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Art about life form encounters : making sense of place in the Okanagan region Yamamoto, Megumi 2018

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 i Art about Life Form Encounters: Making Sense of Place in the Okanagan Region  by Megumi Yamamoto  B.F.A., The University of Calgary, 2014  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS in THE COLLEGE OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Visual Arts)   THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Okanagan) July 2018  © Megumi Yamamoto, 2018   ii The following individuals certify that they have read, and recommend to the College of Graduate Studies for acceptance, a thesis/dissertation entitled: Art about Life Form Encounters: Making Sense of Place in the Okanagan Region  submitted by Megumi Yamamoto in partial fulfillment of the requirements of   the degree of  Master of Fine Arts    Aleksandra Dulic, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Supervisor Carolyn MacHardy, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Supervisory Committee Member Briar Craig, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies Supervisory Committee Member Hussein Keshani, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies University Examiner Greg Garrard, Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies External Examiner     iii Abstract  My research explores how creating art can be a method of connecting to an unfamiliar environment. Positioning myself as a newcomer to the Okanagan, I observe, document, and work with the various life forms I encounter in Kelowna over a two-year time period to demonstrate how through creating art, a sense of place and an appreciation for a place can arise over time in an individual’s mind. In the creative research, I ask the following questions: How can creating visual art about a local natural environment develop a newcomer’s sense of place? And how might creating art about the experience of a place enhance or facilitate the development of one’s connection to a place and sense of belonging? Informed by hermeneutic phenomenology and working in various mediums, I use observation and interaction as forms of lived experience and art making as a method of generating meaning and knowledge. My artwork isolates and seeks to identify the individual life forms I encounter in Kelowna in order to deconstructing the environment – a complex interconnected system – to acquaint myself with the land, resulting in a body of work presenting a construction of my perspectival experience. Giving significance to the commonplace and easily overlooked aspects of nature as important place-defining elements within the urban environment (my everyday-surroundings), I hope to encourage viewers to reflect on their own perceptions of place and to consider the significance that life forms have in shaping the way in which a place is perceived. My work engages with the ideas put forward by Jakob von Uexküll, Elen-Maarja Trell and Bettina van Hoven, Rachel D. Kroencke, Nina Katchadourian, Lynette Shultz, Megan K. Halpern and Hannah Star Rogers, Joseph Cornell, Walter Benjamin, and Giles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.   iv Lay Summary  As a newcomer to Kelowna, I use art making as a method of actively connecting to a new place. I observe, document, draw, and interact with the life forms that live in the urban environment of Kelowna, British Columbia, creating work in various mediums including drawing, printmaking, painting, Smartphone photography, and installation. My body of work and written thesis demonstrates how by engaging with the life forms of a place through creative expression, an appreciation for one’s natural surroundings arises, which results in familiarity and a sense of belonging to a place.            v Table of Contents  Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... iii Lay Summary ............................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ...........................................................................................................................v List of Tables ............................................................................................................................... vii List of Figures ............................................................................................................................. viii Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................................x Dedication ..................................................................................................................................... xi Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................1 1.1 The Creative Research ................................................................................................ 3 1.2 Purpose ........................................................................................................................ 6 Chapter 2: Literature Review .......................................................................................................9 2.1 Phenomenology ......................................................................................................... 13 2.2 Heuristic Reduction .................................................................................................. 14 2.3 Intentionality ............................................................................................................. 15 2.4 Umwelt ...................................................................................................................... 16 2.5 Art about Place as a Form of Mapping ..................................................................... 17 Chapter 3: Creative Production (Methodology) .......................................................................19 3.1 Field Book Documentation ....................................................................................... 19 3.2 Smartphone Camera Roll and Instagram as Research Methods ............................... 33 3.3 Drawing and Zinc Plate Etching ............................................................................... 34 3.4 Found Objects Collection ......................................................................................... 41 3.5 Assemblage ............................................................................................................... 45  vi 3.6 Wunderkammer ......................................................................................................... 50 3.7 Objects in Suspension (Results) ................................................................................ 53 Chapter 4: Conclusions ...............................................................................................................67 Works Cited ..................................................................................................................................71                       vii List of Tables  Table 1. Life Form Encounters ..................................................................................................... 20                      viii List of Figures  Figure 1. Instagram account .......................................................................................................... 33 Figure 2. Zinc plate etchings on Hahnemühle copperplate paper ................................................. 37 Figure 3. Encounter exhibition at Sandhill Wines (2017) ............................................................ 38 Figure 4. Etchings displayed with a champagne filler (2017) ...................................................... 39 Figure 5. Entanglement installation (2017) .................................................................................. 40 Figure 6. Assemblage of objects ................................................................................................... 41 Figure 7. Wasp nest and male Vespula germanica (2018) ........................................................... 44 Figure 8. Asclepias syriaca (2017) ............................................................................................... 