of action is always a fun thing to do, even the painful learning curves (of Adobe Illustrator for example) become satisfying and even enjoyable after the fact. even if it is often takes months.

I had a lot of help from people: Scott Davis did pretty much all of the metal drilling cutting and welding. I’m borrowing a flamethrower from Dancing Wolf. Christy Boulter reminded me of the giant lenses from warehouse HID lighing, available at several re-used building supplies stores. And Austen at Hydrosion has been amazing at turning my vector pictures into finely sliced wood.


lantern workshops!

One of the things I get to do is help people make lights.

Last October, my mother organized  a lantern painting workshop for the St. Albert Garden Club (which she has been a member of since approximately forever).  This was fun, as I remember one of my early art experiences going to a flower arrainging workshop run by the Garden Club when I was 7 ish.

The Club wanted a simple, classy project, so we did an airbrush-and-stencil thing onto chinese wire and fabric ball lanterns.  Stencils came from plant material people brought in, and some floral/ foliage stencils in my collection, and some hibiscus and orchid flower patterns  my mother sourced.

People were pretty  happy with the results, but as usual, the best ideas happen after the fact.  So maybe everyone who plans a lantern workshop should plan for two or three?

Here are some of the pictures, taken by my dad.  (thanks dad!)


Hexayurt!

one of my artistic areas of exploration is semi-permanent shelters.  this comes from a situation i find myself in often: The Festival. Festival is a great place to gather people, re-affirm cultural values, breakdown habits, and practice life could be different.

one of Life Could Be Different is what if there were a Big Problem.  like a disaster.  for example.  or it’s time for the hippies to Go Back To The Land.  (not in itself a problem, but problems would likely arise).

So..

one of my ongoing projects is Pavilion, an exploration into many kinds of shelter structures.  i’ve done geodesic domes, icosahedrons (starpods),  multi-dome jams, and now.. HEXAYURTS.

if you check out the fun at www.hexayurt.com you’ll see people into the same vibe. The basic idea is to build a shelter with 4’x8′ material (foam, cardboard, plywood, osb…etc).  use 6 for the walls in a hexagon pattern, and then 6 more for the roof by making one full diagonal cut and flipping the triangles together to make a big triangle.  attach with tape (for foam or cardboard material) or shape cutouts of the two angles (wood).  et voila.  a shelter that costs 1/5th of a standard humanitarian aid tent, and lasts 10x as long.

we started with an outdoor stage for our community’s annual fall equinox gathering Symmetree. our first yurt, a stage for earthdance edmonton @ symmetree 2010

the model, courtesy of Scott (rocketscott at ohyah.ca), we used to build our stage with.

166’2 floor space. just enough for the dj.

we flipped some triangles around to make a slightly more useful amount of space with the hexayurt concept.  we call this mod h13.

with two panels for each of the 6′ walls (overlapped cause we didn’t want to deal with extra cuts) , we ended up using 16 4×8 panels for structure and 2 more for deco.

below is a gallery of hexayurtism.

including some (lots) of future dreams.


a collection of Winter Light pictures

Lighting up an architectural feature at Jackie Parker Park, forBig Winter

 

I have been a lantern co-ordinator for Edmonton’s Winter Light celebrations for the last two years.  It has given me the opportunity to do some fairly large scale work, and get outside and do fun stuff in the winter.

here are some pictures of that process.

for more information on the festival go to Winterlight