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Christine Dewancker

2016 Intern Artist

Cartesian Pockmark

2’ 5” x 20’ x 20’
Charred pine, motor oil, mulch, rock

Artist Statement
As an artist, I am passionate about the positions artists occupy within society and the potential art has for social change. I believe the artist-citizen has an important role in constructing modes of being in the world that emphasize communication, understanding, and beauty. Through my work I explore the physical and psychological effects of the spaces we occupy and how the built environment informs our experiences and relationships with each other.

I built Cartesian Pockmark piece with the intention of creating a meditative space inset into the earth that viewers could walk into. The piece is a memorial to the forest fire that occurred in Alberta, Canada in the spring of 2016; it was an unprecedented, uncontrollable natural disaster, burning 1,500,000 acres of land and displacing over 13,000 people from the town of Fort McMurry and the surrounding area. This region of Alberta is also where the largest extraction of oil sands in Canada takes place, an extremely costly and environmentally detrimental industry that has shaped the landscape within the region and continues our society’s dependence on oil. While the direct cause of the fire is not known, the extremely dry weather conditions and abnormal heat contributed to the fire’s rapid growth. As we continue to heat up the earth through our extraction and consumption of non-renewable resources, these kinds of natural disasters will increase exponentially; this forest fire felt like a resounding warning sign from the earth.

The work is composed of charred wooden blocks, which form a grid-like modular pattern. This pattern is in reference to the Cartesian coordinate system, developed by Rene Descartes in the 17th century as a mathematical way to represent dimensional space on a coordinate plane. I see this system of knowledge and approach to how we order and measure space as a precursor to human’s assumed dominance over our environment and in turn our relationship with the planet.

Christine Dewancker

Born: Kitchener, Ontario, Canada 1988
Resides: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

• BFA, 2011, Queen’s University

Selected Exhibitions
• 4element Festival, Manitoulin Island, 2016
• Grow Op, Gladstone Hotel, Toronto, 2016
• Nuit Blanche, Independent Project, Toronto, 2015

Selected Awards
• Margaret Craig Scholarship in Fine Art, 2010

Selected Collections
• London District Catholic School Board, London, ON

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