45 Figure 9. Tragopogon (2017) ........................................................................................................ 45 Figure 10. Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) series, Homage to Joseph Cornell (2017) ...................... 48 Figure 11. Quercus rubra (2017) .................................................................................................. 49 Figure 12. Wunderkammer (2017) ................................................................................................ 52 Figure 13. Wasp Nest Paper (2018) .............................................................................................. 55 Figure 14. Objects in Suspension installation (2018) ................................................................... 56 Figure 15. Ponderosa Pine Needle Bundles hanging over boxes of pinned insects (2018) .......... 56 Figure 16. Gathering (2018) ......................................................................................................... 57 Figure 17. Objects in Suspension exhibition ................................................................................. 57 Figure 18. Dried plants at the FINA Gallery entryway (2018) ..................................................... 58 Figure 19. Bark Beetle Paintings (2018) ...................................................................................... 59 Figure 20. Bark Beetle Paintings (2018) ...................................................................................... 60 Figure 21. Wasp nests, driftwood, and bird skeleton arrangement on plinth ............................... 61 Figure 22. Ponderosa Pine Needle Bundles (2018) ...................................................................... 61  ix Figure 23. Three Tapestries (2018) .............................................................................................. 62 Figure 24. Objects in Suspension exhibition at the Alternator (2018) .......................................... 64 Figure 25. Objects in Suspension exhibition at the Alternator (2018) .......................................... 64                      x Acknowledgements  I would like to begin my acknowledgements by thanking Kerry McArthur for encouraging me to  pursue further education and for generously writing letters of  recommendations for my various application forms. I would like to thank my supervisor Aleks Dulic for always encouraging me to take my work  to the next step. I would like to thank my committee members, Briar Craig for his commitment and passion for teaching and sharing knowledge, and Carolyn MacHardy for all of your help with my written work. I would also like to thank professors Myron Campbell, Renay Egami, and Samuel Roy Bois for all their encouragement and for broadening my perspectives on contemporary art. Francis Langevin for all your patience and help with my proposal for a SSHRC CGS-M grant  which I successfully received. To classmates Joe and Jess for the Fry-days and for joining me in gathering wasp nests and dead  fish.  My mom and dad for supporting me even while I stored specimen in the kitchen freezer and set  up stations in the house for cleaning bones, feathers, and pine cones.  To my twin sister Sarah for accidentally pointing me towards some wonderful journal articles.  A big thank you to Howard Soon and Sandhill Wines for sponsoring my solo exhibition at  Sandhill in the summer of 2017. To Max van Manen and Michael van Manen for your kind words and generosity. And finally and most importantly to the Okanagan land for providing me with the opportunity to  learn, and for providing materials to work creatively with.    xi Dedication        To Bellatrix, my Dobermann.             1 Chapter 1: Introduction  Before moving to the Okanagan, I lived in Calgary, Alberta (where I was born and raised). After completing a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Calgary, I spent time exploring the land around my neighbourhood with my dog and creating ink paintings based on what I experienced. I explored the creek, wetlands and fields almost every day, growing increasingly aware of the wildlife that inhabited the space. As I painted the birds, rocks, muskrats, and snakes, I noticed I felt more at home than I had in the past two decades in Calgary. This phenomenon was significant to me because as a Canadian with a mixed heritage background, I had always felt oddly displaced. I called myself a Canadian, though my parents had only moved to Canada very shortly before I was born. Even though the city was familiar to me, I had never really felt a special connection to the place itself.  In the summer of 2016 I moved to Kelowna, British Columbia. When I arrived, I became intensely aware of how I was an alien on the territory: the semi-arid climate, the soft silhouette of mountains and even the foliage of the Okanagan seemed strange to me. Used to the prairie landscape, I was astonished by the lushness of the plants in Kelowna, and how abundant the wildlife was. I felt like a child again discovering the world for the first time, in constant wonder at what the locals would otherwise consider commonplace. At the time, I found it difficult to remember or describe what I saw, since I had a very limited vocabulary for the flora and fauna of the region. As a means to make better sense of my surroundings, I was eager to become acquainted with the life forms that called this land home. Acknowledging that I was not positioned to create visual art about a place I knew nothing of, I decided I would use art as a method to learn more about the land, documenting and describing my own experience of Kelowna.   2 Throughout this written thesis, I will be referring to all trees, plants, animals, insects, and other living things as life forms. In the early drafts of this thesis, I used the terms “plants and animals” or occasionally “flora and fauna”, but then questioned this vocabulary when my attention was drawn to mushrooms. I also wanted a term that would encompass all living things without having to use the conjunction “and” or “or”. “Living thing” sounded too vague, and “organism” felt too technical. By addressing all life forms with one term, this simplifies the subject of my work. It is important to note that my study occurred during an unusual time in Kelowna with a flood in central Okanagan in the spring of 2017 and with forest fires in the following summer. These climatic events bring to attention that the life forms I have come to know through this study are not fixed. Changing climates will undoubtedly cause the Kelowna ecosystem to change, thus this research is not only about a specific place, but a specific place in a specific time. Over the years, the land has undergone rapid change, with orchards being replaced with vineyards to produce wine. With the approaching legalization of non-medical cannabis, the land may undergo further change, which will also affect the ecosystem. Thus this research is significant in the sense that it records a place as it may no longer be in the future.   Before giving an account of my creative research, I would first like to acknowledge that the land on which my research takes place is on the unceded territory of the Syilx (Okanagan) Peoples. As a long-term visitor of the land, I acknowledge that a vast history and knowledge system embodied in Indigenous ways of knowing already exists. As a newcomer, I would like to express my gratitude for being given the opportunity to experience and respond to this place with my visual art.    3 1.1 The Creative Research As I began paying more attention to my surroundings in the Kelowna, I thought about how places are shaped by what an individual remembers about a place. One of my first memories of the Okanagan is shaped by an insect: I recall seeing (what I considered at the time) a very large insect perched on the balcony at Grey Monk Winery in Lake Country. To me, the creature was simply “a large bug”. However, hours later, I saw a number of large insects outside of a show home not too far from the winery that were the same size and looked like the one I saw at Grey Monk. It was then that I noticed how elegantly these insects walked and the light and dark brown patterns on their bodies. Because I consciously noticed some of the characteristics of these creatures, I was able to recognize the same species of insect months later at the University House at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. I decided to look into what these insects are called, and learned they are called western conifer seed bugs. Having a more specific way of remembering these creatures than as “large bugs” seemed to reinforce my memories and in my knowledge of the Okanagan, created a connection between Grey Monk Winery, the show homes I saw, and the University House. The connection between these memories was significant as it was one of the first moments I felt like I was making some sense of the place I was in.  