flow states: conversations with Water

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flow states: conversations with Water

A series of visual explorations in ink paintings, underwater photographs, and digital artworks by Epekwitk/PEI-based artist Monica Lacey that center connection, communication, and collaboration with Water.

Currently my art practice is focused on the various ways I can collaborate with, relate to, and deepen my reverence for the element of Water. This exhibit comprises two different currents in my work: one, where I create circumstances for water in different forms to develop prints using inks. These circumstances include leaving ink on melting snow overnight to discover prints in the morning, or placing inks on the surface of tidepools and letting the wind and water paint together. This is a practice of allowing space for patience and deep listening as the Water moves and creates at its own pace. 

The second current is based in a process-oriented exploration of communication, consciousness, and the pressure between the real and the artificial, via a cycle of exchange using water, flowers, and AI image generation. I photograph flowers underwater, as a practice of offering, and then move these images through an AI image generator along with poetic verbal prompts that express the feeling of being underwater. I print these AI collaborations, and then use those images in new mixed media formats, as well as photographing sections of those prints underwater again, beginning a new cycle. 

Placing the artificial up against – and embedding it in – the real encourages questions about what it means to create, how we define the real, what it means to have consciousness and to whom it is allowed and available. Is the consciousness that flows through the river, the cut flowers, the AI, the printed flowers, and the artist’s hands all connected? How do these energies inform and transform each other? How can awareness of this connection become an offering? 
Mini-doc link: https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2250781763942

About the Artist

Monica Lacey

Monica Lacey is a Canadian/Italian multidisciplinary visual artist, writer, curator, and educator. She is inspired by flowers, water, ideas of home and belonging, and moments of change and liminality. She prioritizes curiosity, connection, and communication in her practice and employs a variety of tools as needed to express the vision of each project, from underwater photography to encaustic to watercolour.

Monica holds a Diploma in Textiles and Photography from the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and has received several awards and grants for excellence in her work and service to her community, including the Garfield Weston Award and the Nel Oudemans Award. She lives in Epekwitk/PEI on unceded Mi’kmaq territory with her husband and daughter, where, in addition to her studio practice, she teaches Kundalini Yoga and serves as director/curator for the Fitzroy St. Tiny Art Gallery, a miniature art space on her front lawn.

Click below to learn more about the artist at an external website. 

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