DECOMMISSIONED FIREHOSE SPARK INSPIRATION
FOR LISA COCHRANE’S NEW EXHIBITION
“it’s getting hot i need you more than ever”
From September 6 to 28, The Chase Gallery at the Public Archives of Nova Scotia hosts the latest 3D creations by multi-disciplinary artist Lisa Cochrane. Exhibiting found-object assemblage and sculpture in Halifax and Montreal over the past ten years, Cochrane has created a unique body of hanging and standing works that are provocative and witty, often fuelled by her concern for protecting the natural environment.
“Generally my visual art practice is inspired by the objects I find”, says Cochrane, “in particular, when coming upon multiples of a singular object. There is something about volume or repetition of imagery that stimulates my imagination. For this new exhibition “it’s getting hot i need you more than ever” I first accumulated over 3000 feet of decommissioned firehose from the Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources forestry sector. This marks the first time I’ve worked with paint and colour in a new body of work, which is glorious.
The hoses in these pieces are emergency response equipment once used by public service workers to protect Nova Scotians and our forests from destruction by fire. Once decommissioned, the work of the hose can be said to be over; it gets retired, put out to pasture, so to speak. For me, the hoses still have energy contained within them: the memory of the fire itself, the brave firefighters who once brandished them to fight wild fires; the water that rushed through their interior rubber skins, the dirt and soot ground into the canvas skin from urgent contact with heat and toil, with the earth.
I find myself thinking about emergency responders and their anonymous acts of heroism, about the rise of increasingly dramatic weather systems, and climate change, about political apathy and the need for greater civic engagement in environmental issues. My objects might provoke contemplation about one’s engagement, or lack thereof, in the what is arguably the most important issue of our time: global warming. Or they can be appreciated on a formal level.”
Working with roadkill and scrap metal, whale bones and cane broom heads, cat-food cans and now firehose, Cochrane’s abstract pieces are motivated by her love of nature, and her desire to illuminate the subtle metaphoric potential of ordinary discarded materials.”I attempt to make highly abstract work that alludes to themes suggested by the mundane objects I find.”
Cochrane has an eclectic artistic background, with an evolving career that spans three decades and the entire country. Trained in dance and communications at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver in the 80s, her professional contemporary dance career eventually led her to dance criticism, documentary filmmaking and video-dance in Toronto and Montreal. After returning to her native Nova Scotia in 2006, Cochrane’s passion for creation found expression in dramatic writing and sculpture.
She has had several shows of her work over the past decade, including two previous exhibitions at the Chase Gallery, ReVision (Halifax, 2012), Minimal Scale (Halifax, 2014) and Retrouvé (Montréal, 2015). In 2015, Cochrane was also commissioned by Halifax feminist theatre company LunaSea Theatre to write her first play “Well Heeled”, about her relationship with well-known Halifax cross dresser Harold Anderson, also the the subject of Cochrane’s next documentary.
“I go back and forth between my visual art practice, writing and documentary filmmaking, says Cochrane. “I find a tremendous satisfaction in floating between these disciplines, these physical environments, these artistic communities. Each idea demands a particular form, and I simply allow myself to work in that direction. I see no reason to limit my creative practice to one discipline. There is more adventure for me in venturing into unknown waters, just like in sailing, my other grand passion.”
OPENING RECEPTION on Wednesday September 6, 5:00 to 8:30 pm.
WHAT art exhibition “it’s getting hot i need you more than ever”
WHEN September 6 to 28, 2017
WHERE Chase Gallery, Public Archives of NS, 6016 University Ave. Halifax
ADMISSION free, 8:30 – 4:30 M-F, 10-4 Sat, closed Sun. Wheelchair accessible.
INFO firstname.lastname@example.org or FB
MEDIA CONTACT Lisa Cochrane 902.973.1161