Thinking about how broadening my vocabulary of Kelowna’s life forms could allow me to know the place better, I thought about how learning about the life forms I encountered and of their unique qualities could help me to situate myself and understand the environment I am now a part of. I wanted to overcome the ignorant way of generalizing my surroundings, where life forms were regarded with vague names. By becoming able to recognize the unique life forms rather than thinking of a place as having “trees”, “flowers”, “birds”, and “bugs”, a much richer understanding of a place is allowed to develop. In order to best represent my experience of the life in Kelowna, I examined the life forms I encountered in my everyday life within the urban  4 environment’s sidewalks, gardens and boulevards, as well as beaches and parks. As opposed to setting aside time to go out and look for life forms, I focused on becoming aware of the “encounters” I had upon my everyday activity, merely becoming aware of the life forms that crossed my path. In the process of exploring the environment within the city of Kelowna as a means to produce art, I ask the following questions:  How can creating visual art about a local natural environment develop a newcomer’s sense of place? And how might creating art about the experience of a place enhance or facilitate the development of one’s connection to a place and sense of belonging? In my creative research I will be describing and documenting my surroundings to explore these questions, and I will use my findings to reiterate and answer these questions in the concluding chapter of this thesis paper. Informed by hermeneutic phenomenology, my research will examine how familiarity, knowledge and experience of the life forms of Kelowna can be actively obtained by engaging in a creative means of observation and interaction, while being aware of personal interpretation. Positioned as a newcomer and conscious of my diminishing status as a tourist as a result of living here for two years, I demonstrate how producing and exhibiting process-based art utilizing a variety of mediums including drawing, printmaking, assemblage, and installation as a method of learning about the land allows a sense of place and a sense of belonging to a place to emerge over time. I started with an ongoing documentation of my encountered life forms in a field book, writing down every life form that has entered my consciousness from the day I moved to Kelowna. Supplementing this list, I utilized my Smartphone camera and an Instagram account as an extension of and aid to my memory. Drawing and etching enhanced my observations by encouraging me to carefully examine life forms as I drew them in detail, integrating historicality- 5 based stylizations to acknowledge my interpretative viewpoint. A collection of found organic objects such as acorns, seed pods, leaves, dead insects and feathers that served initially as identification and drawing references for my etchings grew into a Wunderkammer (a cabinet of curiosities). These ephemeral objects, through preservation, physically represent my collected and preserved memories of Kelowna. Organic objects became an artistic medium with which I created a series of assemblages. These assemblages grew larger as my work progressed; I started with small display boxes, and then used a cabinet as a large shadow box, and finally, used the gallery room as the containing space. The artwork is created as many separate pieces over time allowing the overall body of work to accumulate and change as experience adds complexity to my understanding of place, illustrating how place understanding can be built through deconstruction and isolation, followed by a gradual reconstructing in the mind. The works I produce over the research period are intended to be viewed as an Erlebniskunst, an expression of experience that is to be aesthetically experienced (Gadamer 61); a constructed environment that brings to attention individual life forms and my responses to them. Supported by this written thesis, my research concluded with a thesis exhibition at the FINA Gallery on the UBCO campus in June 2018.  My thesis is organized into three main sections. The first section situates my creative process as a form of environmental and Canadian place-making art. The next section examines theories such as the concept of “sense of place” and addresses ideas from hermeneutic phenomenology informing this work. In the third section, I describe the creative process of the work produced over the course of the program while briefly commenting on the historical and contemporary artists and artworks that have influenced this process. The final section concludes with reflections on the produced work, answers to my research questions based on my findings,  6 and considers the work’s contribution to knowledge in the broader discipline and how this research may be carried further or expanded on.   1.2 Purpose A study on personal identity in relationship to place is important today as we see more multicultural Canadian citizens such as myself who are disconnected from our cultural roots but also have little to no historical roots in the Canadian land. As a Canadian-born woman of mixed cultural background (Japanese, German, British, and Danish), I am aware that I am tied to places outside of Canada, though I have never considered anywhere outside of Canada as home. I have always been conscious of my lack of connection to Canada in terms of ancestry and culture, and that my upbringing, shaped by settler culture, has brought me up to live disassociated from the land. I am interested in looking for ways in which I can connect to this land through creative work while acknowledging that my Eurasian cultural roots will inevitably influence and possibly hinder the knowledge I gain from the work I produce. In “Sense of Place” (2009) K. E. Foote and M. Azaryahu note that “People define themselves through attachment to particular places” (97), and social psychologists H. M. Proshansky, A. K. Fabian and R. Kaminoff in their article Place Identity: Physical World Socialization of the Self (1983) define place identity as a sub-structure of a person’s self-identity informing one’s experiences, behaviours, and attitudes, emphasizing how self-identity plays a major role in one’s interactions with a place. L. Shultz, J. Kelly, and C. Weber-Pillwax in The Location of Knowledge discuss that while developing a respect and knowledge for the land can counter issues such as ecology and sustainability (342), that:  7 being rooted is a part of who you are; you’ve got to know your physicality, and in order to know your physicality you have to recognize that you’re on the ground. And as soon as you do that, you’re going to have to realize that the ground is more than just dirt ... If you can’t relate to a place, then you just robbed yourself of an important part of your being as a person. You’re walking around as a head, and the rest of you is nothing...lost and searching. (242-243) The settler culture-produced disassociation with nature really came to my attention when my sister and my nephew from Alberta came to visit me. My nephew at the age of one and a half, coming from a comfortable home, a loving family, and no lack of toys, is somewhat difficult to entertain. I handed him a seagull feather one day and I was surprised to see that he was completely bewildered by it. Holding the feather with extreme care, he asked “What IS that?”, a comment that both troubled me and encouraged me to reflect on my own tendencies to overlook nature in my day to day life. I thought about how I typically get from place to place by car or bus, and how such a speed prevents me from the opportunity to get to know the land. I adopted walking as a valuable method to my process of learning about a place; in The Lure of the Local, Lucy Lippard quotes Rebecca Solnit, saying “Walking is the only way to measure the rhythm of the body against the rhythm of the land” (17).  