Notes on a Journey Encircling the Island of Newfoundland, 1982
medium: 49 stones and framed list of place names.
dimensions: stones: 18 feet diameter (5 m);
list of place names: 36 inches high x 24 inches wide (91 x 61 cm).
collection: The Rooms Provincial Art Gallery, St. John’s
I took 49 days to travel around the island of Newfoundland, choosing a stone each day and crossing my path on the last day. These are the 49 stones I collected.
The stones are from Newfoundland's shorelines, riverbeds, mountains; bays, bogs and barrens; lakes and capes. Each one is a notation on the landscape it came from. The information the stone contains may evoke a sense of that landscape. From each place I chose the typical and predominant kind of stone, not the exception. But I have never seen a stone which is no stone in particular.
I chose each stone because I like the name of the place it is from, and the look of the place in the stone. Each place name is an abstract definition of that place. The stones themselves are important because they are an actual part of each place.
Altogether the assemblage of the stones represents the island and my journey around it. Encircling an island gives one a beginning and an end. However, I didn't go around Newfoundland to get 49 stones. The reason I wanted to go around Newfoundland was in order to set myself a structure for experiences, whatever they would be. These are incommunicable; they are infused in the sculpture but never explicit in it.
One time I was struggling along with one of the stones, indeed it was the very last stone, and a passing car stopped. The man said, "You'll never carry away Newfoundland. It's all rocks, but you can't carry it away."
Marlene Creates, 1982