Lois Brown, Artist – Newfoundland

Lois Brown, a seventh-generation Newfoundlander, is an interdisciplinary artist. In 2008, an accident sharpened her interests in improvising, repurposing, and democratization/randomization – (dis) arts aesthetics. Her current work aims beyond interdisciplinariness, beyond a synthesis of disciplinary approaches, towards an “other” dimension of expression and experience. Her latest work I AM A GENIUS DOES ANYONE HERE KNOW ME? will be performed at SummerWorks 2019 in Toronto on August 12, 13, and 15.

  1. Retracing

This is a picture artist Dustin Harvey took of my performance installation stringart2018 in Dartmouth last year. A group of artists unwound string, attaching it to objects in the urban environment like poles or posts, and then wound it back up. I like that it’s temporary. I had to remember, as I unwound string, that I would eventually have to re-trace the route and revisit my earlier decisions.

  1. Cutting up text

When I started cutting up text and taping it back together, it reminded me of a ransom note. I was creeped out/delighted how another subterranean-text world existed parallel to the original text world. What I like most about cutting up text is that I don’t know why I like doing it so much.

  1. Boredom

I am fascinated by boredom. I try to do nothing. I set timers to create a durational zone of nothing. Organizing time with timers is weirdly comforting for me. I like to do it in the studio and I also do it at home. It helps me manage my chronic pain and PTS. I am not uninterested in excavating the fear that accompanies my boredom.

  1. Archipelagic thinking

Before travelling to a small island off the coast of Southern Ireland to see a piece called Archipelagic Thinking (choreographer: Ruairi Donovan), I had not encountered this term, which is used mostly by social geographers. Now I insert it into every conversation I can. For me, who lives on an island too and travels little, the complicated journey was part of the performance. I made a thread between my island and another. As I improvised on Oileán Chléire with the Dollarama foil blanket I had brought from Newfoundland, the sunset turned it from silver to a brilliant orange.

  1. Dollarama foil blankets

Foil blankets are in the current artistic vernacular. Last year, I was working with a piece of foil I saved from a Christmas poinsettia. Then, summer came to the Dollarama and I got myself a foil blanket. Soon after I saw them everywhere: Facebook posts of children separated from parents and wrapped in foil, choreographers submerged underneath them, visual artists hanging them on clotheslines. Instead of thinking that the foil blanket has too many political and social adhesions, I made my foil bigger, taping nine foil blankets together. I take care of it, I am dazzled by it, and I need help to unfold it.