Flax Field, 2011

In collaboration with John Freeman

The Flax Field is approximately 25 x100 feet on the grass area outside the Presbytery in Deschambault, Quebec. We were invited to participate, along with several other artists, in the 4th Biennale Internationale du lin de Portneuf to create an outdoor installation that would stay in place during the summer months of 2011. The area is open - trees ring the furthest edge of the space where the St Lawrence River runs by. The Flax Field can be viewed from some distance, particularly from the church and along the roadside.

The Flax Field comprises 2,000 blue/violet flax flowers (5 x 5 inches square) printed on vinyl, faced back to back so they can be viewed on both sides, attached to a small hollow tube and positioned on a thin flexible wire rod. The rods vary in height from the ground so as to create the illusion that the field of flowers is undulating subtlety and moving with the breezes as they blow across the area. From a distance the effect is textural and sensual and as the viewer moves closer, the image comes into focus and one becomes aware this is an abstracted field of blue flowers.

The inspiration for the work was our the garden in Edmonton where the flax flowers come out at sunrise, drop their petals by mid-afternoon and new blooms open the next day. During the early spring and summer months they are extremely prolific and the garden is filled with their intense violet/blue colour. In our piece the image of the flower is slightly different on each side of the printed flag – fully open, and on the other side the flower is starting to close.

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