Oracular Re-Encounters

Oracular Re-Encounters

A Community-Engaged Art Installation at the Comox Valley Art Gallery, February 20 - January 20, 2015

What happens when art in a traditional gallery alters the architectural space to guide a more co-relational and multi-sensory experience of art? 

Beginning with the geomatic structure of a Baltic labyrinth-- a spiraling path laid on the floor, along with oracular veils placed within it, creates a form of feminine architecture that alters the gallery space temporarily. The oracle veils placed within the labyrinth path perform as both horizontal and vertical interventions for restoration and transformation. Within this altered third space dreams, visions and prophecies from and for the community, self and world can emerge as the space is interacted with fostering an embodied and participatory viewing, making, sounding, and listening experience.

Drawing upon the template of an earlier installation entitled Oracular Co-Encounters, this next iteration of the installation invited co-relational and multi-sensorial experiences of and with the art that was co-emergent and co-evolving. It invited community members to dream, move in space individually and with others, engage spontaneous art-making, and install the art made within the feminine architecture of the gallery. 

During the four week community-based residency public workshops took place in the gallery studio. Participants would meet in the gallery, listen to a reading based on integral dreaming practices, spend time in the gallery "dream space," then work in the gallery studio to create an art piece in response. After the spontaneous art making, participants would return to the gallery and install their art piece. This was followed by spontaneously sharing the making and installing experiences of their art and responded to each others art. Sometimes engagement included playfully dancing, reading or viewing the newly installed art through the oracle hole of the hanging veils. Throughout the weeks the installation provoked and inspired new pieces of community-made art, growing the installation in color, shape, experience and meaning. The gallery show below offers the chronological unfolding of the installations development.

Thank you to the Comox Valley Art Gallery curator Angela Somerset and all of the community participants.

Neils von Meyenfeldt, Marie Maccagno, R. Michael Fisher, Lisa Petrunia, Angela Somerset & Zoe, Frances, Medwyn McConachy, Donna MacKinnon, Alma Weimarsen, Sheron Jutila, Karen Watson, and Janet Sheppard

Community Residency Closing Performances 

for the Residency included 5 women who had participated during the residency following a crystal singing bowl sound healing outside of the gallery by Mikaeola. Lisa Petrunia, Cindy Dilts and Jasmina Majcenic performed a piece entitles Even the Winged Must Rest. Janet Sheppard read two poems entitles Dreaming in Colour and Spaces. Medwyn McConachy performed Sacred Labyrinth Sound Dream with her drum and the labyrinth. Barbara Bickel screened the video Embedded


8 minute video created as part of the parallel residency at the Comox Valley Art Gallery and Creekside Commons Co-housing in Courtenay British Columbia in January-February 2015. See home page.