Fire and Water, Nova Scotia 1985

medium: burnt wood from a forest fire area and driftwood from the Atlantic shore.
dimensions: 16 feet x 16 feet (5 x 5 m); or 11 feet x 22 feet (3.4 x 6.7 m).
collection: Dalhousie University Art Gallery, Halifax

I gathered the two forms of wood in this installation from the landscape of Nova Scotia. The landscape, for me, is composed of details which can evoke the enormous natural and historical past. So on this wood are the traces of two forces in the landscape: fire and water. There is quiet evidence of the force of the sea in the waterworn wood, and of a forest fire in the burnt. These materials not only are a kind of souvenir or memory of these two opposing elements, they also indicate where I've been.

Absence and presence; leaving and arriving; identification and dislocation.

My purpose in going somewhere is not to see the most spectacular anything. It is simply to see what is there. It is to get a feel for the place, and for the details which — here, like anywhere else — make up life: holding the shape of this particular stick from this particular part of the land. One can know something about a place without ever having been there. But it should be possible for one to remember what it is like to be in the kind of place represented by these materials. After all, they belong here.

Marlene Creates, 1985