Dance To The Coming End


Dance To The Coming End, November, 2018, Writers Fest Vancouver, Performance Works

“Within me, a gaping crevice. The more I change my environment the more I lose track of myself, yet I traverse…The unsure crust hectors the Pacific Northwest, evidence of instability buried under substrate. A story, mounds.” 

Subterranean plates. Loss. Disaster. Separation. Leanne Dunic’s To Love the Coming End returns to these motifs again and again as the narrator traverses the diverse, earthquake-prone landscape of the Pacific Rim regions of British Columbia, Singapore and Japan. Her work is informed by her roots in both Vancouver and Japan and explores the ways in which  identity is shaped by relationships both past and present. Rootless and wandering, her explorations and poignant reflections return repeatedly to the loss of one she loved: “When my mind empties, it turns to you.”  Ultimately, however, her work speaks to resilience in the face of change and loss, expressing hope that even in the face of disaster, of loss, “somehow, we will not only survive, but thrive.”

The artists of the Open Book Art Collective respond to Dunic’s writing with a diverse body of work that includes mixed media sculpture, mylar window hangings, collage, drawings and paintings. Andrea Armstrong’s series of mixed media collages explore the tension between fear and passion, togetherness and apartness, pull and push — all of which coexist within the same relationships. Also working with figurative pieces, Kristin Voth’s paintings depict her grandparents seated on lawn chairs. A personal reflection on loss and fading memories, these pieces explore the continued impact that these figures have on her identity, long after they are gone. Bre McDaniel’s inked brushwork reimagines the swirling landscapes of Dunic’s writing; interior, tectonic and cultural. A woman, fragile in the face of billowing storm clouds and rushing water, careens down a cliff with gemstones tumbling after her. This tumultuous landscape is echoed in Mahla Shapiro’s embroidery contemplating the changing interior landscape of motherhood. Her delicate pieces hang, appropriately, along a baby gate. Jenny Hawkinson’s dramatic mylar window hangings frame the entryway into the courtyard. Their imagery drawn from the Singaporean adventures in the book, her work imagines a young man and woman turning towards and away from one another with the opening of the door, their faces replaced by forget-me-nots. The doorway leads towards a tent occupied by Katrina Grabner’s sculptural figures. The intuitive encaustics enveloping each piece speaks to the changing landscape of relationships and the untangling of endings.