In my art making, I wish to bring to attention the fact that I am a living being amongst many others who call the Canadian land home. We do not separate ourselves and our actions from the land no matter how disassociated from the environment we may be; Lippard emphasizes this point, saying:  No matter how far culture will go to destroy its connection to nature, humankind and all of our technology, good and bad, are inextricable parts of Nature—the original  8 determinant, the mother and matrix of everything, that all-pervasive structure that lies beneath scenery, landscape, place, and human history. (11) Nature also plays a considerable role in defining the Canadian image: when we think about symbols associated with Canada (for example, I think of the Eiffel Tower when thinking of Paris or the Giza Pyramids when I think of Egypt), rather than architecture or empires, we tend to think of natural elements such as mountains, forests, beavers, Canada geese or grizzly bears. The very logo of the City of Kelowna represents the floral seed arrangement of the Arrowleaf balsamroot.  By exhibiting my interactions with and interpretations of local nature in the form of art, I hope for this research to encourage viewers to consider the role nature has played in shaping this space as well as their own identity. I hope to encourage viewers to actively appreciate the life forms we live among and regard them with a sense of wonder.  9 Chapter 2: Literature Review  How might learning about the life forms of a place contribute to developing a sense of place? Lippard describes place as a space combined with memory (9), and Yi Fu Tuan suggests that “the perspective of experience, thereby stressing the uniqueness of places [is] a function of human experience rather than an inherent, objective quality of the place. Space becomes place as it acquires experiential depth” (Foote 97). Knowledge about a place is obtained with experience and time, and a sense of place cannot be obtained all at once; it is not simply a matter of being able to recite the names of the flora and fauna existing in a place, but a matter of actively engaging and interacting with them in the learning process to make the encounter meaningful. If I were to receive a comprehensive list of all the life forms inhabiting Kelowna, it would be of very little use to my place understanding because the life forms would mean nothing to me, evoking no past experiences, memories, emotions, or thoughts, therefore no sense of connection or significance. What is important is the feelings of attachment, belonging, and recognition of uniqueness, achieved through an investment of devotion and commitment. Time is a particularly important factor to the development of knowledge about a place for a newcomer, because time allows for the exoticism of a place to be dispelled, allowing the observations to be about the place without becoming a comparison on how one place is different from another.  British land artist Andy Goldsworthy points out in his book Time that place knowledge relies on time because it allows us to watch a place change: “real change is best understood by staying in one place... I resent travelling south in the early spring in case I am away from home when I see my first tree coming into leaf. If this happens, I see the leaves, but not the growth or change” (8). Goldsworthy emphasizes that places are not snapshots – seasons cycle over the year and the various life forms will come and go at different times. Therefore, the experience of a  10 place needs at least a full year of observation – something a tourist will rarely have the opportunity to do.  The journal-format of Goldsworthy’s books first gave me the idea of keeping a sort of journal to supplement my own artwork. While I was not interested in creating land art for my project like Goldsworthy (primarily because I did not feel it was right to emplace my art directly on the land), I was drawn to the way that the photographic documentation of his ephemeral work was accompanied by a fair amount of informal writing—mostly commentary on the process of his work and its natural deterioration, bringing significance to the experience gained from creating his work rather than focusing on the finished work. In the field book I created as a part of my artmaking process, I bring to attention the factor of time by recording the date of every life form encounter, which provides insight to how my awareness of the life forms in Kelowna slowly develops over time.  In “Making Sense of Place: Exploring Creative and (Inter)active Research Methods with Young People”, Elen-Maarja Trell and Bettina van Hoven demonstrate how a “sense of place” is a familiarity with a place that occurs when space is made meaningful through modification, imagination, and memory, achieved with experience and interaction. Trell and van Hoven continue by examining the limitations of gathering information about a place in the form of dialogue and interview, asking people to describe their experiences of places verbally. They note that language tends to fall short in its ability to describe emotional and sensory memories. The researchers consider alternative ways in which places can be described, suggesting that the experience of being in a place is more richly and fluently recounted through creative forms of expression such as drawing because the senses are more directly involved in making creative  11 work. In my own research I acknowledged Trell and van Hoven’s research by utilizing various creative methods to describe my place-related lived experiences. Jennifer D. Adams states in “Theorizing a Sense of Place in a Transnational Community”  that to newcomers of a place, a sense of place develops as one transforms and re/creates a place to embed it with meaning. Adams suggests that meaning can be evoked when something reminds the newcomer of their own culture or place from which they came (48). Although Adams articulates that bringing elements of one’s own heritage to a new place could make a person feel more at home, I wish to use caution as I recognize this is what the early European settlers did extensively, failing to realize the value and uniqueness of the Okanagan region as something that should be preserved. I am more interested in how the Okanagan changes me rather than how I could change the Okanagan. In “Knowledge of Neighborhood Nature is Associated with Strong Sense of Place among Milwaukee Youth”, Rachel D. Kroencke et al examine the relationship between children and their neighbourhoods. By interviewing and asking the children various questions relating to their usage of neighbourhood parks and feelings of belonging and fondness for their neighbourhoods, the analysis of the interviewed children’s answers reveals that children who spend time in the natural areas of their neighbourhood tend to feel a stronger connection to these places than children who spend more time indoors, providing insight to the important role that interaction with nature plays in providing people with a place-based sense of belonging. I integrate Kroenke’s ideas in my research by making interaction with nature an important step in my methodology. Kroenke suggests that a “sense of place can develop from specific uses such as gathering herbs and plants or creating a quiet, private place...in which to spend time alone” (130); I incorporated this suggestion of gathering organic material as a method in my work.   12 Trell and Kroencke’s articles both describe research that examines