Rail tales by Jared Story for Winnipeg Free Press Community News
Lindsey Bond will soon be creating in the cozy confines of a cabin at Clear Lake. The North End artist is one of 10 creative types chosen by Manitoba Arts Council to participate in its annual Deep Bay Artists’ Residency in Riding Mountain National Park.
The program, which runs from June to September, sees Manitoba artists staying in the Deep Bay Cabin, while interacting and sharing their work with people in the park.
Bond will do her Deep Bay residency from Sept. 5 to 18. A lens-based artist, Bond will be working on Negotiating Spaces: Ghost Lines, a branch of her project Negotiating Spaces. Started in 2009, Negotiating Spaces is an evolving art installation which incorporates medium-format photography, video, audio and text and explores Canadians memories and views of the railway.
"My main interest right now is to collect Indigenous and settler narratives in order to create an alternate archive of stories that aren’t in the history books. They are in the people and in the land," Bond said.
"In my initial research in 2009, the regular railway books just bored the heck out of me. It’s mostly one point perspective, the white male perspective, but what did interest me was this one book by David Blyth Hanna, who was the president of the Canadian railway. It’s called Trains of Recollection: Drawn from Fifty Years of Railway Service in Scotland and Canada. He wrote in an entirely different fashion. It wasn’t a regular history book with dates and facts; it was more about his actual personal experience. He wrote in an anecdotal way.
"His actual personal narrative from being a boy and working all the way up to being president of the railway in Canada, it’s a beautiful narrative and has a lot of twists and turns. It was one of the inspirations for this project. Instead of going through the regular books that you’d normally take out in the library to learn about the railway in Canada, I’m really searching for that personal perspective."
Initially, that personal perspective was mostly a settler perspective, as Bond was also exploring her family history. But as the project has evolved, Bond has also included an Indigenous take on the tracks.
"I think we sometimes forget that the railway was a primary means of colonization and residential schools and transporting and splitting up families," Bond said.
Bond moved to Winnipeg from Edmonton five years ago to be with her husband, local musician Keith Price (who she actually met on a train).
Bond received her BFA in photography from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver, B.C. In addition to working as an artist, Bond works as an art educator with Art City, and has worked as a program co-ordinator with Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art and Video Pool Media Arts Centre.
In Riding Mountain, Bond will display Postcard Anecdotes, a participatory portion of the Negotiating Spaces installation.
"I’ve been specifically collecting memories and stories on postcards, and with those postcards I create different types of installations in public spaces," Bond said. "The postcards are hanging from either a building or a tree and they’re hanging from silk ribbon. People can read other people’s stories or actually write their own and add their own postcard to the installation."
Postcard Anecdotes will be displayed at Friends of Riding Mountain National Park (154 Columbine Dr.) on Sept. 10 and 17 at 2 p.m.
Read more by Jared Story.