Lindsay Alcock, a librarian and visual artist, has undertaken a transformative sabbatical project called "Bricolage: The Art of Home Remedies in Newfoundland and Labrador." Her artistic process embodies the essence of bricolage, as she gathers materials like sandstone, soot, wildflowers, and tree bark to create inks and pigments for her artwork. Inspired by the research of Dr. John Crellin, a former faculty member at Memorial University, Ms. Alcock delves into the fascinating history of folk medicine in the region, drawing from the wealth of anecdotes stored in Memorial's Folklore and Language Archive. These folk remedies not only serve as a foundation for her art but also convey profound insights into humanity's relationship with the natural world. Resourceful and imaginative, Ms. Alcock explores innovative ways to extract pigments from various sources to bring her creations to life. For instance, she ingeniously utilizes birch tree sap, local honey, campfire soot, and sandstone pigment to craft her exhibition piece, Birch Study, No. 1. The meticulous and labor-intensive process of gathering and preparing these materials infuses her artwork with a sense of alchemy and deep significance.
Ms. Alcock's sabbatical journey has not only boosted her artistic confidence but has also deepened her connection with nature and the environment. She believes that the current era, shaped by the pandemic, has led people to reevaluate the importance of the natural world, finding comfort, joy, and healing within it. In September, the exhibition "Bricolage: The Art of Home Remedies in Newfoundland and Labrador" will be displayed at the First Space Gallery in the Queen Elizabeth II Library on the St. John's campus, offering viewers a chance to appreciate the artist's unique and nature-inspired approach to her craft.
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St. John's, NL