children and their relationship to places, and I refer to these articles because I am interested in place relationships developing from the fresh and unexperienced/unfamiliar perspective, which I believe children have in common with adults in new environments, where the opportunity to see the world with a sense of wonder arises. However, I also believe that such a way of viewing the world should not be limited to children. In this research, I demonstrate how a young adult such as myself can utilize a child-like sense of wonder and curiosity. Artist Nina Katchadourian’s Mended Spider Web Series (1998), described on her website ninakatchadourian.com as an “uninvited collaboration with nature”, inspired me with ideas on how one might use creative research to interact with nature. Her website presents this work through photo documentation, showing how she interacted with spiders by mending broken webs with red sewing thread. I was drawn to Katchadourian’s interest in the spider webs because webs tend to be something that we often treat as unwanted and insignificant. Katchadourian comments that the spiders would almost always mend their own webs and discard the red threads she had added onto the web. Through this process of creative interaction and observation, Katchadourian gains insight into the behaviour of spiders. In The Location of Knowledge: A Conversation with the Editors on Knowledge, Experience, and Place by Lynette Shultz, Jennifer Kelly and Cora Weber-Pillwax, the writers examine how location can be a source of knowledge. This conversational article considers the ways in which knowledge may be revealed or received in a place, whether it is intuitive or ingrained in the land among other possibilities, discussing that while a place connection seems to be intuitive, it does not necessarily happen everywhere. The article discusses how the disconnect between colonizing governments and the land occurred because the government was uninterested  13 in the ground and in what was at their feet. The article argues that knowing what is at one’s feet is what roots people and gives a sense of groundedness (339). Shultz suggests that by ignoring the ground, a hierarchy begins, and this can be undone and shifted into an interconnectedness when we learn to look at objects on the ground as being on our same level. Weber-Pillwax comments that when this occurs, we can start to have respect for the land, and thus knowledge is the beginning of place connection saying, “You’re not going to respect something you don’t know” (341).  2.1 Phenomenology Phenomenology is a qualitative research method that focuses on the human experience as a topic in its own right (Kafle 182). The phenomenological researcher studies the subjective experience from the first person point of view (Smith), and aims to provide an interpretive description of this lived experience. Laverty describes phenomenology as being: concerned with the lifeworld or human experience as it is lived. The focus is toward illuminating details and seemingly trivial aspects within experience that may be taken for granted in our lives, with a goal of creating meaning and achieving a sense of understanding. (7) In my endeavour to create art expressing my experiences of Kelowna, I turned my attention to Martin Heidegger and Hans Georg Gadamer’s hermeneutic phenomenology, which places value in the individual’s lived experience. Heidegger and Gadamer’s philosophies consider all experiences as interpretation based on various factors including historicality (one’s past and cultural background). Since everyone’s experience of reality is different, this methodology positions an objective reality to be ontologically unattainable. Epistemologically, the  14 methodology views the “inquirer and inquired [as] fused into a single entity. Findings are literally the creation of the process of interaction between the two” (Grey and Malins 20). Since the hermeneutical rule states that one must understand the whole in terms of the detail and the detail in terms of the whole (Gadamer 291), I approach the complexity of the Kelowna environment by isolating and identifying individual life forms within it. The various individual life forms that I actively encounter in my lived experience becomes a part of my conscious surroundings, and with every new encounter, my knowledge of the environment grows. Hermeneutic phenomenology provided me with the concepts of heuristic reduction, intentionality, and the Umwelt (on which I elaborate below), phenomenological theories I have applied to my research which have allowed me to have a better understanding on how to express and document a perspectival experience.    2.2 Heuristic Reduction Heuristic reduction is the phenomenological attitude of bracketing the natural attitude (the taking-for-granted state we spend most of our lives in) to look at the world with the phenomenological attitude—to adopt a profound sense of child-like wonder and an “openness that invites us to see things as if for the first time” (Manen 43). In this wonder, the phenomenological researcher aims to see “the unusual in the usual, the extraordinary in the ordinary” (223). This is the “distance” Kenneth Robert Olwig discusses in his article “Childhood, Artistic Creation, and the Educated Sense of Place” in which a sense of place differs from rootedness in that a sense of place “implies a certain distance between self and places that allow the self to appreciate a place” (4). While this description of sense of place might be associated with missing a place when somewhere else (homesickness), it can also be a step out of  15 the taken-for-granted attitude of the day to day experience of a place, replacing it with an active appreciation of a place.  An example of the phenomenological attitude applied to my research is when elm seed bugs emerged in my consciousness as significant. There were many of the little stinkbugs in and around my home, and for months, I never thought much about them while I was compiling my list of encountered species in Kelowna. They were small enough to crawl under the door and I found them annoying because of it. However, it suddenly occurred to me one day while examining the unique pattern on their abdomen that I should add them to my field book. When I researched these insects on the internet and came to associate a name with these creatures, I became able to better recognize the same species elsewhere and tell the elm seed bugs apart from other insects that are similar looking, such as the dirt coloured seed bug. By becoming able to identify them, the life form now holds a place-related significance to me and as a result, understanding the species as a part of the Kelowna environment, I cannot help but hold a greater appreciation for the species.  2.3 Intentionality Intentionality is the phenomenological idea that the consciousness is always conscious of something. This “something” can be an emotion, a memory, or an object. However, when the consciousness is faced with something complex, it cannot be conscious of the various components all at once. The theory argues that since our brains cannot take in every detail of a complex environment, it accommodates by selecting single aspects of the complex arrangement and identifying them separately before making sense of the elements all together. For example, if I were to see a honeybee on a coneflower, my consciousness would first need to be aware of the  16 coneflower, and then shift from the coneflower to the honeybee, before putting the two together in order to understand that what was before me was a honeybee on a coneflower. When our consciousness examines objects separately, we are deconstructing what is before us in order to reconstruct it in our minds. The process of phenomenological intentionality is also referential, meaning that when we perceive an object, we use what we already know to make sense of it. In the context of my own research, I attempt to become aware of my own intentionality as I try to make sense of the complex environment of Kelowna by identifying and familiarizing myself with one life form at a time and emphasizing this in the visual work I produce, imitating the way in which this process of making sense of a place occurs in my mind.  2.4 Umwelt “Everything a subject perceives belongs to its perception world [Merkwelt], and everything it produces, to its effect world [Wirkwelt]. These two worlds, of perception and production of effects, form one closed unit, the environment” (von Uexküll 42).  