McLoughlin Gardens Society / Comox Valley Art Gallery / North Island College

Ceramist Rachel Grenon has been visiting the Comox Valley regularly for the last 38 years. She has always taken great pleasure with the proximity of water and the energy it brings to her work. In 2018, Rachel met Angela Somerset from the Comox Valley Art Gallery (CVAG) during an exhibition at the Filberg Festival and was invited to do a residency the following spring. She jumped at the opportunity to create and present a body of work related to her passion for water. The Water Effect project is about the calming effect of swimming in cold water at different times of the year and the benefits it has on the body and mind. “Gathering the boats as sardines in the metal frame is like catching a school of fish as it swims by. These waves of lights and colors are what I see when I’m swimming in the ocean.“ The residency project involved public participation in a collective work. The artist hosted four boat making workshops with the community. Over 150 boats were made, 75 by the participants and 75 by the artist and her two assistants, James Kormansek and Spencer Sheehan-Kalina. All “local” boats where given back to the makers after the final firing. The in situ photograph was taken in front of the McLoughlin Garden House on Williams Beach.

Artwrx Artistic Retreat
Courtenay, BC
August, September and October 2020

Production Residency
Rozynski Art Center
Ayer’s Cliff (Québec)
October, November and December 2018