SITE 10Sywers Hill School, Bonavista
Barb Daniell grew up in rural Ontario where “unstructured hours of observation and interaction with … everything that could be seen and touched became part of an inner catalogue that would eventually inform my work as an adult artist. … Moving to Newfoundland allowed me to regain my connection to the chaotic, infinite, threatened, marvelous biological diversity my work depends on.” Her 2014 sculpture installation Plexus used an astonishing array of found materials—from in-soles and pantyhose to moose hair and peony stalks—to interpret diatoms, plant spores and plant “totems”. Her Biennale Birches are new totems “inspired by the surprisingly strange characteristics of birch trees, from their iconic whiteness to the extravagant shedding of their bark, fantastic graphic markings, colonizing mosses and piles of shed detritus.”
* My use of the word “totem” acknowledges its Ojibwe origin. I use the word in the sense of “the urge to label various plants, animals, objects and forces of nature as ‘totemic’….” B. Daniell
Barb graduated from OCAD where she was a faculty member for 10 years. She moved to Newfoundland in 2000. Plexus was shown at Grenfell Campus Gallery in 2014 and two-dimensional work was included in Changing Tides: Contemporary Art of Newfoundland and Labrador, McMichael Canadian Art Collection, 2014. A painted paper relief work was installed at the St. John’s Convention Centre in 2016.