While the physical setting remains a constant to everyone within Kelowna, our perceptions—the meaning and meaninglessness we attach to the various aspects within Kelowna—varies from person to person. This idea is best outlined by the Umwelt theory German biologist Jakob von Uexküll describes in A Foray into the World of Animals and Humans. This concept works well alongside phenomenology and it was adopted from von Uexküll into Heidegger’s own writings and philosophy. This idea proposes that everyone lives within their own environment, a constructed reality based on an individual’s directionality of consciousness which is influenced by the individual’s sensory limitations, upbringing, interests, past life experiences, and historicality. Within “reality”, “a stimulus has to be noticed [gemerkt] by the  17 subject (46)” first to exist in the self-world environment. Furthermore, once the stimulus is noticed, the selective mind either determines the incoming information as being worth paying attention to or is considered useless and discarded. The theory, introduced to me by artist Geoffrey Farmer, is utilized as a means of enhancing my place-based experience by expanding what my Umwelt would otherwise be limited to, coaxing myself to perceive life form encounters as significant instead of subconsciously disregarding the encounters as unimportant.  2.5 Art about Place as a Form of Mapping As a newcomer to the region, I acquired a collection of maps from tourist brochures with which I could casually examine shops, beaches, and wineries I had yet to visit. I thought about how my work on documenting and describing the local area could be considered as a form of mapping where I was building my own sort of map in my mind. As objects are identified and places recalled, locations began piecing themselves together, allowing me to become oriented with where streets, parks, shops, restaurants and so forth lie in relation to each other while these places became embedded with memories and meaning. In This American Life #110: Mapping (prologue), Denis Wood describes how maps are an essentialization of a place, and always from a perspectival view: mapping is about ignoring everything in the world except for one thing (e.g. streets, wineries, powerlines, train tracks...). As I grew more familiar with Kelowna, I became interested in the way that the tourist maps I collected presented places within the city. I thought about how so much of what gave the region its characteristics was missing from these maps – the life forms I became acquainted with and the hot summer days in Kelowna were experiences that could not be made known from looking at these maps. I integrated the tourist maps into my  18 work, using them less as I slowly discarded the notion that these maps portrayed an “accurate” image of the Okanagan land.   19 Chapter 3: Creative Production (Methodology)   Since a phenomenological researcher “needs experiential material upon which the reflection can be conducted” (Manen 297), I needed to begin by collecting data –lived experience – that I could reflect on. In my case, this lived experience was the life forms I encountered. While making an effort to notice the life forms around me, I felt the need to keep track of them by writing them down. I realized that in order to compile such a list, I needed to learn specific names for these life forms to prevent confusion (e.g. “stinkbug” as a name for the western conifer seed bug is confusing since it allows me to confuse it with other bugs I may encounter, such as the brown marmorated stink bug). This list began on a piece of scrap paper, and as it grew longer, I began accompanying the names with notes describing my observations of the life forms as well as details such as dates and places of encounter.  3.1 Field Book Documentation To organize this list, I transferred and continued it in the form of a field book. This list of life forms does not attempt to be a comprehensive list of every living thing in Kelowna, nor does it seek to idealistically include only the “beautiful” or appealing life forms. I was not selective about the life form encounters I recorded in terms of whether they were native species, alien species, wild or landscaped since either way, they are now living in and interconnected in a shared space. Life forms in my field book were often added sometime after my encounter with them: I would reflect upon an encounter several hours or even days later, which effectively left me to remember only the life forms that have remained as being notable in my memory. By this method, I anticipate to produce a field book with a truer description of my experiences as a  20 limited being. Table 1 below shows entries (condensed) from my field book, identifying the life forms by their English common names and Latin binomial names, along with the dates and places of encounters. In cases where life forms are observed in my own house on Ambrosi Road, I specify the room in which the encounter occurs (e.g. “my living room”), as these spaces have already been made meaningful to me and thus the entry is presented as coming from a personal perspective.   Table 1. Life Form Encounters No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 001 06/22/16 Lavender (Lavandula spp.) Save on Foods parking lot at Orchard Plaza Ambrosi Road, St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral Garden, Quail’s Gate Winery... 002 06/22/16 Black-billed magpie (Pica hudsonia) UBCO campus Orchard Plaza, Ambrosi Road, Barlee Park, my rooftop deck, Strathcona Park... 003 06/23/16 Red-headed soldier beetle (Podabrus pruinosus) Triple Tree Place Wilden n/a 004 06/25/16 Spring field cricket ♂ (Gryllus veletis) Triple Tree Place Wilden n/a 005 06/26/16 Rufous hummingbird ♂ (Selasphorus rufus) Triple Tree Place Wilden Penticton by En'owkin Centre and Shingle Creek 006 06/27/16 Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) Knox Mountain Wilden, Vineyards at Summerhill, Arrowleaf, Gray Monk, road near Tantalus Winery... 007 06/27/16 Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) William R. Bennett Bridge Tantalus, Orchard Park Mall parking lot, Rotary Beach Park, Cedar Creek Park... 008 06/28/16 Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa) Okanagan Lavender Farm UBCO campus, Cedar Creek Park, Wilden, Knox Mountain, Peachland along highway... 009 06/29/16 Yellow-bellied marmot (Marmota flaviventris) Little Straw Winery Carmelli’s Goat Cheese, UBCO campus, Springfield and Durnin Road, Dilworth Dr... 010 07/01/16 California quail ♂ ♀ (Callipepla californica) my Backyard UBCO campus, Quails’ Gate Winery, Cedar Creek Park, Agassiz Road, Ambrosi Road... 011 07/01/16 Pill bug  (Armadillidium vulgare) Ambrosi Road Orchard Plaza, UBCO campus, on Gordon and Springfield 012 07/01/16 Black-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia hirta) Ambrosi Road Harvey Avenue near Home Depot, Hotel Eldorado boardwalk, UBCO campus 013 07/02/16 Common grape vine  (Vitis vinifera) Agassiz Road  my surrounding neighbours’ backyards along Barlee and Agassiz Road  014 07/04/16 European paper wasp ♂ ♀ (Polistes dominula) my Bedroom Ambrosi Road, UBCO campus, outside of Alchemy, Perch, Naramata Bench...  21 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 015 07/09/16 European aspen (Populus tremula) Meadow Vista Honey Wines South Central Kelowna near Pandosy and Cadder 016 07/09/16 Aspen serpentine leaf miner (Phyllocnistis populiella) Meadow Vista Honey Wines (?) by EME at UBCO campus 017 07/09/16 Purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) Sandhill Wines Meadow Vista Honey Wines, Okanagan Lavender Farm, Quail’s Gate Winery, Opus... 018 08/10/16 Oregon grape/barberry (Mahonia aquifolium) Enterprise Park Cedar Creek Park, Harvey avenue by Wood Fire Bakery, UBCO campus... 