Artist on Campus: Josephine Clarke

On Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30, Josephine Clarke will be taking over the Cafeteria for an Artist on Campus event.

Josephine Clarke is a multidisciplinary artist practicing in West Arichat, Nova Scotia, Canada. Her practice addresses themes of deindustrialization, labour, and environmental stewardship. Her rural childhood in the Robson Valley of BC was influenced by everyday acts of making and relating to the land. Being around people who hunted and fished, sewed, repaired and built things gave her practice a tactile and make-do nature. She primarily works with textiles,salvage, sculpture and installation. After earning her Bachelor of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, she completed artist’s residencies with the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, and ArtsUnite Canada. She has exhibited her work at culture events in Atlantic Canada, such as Celtic Colours International Music Festival, and Lumiere Art at Night Festival, and Third Shift Art at night Festival.

In my current project, I have been collecting industrial trash from rural beaches across eastern Nova Scotia, and transforming them into sculptures. I focus on metal and plastic objects from industries such as fishing, rail transport, commercial farming, mills and mining. These items have found a way into the natural landscape where they often go overlooked. By abstracting trash I hope to make space for discussion amongst rural and blue collar communities. Often it seems rural communities are the least represented in environmental and climate discourse, even though they are more directly impacted than most urban communities. And often, this is a reality that rural communities themselves struggle to accept. Industrial boom and bust has dominated for centuries, and embedded itself into ways of life, making it hard to imagine a different future. In my time on campus, I will share and demonstrate my sculpture techniques with participants, and have an open dialogue about the things we throw away.