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  • Cartographies of Consciousness-raising: Mapping Out a Feminist Approach in the Work of Marlene Creates

    Heather Webb

    A Thesis

    in

    The Department

    of

    Art History

    Presented in Partial Fulfilment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts at

    Concordia University Montreal, Quebec, Canada

    August 1997

    BHeather Webb, 1997

  • National Library Bibliothèque nationale du Canada

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  • Cartographies of Consciousness-raising: Mapping Out a Feminist Approach in the Work of Marlene Creates

    Heather Webb

    Between 1987 and 199 1, contemporary Canadian artist Marlene Creates

    (b. 1952) produced three separate "memory map" series of mixed-media assemblages

    consisting of black and white photographs, text, hand-drawn "memory maps7' and in

    some instances, natural elements selected fiom the environment. The works present

    the stones, remembrances and recoilections by elderly inhabitants of their experiences

    in and relationships to specific geographical locales. In these works Creates'

    employed an autobiographical approach to explore the intersections between

    experience, identity and the land(scape). The specific concems and social function of

    these works will be discussed as informed by and concemed with feminist theory and

    practice. This will be undertaken in order to show that an underlying political

    strategy inforrns both the production and the reception of these works.

  • 1 would like to extend my thanks to my thesis advisor, Dr. Janice Helland and

    the other members of my thesis cornmittee; Dr. Catherine Mackenzie and, especially,

    Dr. Joan Acland for theV efforts on my behalf.

    I wish to express my gratitude to the Library Staff of the National Gallery of

    Canada for their encouragement and willingness to assist me during the preparation of

    this thesis. In particular, 1 wish to thank Murray Waddington for his generosity and

    flexibility in terms of time off work, as well as Peter Trepanier for his unflagging

    interest and bibliographic suggestions. 1 have benefitted greatly from the emotional

    support and enthusiasm of colleagues and fnends, and although too numerous to

    mention individually, 1 would like to acknowledge the following people for their

    contributions: Carol Payne, Fraser Valentine, Victoria Angel, Scott Weir, Bill

    MacDonald and Cecily Wallace. Tu Mark Boone, 1 would like to extend special

    thanks for his unyielding optimism and belief in my abilities and for his love and

    support. Also, sincere thanks to my parents for their constant encouragement.

    Finally, 1 wish to express my indebtedness to Marlene Creates. Her

    willingness to be supportive and generous with her time has been greatly appreciated

    and made this endeavour possible.

  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    LIST OF PLATES

    Chapter

    1 INTRODUCTION

    2 LAYERING, SHIFTINGt SPIRALLING

    Reading in Circles Union of Opposites

    3 CARTOGRAPHIES OF DIFFERENCE

    Wilderness as Home 'This Land is My Land, This Land is Your Land" Geographies of the Everyday Ordering, Framing and Selection

    4 NARRATIVES OF DISCOVERY Competing Voices Ties That Bind

    5 CONCLUSION

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    PLATES

    vii

  • LIST OF PLATES

    All measurements are given in metric. Height precedes width. Al1 works by Marlene Creates. Unless otherwise indicated, al1 works are fiom the collection of Marlene Creates.

    Mary Allen, Sault Ste. Marie 1987 from the series m e Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1987. Assemblage of memory rnap drawn by Mary Allen, incised in slate, 122 x 122 cm, black & white photograph, 28 x 36 cm, and beach Stones, collection of the Art Gallery of Algoma.

    Joseph Cadran, Sadt Ste. Marie 1987 fkom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1987. Assemblage of memory rnap drawn by Joseph Cadran, incised in slate, 122 x 122 cm, black & white photograph, 28 x 36 cm, and sticks, collection of the Art Gallery of Algoma.

    Mary Allen, Sault Ste. Marie 1987 from the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1987. Assemblage o f 2 black & white photographs, memory rnap drawn by Mary Allen, pencil on paper, printed text, and beach stone, each fiame 28 x 36 cm, private collection.

    Joseph Cadran, Sault Ste. Marie 1987 from the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1987. Assemblage o f 2 black & white photographs, memory rnap drawn by Joseph Cadran, pencil on paper, printed text and stick, each fiame 28 x 36 cm.

