Critical Mass: Artist in Residence Port Hope

I am thrilled to be awarded a fully-funded four-week Artist Residency with Critical Mass, a centre for contemporary art, which will take place in a mid-1850s former little train station in Port Hope, Ontario in 2021. It was due to start in June 2020, but due to COVID-19, it had to be delayed until next year.

The artist-in-residency program, funded by an Ontario Trillium SEED Grant, is the first of its kind in Port Hope and has been created to provide artists from Canada and abroad with the time and space to generate new bold ideas; showcase their creative practice; build their body of work and connect with individuals in the small urban/rural community of Port Hope.

The title for my residency is Unmapped: A Synthesis of Urban Patterns. Urban patterns are generally described in terms of the volume, shape, and scale of buildings which make up the spatial arrangement of a town/city. What’s most distinctive about Port Hope’s urban pattern is that its downtown was developed at the turn of the 1800s when it was first settled, and unlike other towns, most of its original architecture was not demolished and its urban pattern has remained intact.

The aim of my residency is to expand our understanding of urban pattern to include ephemeral elements related to phenomenology of place—that is, how we experience place through sounds, rhythms, and movements. What can these patterns tell us about our city that the official plan cannot? And how can the larger community become involved in collecting these patterns?

In the meantime, Critical Mass are facilitating a series of virtual mini residencies throughout the Summer. I will be posting progress on my activities over the coming weeks.