July 16, 2022 – October 02, 2022
Artist Multiple Artists
Curated by: Jesse Birch and Elisa Ferrari
Opening Reception: July 15, 7 – 9 pm
Maya Beaudry + Marisa Kriangwiwat Holmes, CROTCH, Peter Culley, Megan Hepburn, Will Holder, Sky Hopinka, Willie Thrasher + Linda Saddleback.
Opening weekend performances July 16, 8pm at Felice Cavallotti Lodge, 2060 East Wellington Rd. Nanaimo.
Fielding Road is an exhibition and event series that responds to the work of Nanaimo poet, art critic, and artist Peter Culley, whose daily practice of walking, writing, and photographing, brought him to closely observe spaces between rural and urban experience in and around Nanaimo.
This project takes its name from a stretch of roadway in Nanaimo that was cut off from its original use when a new highway was built in the 1990’s; it is a site to which Culley often returned to with his dog Shasta and occasionally with friends. In his essay Walking in Nanaimo he wrote: “By the time I rediscovered it, it had become a picturesque ruin—the roadway thick with moss and accumulated leaves and needles, the yellow dividers cracked and obscured under the canopy of conifers, alder, maple and arbutus. Another colony of ravens noisily dominates the stretch along landfill, scattering shards of packaging and bone, draping long strips of plastic from the trees.”
Throughout his practice, Culley treated Nanaimo with great care as a place of significant cultures and histories. Over a twenty-year period he composed a trilogy of poetry books titled Hammertown, named after a fictional fishing village on Vancouver Island, as described by French writer George Perec in his novel, Life: A User’s Manual. While Hammertown has remained a fictional place in Culley’s poetry, many of its details were drawn from his experience of Nanaimo. In Hammertown, Nanaimo is a site where real and imaginary worlds exist simultaneously, and Fielding Road is both a partly abandoned street and a conduit for discarded and overgrown objects to generate new symbolic readings.
While the material conditions of Fielding Road remain in flux, the area and its surroundings are slated for imminent development. In Culley’s words, “For now the ravens are still in charge. It is a place where civilization’s grip on the landscape feels weak, its tenure on this island and continent, brief and undistinguished. It is as close to a monument as anything we will leave behind.”
This ongoing reorientation of materials and ideas is echoed in the exhibition Fielding Road. Artists are invited to create or contribute projects while walking alongside Culley’s practice and the places that informed it.
Fielding Road consists of a gallery exhibition and site-specific events that take place across Nanaimo, including installations, walks and performances.
Read the booklet for Fielding Road before or after the show to learn about Peter Culley, the artists, and their response to his work.
Allergy alert: Please be advised that some artworks in this exhibition contain aromatic materials.
Top Image: Sky Hopinka Mnemonics of Shape and Reason
HD video, stereo, color