“A lot of it is about giving people a sense of belonging”: Artist-in-Residence wants people to explore Waterloo’s outdoor spaces
An image may be worth 1,000 words, but local graphic designer Lucy Bilson thinks text is a great way to connect ideas to art.
“I think people have a lot to say right now about various things,” said Bilson, the city’s artist-in-residence for 2021.
“I think having text allows you to present a lot of different thoughts fairly quickly in a way that brings them together and creates a conversation; but you can still keep separate thoughts on pause.
A colorful collage she created using “experimental typography” is now on display in Moses Springer Park in Waterloo and highlights a range of opinions and thoughts on Canada Day and our national identity.
Bilson said that such work explores an interdisciplinary space between design and art.
“What this means is that I’m really interested in using my work to question what things are and explore what design and art can be,” she said.
“I was able to create 50 different posters with different perspectives of people in our community and create space for different voices. There are very festive comments like “Canada is hockey and it’s the most beautiful place in the world” to “Canada is a colonial state that shouldn’t exist” and everything in between. “
Such a collaboration using a variety of artistic mediums is what Bilson hopes to achieve through his work as an Artist in Residence this summer, even though people may be separated in body and mind.
Due to the pandemic, Bilson said the activities at his residency can be picked up online from anywhere in the city and are aimed at getting people to explore various spaces with environmental themes.
“At the end of the day, what I’m doing is collaborative work, through a lot of different themes and activities that we’ll be doing all summer (outdoors), and a lot of it is about giving people a sense of belonging and that these spaces belong to all of us and are accessible to all of us, ”said Bilson.
Through a series of scavenger hunts and creative challenges, Bilson hopes to inspire people to get out and explore their hometown – whether it’s the park near their home, new places they’ve never been, or the trails they’ve never been to. ‘they browse daily – and look at them in a different way.
From July to October, she will be offering workshops, instruction and programs through Create Waterloo’s YouTube channels and social media.
There are plans to explore Waterloo as a bee town later this month. Other challenges will explore wildlife, nature and neighborhoods more broadly.
“Get out there and make the most of what our city has to offer,” said Bilson.
“I think people often see their kids creating in school, but a lot of us don’t,” she said. “And I think inherently we all have that ability.”
People can draw, sketch, make an impression.
“Maybe you can make a collage or maybe take some interesting photographs, or maybe try to make sculptures from found objects. There are so many different ways to approach creativity and I wanted to creating an opportunity where people can connect to try new things and at the same time explore our amazing green spaces. ”
People have about a week to complete each challenge.
The submissions will be assembled into visual works over the next few weeks and a scavenger hunt is planned for later this fall so people can find their work along local trails and in public spaces around the city.
Bilson’s residency launch video can be viewed here.