Grace Hickey, a third-year St. Thomas University student, put out a call to the Fredericton arts community for environmental pieces for an installation.
Hickey is organizing the installation as a part of her fine arts course at STU and her work with the Canadian Wilderness Stewardship Program.
The project is inspired by Hickey’s former studies on labyrinths. She said a labyrinth is an ancient symbol that relates to wholeness, combining the imagery of the circle and a spiral into a meandering but purposeful path. Hickey said she’s using the labyrinth as a medium of how the installation will be displayed made of painter’s tape to take the viewer on a journey of reflection.
“The labyrinth represents a journey to our own center, and back again out into the world,” said Hickey.
The installation will be presented from April 6 to 10 in room 203 in Margaret McCain Hall with specific viewing times to be announced. The art submission deadline is at the end of March. Hickey said that she hopes the project will bring a new level of awareness and reflection to its viewers.
Hickey planned on using this symbolism of the labyrinth to create an opportunity for reflection and self-awareness surrounding the ecological crisis.
“[The artwork is] going to be purposely placed throughout the space and the labyrinth to allow the public participants to come and walk the labyrinth and have a contemplated moment with each piece,” said Hickey.
Because of the request for environmental art, Hickey said that she has received an “overwhelming” amount of support from the community. She said she has collected a variety of pieces in a number of mediums including paintings, sculptures and poetry.
Hickey said her intention behind using multiple mediums is that she wants to hear stories about individual experiences and the environmental crisis.
“My hope is that people will have time to reflect on their own personal stories and experiences and be able to take this forward as part of our collective solution,” said Hickey.
The cause is important to Hickey as an environmental studies major. Though she explained that while she had always been passionate about social justice issues, she hadn’t even been aware that environmental studies was an offered program at STU.
Hickey said that her introduction to environmental studies course in first-year was a “profound experience” and the more she learned, the more she wanted to dig deeper.
“I don’t think I’ve fully comprehended the fact that we were currently in an ecological crisis and a climate crisis and what that meant,” said Hickey.
“I felt that it was important for me to absorb all this knowledge so that I could best effect change in whatever way I can, whether that be creating an art installation, or whether that be later on in my career.”