Socially Engaged Art

I met Rosemary through working on Dentistry at the Museum, a project that positioned community dental care within the context of the museum. The project makes a comment on the accessibility of both institutions - dental care and art museums - and offers an alternative. In our conversations together, Rosemary and I spent a lot of time thinking through the parallels of dentistry and art making. In 2012 I knew I wanted her to make a sculpture of something but I wasn't sure what. 

During the three years I lived in Portland we became quite close. When it came time for me to move back to Canada, it was clear that we needed to do something together to mark our friendship. As we'd worked together on D@tM to initiate our friendship, it seemed fitting to make another art project together to mark the next chapter of our friendship. Over a period of about six months we developed this project, Friendship Incurs No Debt. The project is a sculptural diptych and representation of our friendship. We decided that each of us would make a sculpture for the other to remember us by, not to say good bye, but to keep each other close despite our distance. 

Part one is an abstract gold sculpture installed in my mouth. It has no use value or health function, it is an aesthetic representation of the space filled by Rosemary's presence in my life. 

Friendship Incurs No Debt part two is a weathervane installed on the roof of Rosemary's house. Instead of pointing in the direction the wind is blowing, the arm points towards me and can move depending on where I am living. Each half of the sculpture lives with the other person. 

Here are some words from Rosemary that she scribbled on a napkin. "Here is something I learned today: both halves of the diptych are very elegant and simple in design which is VERY pleasing. In contrast they were challengingin execution but ultimately successful!!! When presented with an opportunity to do a defined artwork, I immediately and typically go into Big-Bang-mode where my initial reaction is to blow it up in countless directions, making the process nearly impossible to navigate.  Discussions are key to my progress through the process... And now there are two simple, beautiful expressions of a complicated and loving friendship.  Astounding!  Joyful!.. [the] sculptures exist separately in space at my house/in his molar but are still equally shared--value shared--base metal outweighing precious metal.  Big/tiny.  Far apart in space. Joined in representation of the friendship. Both ours."