Walter’s Letters – a box of elegantly written letters retrieved from a Vancouver dumpster that finds its way to an artist. Walter’s letters appear to document the lives of a Scottish immigrant family scattered between Canada, Scotland and the USA. The more than 200 letters were written between 1885 and 1909.
What do our objects leave behind?
What stories and meaning do these found objects provoke about a time and place in history, about an ordinary family immigrating to Canada when seen through the eyes of an artist rather than a historian? My intention is to create a series of art pieces based on the stories contained within these letters : an artistic interpretation of Walter’s letters. The story between the lines. The heart and the spirit of the ink and the words.
As Marshall McLuhan almost said, “the material is the message”.
As with my earlier work I will continue to explore media but Walter’s Letters promises to be a more conceptual project. Paintings and artifacts will combine to form a visual journal - interactive sculptural ‘treasure chests’ comprised of layers of paintings and artifacts that impact the audience by hooking into their sense of discovery. Much like rooting through Grandma's attic. I hope to find the heart and the soul of an ordinary family and to understand how they made meaning of their lives. By giving reverence to Walter’s letters, I hope to resurrect the spirit of these ordinary Canadians.