Updated: Oct 30, 2021
Dwelling: Felted Sculpture by Connie Morey
Opening August 9TH From 5-7PM. Show runs until September 1ST
The Ou Gallery, 3091 Agira Road, Duncan, North Cowichan, Vancouver Island
“Building and dwelling are at the core of any affirmation of being.” – Heidegger
The Ou Gallery is located in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, on unceded Quw’utsun land, halfway between Victoria & Nanaimo. The perfect setting for Connie Morey’s Dwelling, an exhibition inspired by her rural childhood, and her family traditions of masonry, construction, craft and textiles.
Connie says in her artistic statement for Dwelling, “My body is a memory site where ecologies of gender dwell, where my father’s work as a builder, and my mother’s work with textiles interpenetrate each other to occupy bone and flesh. Just as ecosystems consists of interdependent colonies, my body is colonized by a history of men working outside and women working inside to infiltrate the porous walls of the structures of home, thereby inhabiting one another.”
About her Mother’s influence on this work Connie says, “I often think that my mother would have been an artist if she had lived in another time. In retrospect, I think that almost everything she did around the home was a creative activity in the guise of domestic work. She sewed our dresses and clothes, she taught me to knit, crochet, embroider, quilt, craft, bake, draw, and she tried to teach me to play the piano and to sing.”
Of her Father’s impact she says, “My father was a builder. He belonged to a family of masons. My grandfather, uncles and father were known for their skill with stonework, but they also worked on small building projects, framing homes and laying brick. When I was around 10, my grandfather passed away and my parents sold their small farm and bought my grandparent’s house, which sat on the edge of eleven acres of woods. In the woods was a tree fort that my father and his four brothers built in their youth. My sisters and I played in it, and once, in a moment of stubbornness, I ran away to the safety of its walls. It was a way to experience independence while still feeling sheltered and supported by the old wooden floor that embodied history.”
Connie concludes her artist statement by saying “Heidegger argues that building and dwelling are fundamental to what it means to be human. Building not only shelters but also embodies greats skill, satisfaction and creative activity. As cultivation, dwelling within the home enacts a history of caring for. This exhibition merges the practices building with dwelling, alongside the gendered practices of men constructing from the outside and women nurturing from the inside in a way that dissolves dichotomies so that the two subsist as an eco-system where the structure of the home is a living organism that breathes and dwells.”
Connie Morey is an interdisciplinary artist whose work focuses on the materials and practices of sculpture, installation, and performance to explore the body as architecture — a memory site where ecologies of gender dwell. She received her BFA in Visual Arts from the University of Lethbridge, completed graduate work in Art History, an M.Ed. in Art Education and recently an studio-based PhD at the University of Victoria.
Connie is a the Programming Manager at arc.hive Artist Run Centre, a Community Arts Consultant and teaches at the University of Victoria and Vancouver Island School of Art. She has exhibited and performed locally, across Canada and overseas in Europe, Australia and Malaysia
Learn more about her here