Dawn George, Filmmaker – Halifax

Dawn George makes films and videos with the living things in her Halifax garden. Her DIY approach to filmmaking reflects her appreciation and respect for movement, nature, science, and sound. Through her practice she seeks to learn from and commune with nature. Dawn graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts from Ryerson University and received her film and media arts training from the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative and the Centre for Art Tapes. She is a founding member of the Handmade Film Collective and teaches eco-film processing. Her film Anthology for Fruits and Vegetables will be screened online as part of the Owens Video Club’s Blue Flowers program from June 11 to 17.

  1. 16mm pinhole camera

A couple of years ago, film artist Lindsay McIntyre visited the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative and taught a workshop on how to build a 16mm motion picture pinhole camera. I have been reacquainting myself with the scrappy little camera I made and developing the film with caffenol.

  1. Cruciferous seedlings of hope

The week of the lockdown I planted cabbage seeds. Caring for them provided me with something positive to focus on. Each week, I send out pictures of their progress to family and friends offering some hope. This week the cruciferous seedlings were transplanted into the garden; hope continues to grow!

  1. Scarlet lily beetle
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The scarlet lily beetles are rearing their beautiful bodies from the earth and looking for mates. The problem is their offspring are voracious eaters and can decimate a plant in days. Each morning I visit my lilies, checking for beetles, eggs, and larvae. The larvae are sneaky; they cover themselves with their own poo to hide from predators. I’m onto their disguise.

  1. Cheese making

I tried my hand at making fresh cheese and was surprised at how easy and calming the process was. The whole milk is gradually heated over the stove and needs to be stirred constantly so it will not burn. When the milk reaches its boiling point, lemon juice is added, and the milk curdles to reward you with a cheese bloom! After a gentle squeeze in cheesecloth and a rinse under water, you have fresh cheese.

  1. Accordion

Playing my accordion gives me joy. I love the physicality of the instrument and the intense focus of practicing a phrase over and over again until it comes together. Right now, I’m working on the Russian folk song Dark Eyes and Cryin’ by Aerosmith.