019 08/14/16 Mallard ♂ ♀ (Anas platyrhynchos) Gyro Beach Park Hotel Eldorado boardwalk, Ambrosi Road, Rotary Beach Park, parking lot behind Opus... 020 08/19/16 Green stink bug (Chinavia halaris) Ambrosi Road n/a 021 08/21/16 Lamb’s ear (Stackys byzantia) Peachland near Gasthaus on the Lake Delta Hotel, downtown landscaping, Mission Creek Park, Barlee Road, Poplar Grove... 022 08/31/16 London planetree (Platanus X acerifolia) Mission Hill Winery Harvey Avenue by Orchard Plaza, Peachland,  UBCO campus, Gyro Beach, Banks road... 023 09/06/16 Glass snail (Oxychilus) Ambrosi Road n/a 024 09/18/16 Western conifer seed bug (Leptoglossus occidentalis) Gray Monk Estate Winery University House UBCO campus, Ambrosi Road, my rooftop deck, Delta Grand hotel... 025 09/19/16 American crow (Corvus brachyrhynchos) Harvey Avenue & Orchard Plaza Barlee Road, Agassiz Road, Ambrosi Road 026 09/24/16 Ring-billed gull (Larus delawarensis) Rotary Beach Park downtown Kelowna, Orchard Park Mall parking lot 027 09/27/16 Northern red oak (Quercus Rubra) UBCO campus Orchard Park Mall, Mission Hill Winery, downtown Kelowna by Tonics... 028 10/03/16 Thornless honey locust  (Gleditsia triaconthos f. inermis) Costco parking lot Bernard Avenue, Orchard Plaza, Hotel Eldorado, Kirschner Road, by Banks Stn... 029 10/09/16 Black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia) Barlee Road along Springfield Road near Gordon Drive, UBCO by traffic circle, Abbott and Cadder... 030 10/13/16 Grove snail (Cepaea nemoralis) Cedar Creek Park Ambrosi Road 031 10/17/16 Shaggy parasol mushroom (Chlorophyllum brunellum) UBCO campus Barlee Road, Dayton Avenue, along the boulevard by Harvey Avenue, Ambrosi Rd... 032 10/20/16 Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) UBCO campus by Save on Foods in Orchard Plaza 033 11/04/16 Linden tree (Tilia spp. including americana) my backyard Ambrosi Road, UBCO campus, Mission Hill Winery, Orchard Park, Near KGH... 034 11/20/16 Silver grass (Miscanthus sinensis) Ambrosi Road Quails’ Gate Winery, Landmark Towers 035 03/05/17 Rock pigeon (Columba livia) my rooftop deck Ambrosi Road, the Madison building  22 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 036 03/28/17 Plume moth (Emmelina monodactyla) UBCO University House Ambrosi Road, my rooftop deck 037 04/08/17 Ground beetle (Calosoma externum) Ambrosi Road by Army Surplus near Landmark Towers, in a spider’s web in my garage, by Orchard Park... 038 04/29/17 Canada geese (Branta canadensis) my rooftop deck Ambrosi Road, Springfield and Benvoulin Road, Rotary Beach Park, Peachland... 039 05/14/17 Darkling beetle (Eleodes obscurus) amongst lumber on Dilworth Mountain Other Eleodes beetles observed on Ambrosi Road 040 05/16/17 Eurasian collared dove (Streptopelia decaocto) Barlee Road UBCO campus, Ambrosi Road, Quails Gate Winery 041 05/19/17 Flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) Ambrosi Road Vasile Road 042 05/20/17 Red horse-chestnut (Aesculus X carnea) Ambrosi Road Harvey Avenue and Dilworth Drive, Ethel and Sutherland, Arrowleaf Winery... 043 05/20/17 Cicada (Cicadoidea) Lake Country n/a 044 05/25/17 Short tailed ichneumon wasp ♂  (Ophion luteus) my living room Quail’s Gate Winery 045 05/27/17 Wasp mimic flowerfly (Sytphus ribesii) my living room Mission Hill Winery, UBCO campus, Ambrosi Road, Strathcona Park... 046 05/28/17 Western honeybee ♂ ♀ (Apis mellifera) Quails’ Gate Winery Cedar Creek Park, Ambrosi Road, Agassiz Road, Arlo’s Honey Farm, Sandhill Wines... 047 05/30/17 Star magnolia (Magnolia stellata) Ambrosi Road near Orchard Park Mall, UBCO campus, near Bernard Avenue, Sonoma Pines 048 06/02/17 Norway maple (Acer platanoides) UBCO campus Sarson’s Beach Park, Orchard Plaza, Ambrosi Road, Rotary Beach Park, Sptringfield Rd... 049 06/08/17 Western black carpenter ant (Camponotus modoc)  my living room Ambrosi Road 050 06/08/17 Spittlebugs (Cercopidae) Ambrosi Road Windsor Street near Total Pet 051 06/08/17 Day lily (Hemerocallis) Ambrosi Road Harvey Avenue between Cooper and Banks, Delta Hotel gardens 052 06/12/17 Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) Harvey Avenue by Orchard Plaza UBCO campus, Orchard Park, Agassiz Road, by Art Knapp on Springfield Road... 053 06/15/17 One-eyed sphinx moth (Simerinthus cerisyi) Dilworth Mountain n/a 054 06/15/17 Fly (Graphomya maculate, among others) Clement and Ethel Ambrosi Road, my backyard, the Salted Brick 055 06/18/17 Great blue heron (Ardea herodias) Ambrosi Road and Springfield Road n/a 056 06/18/17 Harlequin ladybird & pupa (Harmonia axyridis) Harvey Avenue near Umé Ambrosi Road, UBCO campus, St. Michaels Cathedral, Poplar Grove Winery...  23 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 057 06/18/17 Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa) Ambrosi Road Agassiz Road, Kelowna General Hospital Rehab Ward courtyard 058 06/19/17 Japanese maple tree (Acer palmatum) UBCO Campus Agassiz Road, Ambrosi Road 059 06/19/17 White clover (Trifollium repens) my backyard Ambrosi Road, Kelowna General Hospital parking lot by Rehab Ward 060 06/20/17 Bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) Rotary Beach Park UBC O Campus 061 06/20/17 Golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) Tantalus winery n/a 062 06/21/17 June bug (Polyphylla decemlineata) my rooftop deck n/a 063 06/28/17 Leopard slug (Limax maximus) Cedar Creek Park in front of my house, Ambrosi Road 064 07/02/17 White-spotted Sawyer ♀ (Monochamus scutellatus) porch at Carmelli’s Goat Cheese Dilworth Mountain 065 07/02/17 Metallic wood-boring beetle (Chalcophora virginiensis) Dilworth Mountain my backyard 066 07/02/17 Crane fly (Tipulidae) Lake Country my backyard, Ambrosi Road, by Waterfront Café, Strathcona Park 067 07/03/17 Red-shafted northern flicker (Colaptes auratus) Ambrosi Road Barlee Road, Orchard Plaza, Pond near the University House at UBCO campus 068 0712/17 Bumblebee (including Bombus nevadensis) St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral (other species) Quails’ Gate Winery, Mission Hill, Ambrosi Road, UBCO campus... 069 07/14/17 Sweatbee  (Halictidae) Flowerbed at UBCO  my backyard 070 07/17/17 Pale snaketail dragonfly ♂ (Ophiogomphus severus) Quails’ Gate Winery n/a 071 07/17/17 Dragonfly  (Anisoptera) Ambrosi Road UBCO campus, Orchard Park Mall 072 07/18/17 Two-striped grasshopper (Melanoplus bivitattus) Ambrosi Road Bench 1775 Winery, UBCO campus, Springfield and Ambrosi Road 073 07/19/17 Sweet gum tree (Liquidambar styraciflua) Ambrosi Road in front of karate school Agassiz Road, behind movie theatre at Orchard Plaza 074 07/24/17 Painted lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) Vernon n/a 075 07/24/17 Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) Orchard Park Mall Ambrosi Road, near Sandhill Wines, Quails’ Gate Winery, UBCO campus... 076 07/25/17 Familiar bluet damselfly ♂ ♀ (Enallagma civile) Rotary Beach Park pond at UBCO campus, Okanagan Lake, Hotel Eldorado 077 07/26/17 Harvestman daddy long legs (Opiliones) Ambrosi Road Agassiz Road, in my house  24 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 078 07/30/17 Common merganser ♀ (Mergus merganser) Okanagan Lake by Peachland beach access between bridge and Gyro Beach Park 079 07/30/17 Lime nail-gall mite (Eriophyes tiliae) Ambrosi Road n/a 080 07/30/17 Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) Quails’ Gate Winery UBCO campus, St Michael’s Cathedral, along Harvey Avenue, Lake Country... 081 08/02/17 Violet ground beetle (Carabus violaceus) Richter Street and Coronation Avenue  alleyway between Ambrosi Road and Barlee Road 082 08/03/17 Tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima) near Sandhill Wines South Central Kelowna, shore in Peachland, Springfield Road near St. Michael’s... 083 08/04/17 European starling ♂ ♀ (Sturnus vulgaris)  Harvey Avenue and Orchard Plaza UBCO campus, Orchard Park Mall parking lot, around Kelowna General Hospital 084 08/04/17 Black rove beetle (Staphylinidae) Ambrosi Road n/a 085 08/05/17 Golden raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata) Springfield Road by Lee Valley Quails’ Gate Winery, by SSC and by Fipke on UBCO campus 086 08/06/17 Solitary wasp (mud dauber) (Sceliphron caementarium) my living room Quails’ Gate Winery 087 08/06/17 Black vine weevil (Otiorhynchus sulcatus) Ambrosi Road UBCO campus, in my house 088 08/08/17 Indian bean tree (Catalpa bignonioides) Mission Hill Winery South Central Kelowna, by Delta Grand hotel, Hudson and Boucherie road  089 08/08/17 Woodland skipper (Ochlodes sylvanoides) Mission Hill Winery St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral garden 090 08/12/17 Okanagan mayfly ♂ (Hexagenia limbata) Sandhill Wines Ambrosi Road, UBCO campus, by Lakehouse on Bernard, Trinity Church... 