    SybilZu Nitsman, Labrador 1988 fkom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1988. Assemblage o f 2 black & white photographs, memory rnap drawn by Sybilla Nitsman, pencil on paper, printed text, each of 3 fiamed elements 25.5 x 36.1 cm, framed memory map drawing 28.3 x 64.1 cm, collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

    John Dickers, Labrador 1988 fiom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1988. Assemblage of 2 black & white photographs, memory rnap drawn by John Dickers, pencil on paper, printed text, wooden log, each of 4 fkamed elements 28.5 x 36.1 cm, log, 52.4 x 11 -2 cm, collection of the National Gallery of Canada.

    Excerpt: Joe Ford, Labrador 1988 fiom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1988. Printed text, 28 x 36 cm fiarned.

    vii

  • Excerpt: Sam Winters, Labrador 1988 nom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1988. Printed text, 28 x 36 cm framed.

    Excerpt: Hilda Dickers, Labrador 1988 fiom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1988. Printed text, 28 x 36 cm fkamed, collection of the Canada Council Arî Bank.

    Excerpt: Joachim Nui, Labrador 1988 fkom the series The Distance Between Two Points is Measured in Memories, 1988. Printed text, 28 x 36 cm Famed.

    Excerpt: Mary Ann Noah, Labrador 1988 from the series The Distance Between Two Points is Meusured in Mernories, 1988. Printed text, 28 x 3 6 cm h e d , collection of the Art Gallery of Memorial University of Newfoundland.

    wheve my grandmother was born fiom the series Places of Presence: Newfoundland kin and ancestral land, Newfoundland 1989-1991. Assemblage of 13 black & white photographs, selenium-toned silver prints, each 20 x 25 cm fiamed, lcolour photograph, cibachrome print, 20 x 25 cm framed, 6 rnemory map drawings, p e n d on paper, each 22 x 28 cm, framed 28 x 36 cm, 6 story panels and 1 title panel, screen print on plexi, each 28 x 36cm framed, aspen leaves, 41 x 5 1 cm framed, beach stone, wooden shelf, 6 m x 18 cm. Installed dimensions, 161 cm high x 6.5 m long x 18 cm deep, plus floor space.

    Excerpt: Harvey Burt and Jennie Hackett née Burt from the assemblage where rny grondmother was born fi-orn the series Pluces of Presence: Newfoundland kin and ancestral land. Newfoundland l989-199l.

    where my grandfather was born from the series Places of Presence: Newfoundland kin and ancestral land, Newfoundland 1989-1 991. Assemblage of 13 black & white photographs, selenium-toned silver prhts, each 20 x 25 cm fiamed, 6 memory map drawings, pencil on paper, each 22 x 28 cm, fiamed 28 x 36 cm, 6 story panels and 1 title panel, screen print on plexi, each 28 x 36 cm fiamed, kelp, 41 x 5 1 cm fiamed, beach stone, wooden shelf, 6 m x 18 cm. Installed dimensions, 16 1 cm high x 6.5 m long x 18 cm deep, plus fioor space.

    Excerpt: Fred Layte, Effie Kavli née Layte, Harold Layte from the assemblage where my grandfaather was born £kom the series Places of Presence: Newfoundland kin and ancestral [and, Newfoundland 1989-1 991.

  • 16 where my great-grandmother was born from the series Places of Presence: Newfoundhd kzh and ancestral land, Newfoundlund 1989- 1 991. Assemblage of 14 black & white photographs, selenium-toned silver prints, each 20 x 25 cm fiamed, 6 memory map drawings, p e n d on paper, each 22 x 28 cm, framed 28 x 36 cm, 7 story panels and 1 title panel, screen print on plexi, each 28 x 36 cm h e d , 2 stones, 5 birch logs, wooden shelf, 7 m x 18 cm. Installed dimensions, 16 1 cm high x 7.5 m long x 18 cm deep, plus floor space.

    17 Excerpt: Rosie Webb, Labrador 1988 fiom the s

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