from: 11 October 2009 to 31 August 2011
During the summers of 2009 and 2010, DodoLab ran two community research projects in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, exploring the modified landscape, natural systems and perceptions of place. Commissioned by the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, these multi-faceted projects involved a number of labs, workshops, installations and interventions in the gallery and public spaces designed to directly engage the public in dialogue about the island and included a number of creative surveys. In addition to Dodolab's principal artists (Lisa Hirmer and Andrew Hunter) these initiatives included creative research projects by a number of local, national and international artists and involved direct engagement with various community organizations. The goal of these two summer lab projects was to develop a focussed project for 2011 that would build on these previous experiments and result in a direct collaboration with a committed community partner.
DodoLab's 2009 program of work was inspired by community debates concerning the future of several agricultural research sites. The program considered public land use, “green” space, agricultural research and models for agriculture and urban gardening. The program also engaged with ideas of place and traditional representations of the landscape. Much of the original, wild, pre-contact environment of PEI has been largely erased by over a century of extensive cultivation and this impact has extended into the surrounding waters as well. The dominant image of the island that is at the core of a major tourism industry is rooted in an idyllic notion of agriculture. DodoLab's work was staged in popular public settings in order to engage the broader community, and major elements were staged at Queens Square (on the grounds of the Provincial Legislature) and at the main Farmers Market. DodoLab's expanded team included artists Barbara Hobot (Kitchener), Laura Knap (Kingston) and Alice Angus of Proboscis (London, UK). Building on the 2009 lab, DodoLab returned to Prince Edward Island in July 2010 with a program that explored concepts of islandness, continuing with a mix of gallery-based and public work and looking to establish a focussed site for a direct collaboration between CCAG, DodoLab and an established community organization for the 2011 project. The island program dealt with more than just physically determined places, but social and cultural spaces as well. The 2010 program included artists Laura Knap along with Paula Cowan and Chris Down (Sackville, NB).
Our third summer in PEI
A site intervention by Laura Knap.
A project by Paula Jean Cowan for DodoLab
Returning to the Great Garden of the Gulf!
Back on the island with Confederation Centre
Year one of a three year collaboration with the Confederation Centre for the Arts.
Seeing the island.
What makes a place "green"?