091 08/12/17 Carolina grasshopper (Dissosteira carolina) deconstruction site at Springfield Art Knapp Agassiz Road and Ambrosi Road 092 08/13/17 Chinese arborvitae (Platycladus orientalis) Agassiz Road Ambrosi Road, Springfield Road near Gordon Drive, near St. Michael Cathedral 093 08/19/17 Pallid-winged grasshopper (Trimerotropis pallidipennis) Quails’ Gate Winery vineyards Agassiz Road, UBCO campus, Art Knapp on Springfield Road 094 08/22/17 Bald-faced hornet (Dolichovespula maculata) Rotary Beach Park Ambrosi Road, near St. Michael’s Cathedral, UBCO campus by bus stops... 095 08/23/17 English oak (Quercus robur) South Central Kelowna Barlee Park, near Orchard Park Mall, Landmark towers 096 08/24/17 Rowan/Mountain ash (Sorbus aucuperia) Harvey Avenue by A&W various locations along Springfield Road 097 08/29/17 Large yellow underwing moth (Noctua pronuba) Ambrosi Road Art Knapp on Springfield Road 098 08/29/17 Yellow jacket ♂ ♀ (Vespula pensylvanica) Bench 1775, Naramata Ambrosi Road, Orchard Plaza, UBCO campus  25 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 099 08/29/17 German wasp ♂ ♀ (Vespula germanica) UBCO campus Ambrosi Road, Orchard Plaza 100 08/30/17 Snowy tree cricket  (Oecanthus fultoni) Ambrosi Road Sonoma Pines, Grassy space on Springfield by Ambrosi Road 101 08/09/17 Burr oak tree (Quercus macrocarpa) near White Spot n/a 102 09/10/17 Lace wing (Neuroptera) Dilworth Mountain Ambrosi Road 103 09/10/17 Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) Barlee Road Harvey Avenue near UBCO, near downtown Kelowna, Delta hotel, UBCO, near Mission Hill... 104 09/11/17 Horse chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) Arrowleaf Winery beside Perkins on Harvey Avenue, near Strathcona Park 105 09/11/17 Earwig ♂ ♀ (Dermaptera) Ambrosi Road Agassiz Road, UBCO campus in the University House 106 09/11/17 Showy milkweed (Asclepias speciosa) Agassiz Road Penticton by En'owkin Centre, corner on Ambrosi Road where Art Knapp used to be 107 09/12/17 Elm seed bug (Arocatus melanocephalus) in my house Ambrosi Road, Agassiz Road 108 09/12/17 Pectoral sandpiper (Calidris melanotos) pond at UBCO campus n/a 109 09/17/17 English walnut tree (Juglans regia) Richter Street near Sandhill Wines Agassiz Road, Barlee Park, Clement & Gordon Drive, near St. Michael’s Cathedral... 110 09/20/17 Amur maple (Acer ginnala) UBCO campus near Lee Valley, parking lot of Landmark Cinemas Grand 10 111 09/21/17 Western tiger swallowtail (Papilio rutulus) St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral Ambrosi Road, Gordon Drive and Springfield Road, my backyard 112 09/21/17 Canadian tiger swallowtail (Papilio canadensis) St. Michael and All Angels Cathedral (same as above – difficult to decipher between the two from a brief encounter) 113 09/21/17 Saussure’s blue-winged grasshopper (Leprus intermedius) Armstrong n/a 114 09/22/17 Raccoon  (Procyon lotor) highway through Vernon crossing lakeshore road near Gyro Beach Park 115 09/23/17 Elm tree (Ulmaceae) behind my house Barlee road, UBCO Campus, Highway 97 by Rutland, Strathcona Park 116 09/30/17 Coyote (Canis latrans) by the University house on UBCO campus  field by UBCO campus 117 10/01/17 Cattail (Typha) pond on UBCO campus n/a 118 10/03/17 Western Boxelder (Boisea rubrolineata) University house on UBCO campus on my house doorstep, beside Don-O-Ray Vegetables 119 10/05/17 Porcupine (Erethizon dorsatum) behind my backyard n/a  26 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 120 10/11/17 Burning bush (Euonymus alatus) Quails’ Gate Winery UBCO campus, Banks bus stop, Ambrosi Road 121 10/11/17 Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus) boardwalk by Manteo Resort Ambrosi Road, by Wood Fire Bakery, in front of Peddler’s Cottage Interiors... 122 10/12/17 Elm leaf beetle (Xanthogaleruca luteoia) on elm tree leaves behind my house n/a 123 10/15/17 Small milkweed bug (Lygaeus kalmii) Cedar Creek Winery n/a 124 10/15/17 Red-tailed chipmunk (Neotamias ruficaudus) CCS and CCT buildings on UBCO campus n/a 125 10/18/17 Curly dock (Rumex crispus) near EME  on UBCO campus along Highway 97 towards UBCO campus, Boucherie Road by Quails’ Gate Winery 126 10/23/17 Ginkgo (Maidenhair tree) (Ginkgo biloba) UBCO campus  n/a 127 11/01/17 Interior Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) by the University house on UBCO campus n/a 128 11/12/17 Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus) UBCO campus n/a 129 11/26/17 Norway spruce (Picea abies) by White Spot on Harvey Avenue n/a 130 11/29/17 Blue spruce (Picea pungens) UBCO campus n/a 131 01/06/18 Common raven (Corvus corax) Ambrosi Road UBCO campus, Springfield Road and Gordon Drive 132 01/15/18 Hound’s tongue (Cynoglossum officinale) UBCO campus n/a 133 01/20/18 Lesser burdock (Arctium minus) UBCO campus n/a 134 02/03/18 Bohemian waxwing (Bombycilla garrulus) Ambrosi Road n/a 135 02/06/18 Dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) my backyard n/a 136 02/10/18 Red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) Near Kelowna Airport UBCO campus 137 02/02/18 Ring-necked pheasant (Phasianus colchicus) acreage by UBCO campus Rifle Road and Longhill Road 138 03/01/18 Moose (Alces alces) Cedar Creek Park n/a 139 03/12/18 Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) UBCO campus along Boucherie Road, Quails’ Gate Winery 140 03/16/18 Emerald green cedar (Thuja occidentalis smaragd) by Shawanda on Ambrosi Road other areas along Ambrosi Road  27 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 141 03/20/18 American coot (Fulica americana) Gyro Beach Park n/a 142 03/21/18 Great horned owl (Bubo virginianus) in a ponderosa tree by University House n/a 143 03/21/18 Common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) my backyard Ambrosi Road by Shawanda, near Kelowna General Hospital, by Strathcona Park 144 03/23/18 Red-winged blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) Pond at UBCO campus  Dilworth Drive 145 03/23/18 Black-capped chickadee (Poecile atricapillus) Pond at UBCO campus n/a 146 03/23/18 American robin (Turdus migratorius) Pond at UBCO campus Ambrosi Road 147 03/27/18 Blister beetle (Meloe) Behind karate building on Ambrosi Road n/a 148 03/27/18 Brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) my front door Ambrosi Road 149 03/27/18 Sweet violets (Viola odorata) grassy areas along Ambrosi Road behind movie theatre in Orchard Plaza, my backyard, Okanagan Lavender and Herb farm 150 03/30/18 Forbes’ glory-of-the-snow (Scilla forbesii) by the old Art Knapp on Ambrosi Road n/a 151 03/30/18 Willow (Salix) pond near the University House at UBCO  Rotary Beach Park, Cedar Creek Park, Cadder Avenue and Richter Street 152 03/31/18 Tulips (Tulipa) on the empty Art Knapp site UBCO campus, in front of Landmark Towers, by Dunn Enzies at Landmark Towers 153 04/12/18 Easter tree (Forsythia) by Shawanda on Ambrosi Road Sonoma Pines, UBCO Admin building 154 04/17/18 Mullein (Verbascum) Boucherie Road UBCO campus, on the empty property on Ambrosi Road (where Art Knapp used to be) 155 04/18/18 Sweet cherry (Prunus avium) along alleyway between Ambrosi and Barlee Rd n/a 156 04/18/18 Alder (Alnus) Mission Creek Park n/a 157 04/22/18 Saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangeana) Near Landmark Towers varieties of this species by White Spot on Harvey Avenue, by Triple O’s Chevron... 158 04/23/18 Arrowleaf balsamroot (Balsamorhiza sagittata) along Valley Road on Dilworth Mountain by University House on UBCO campus 159 04/24/18 Indian hemp/ Hemp dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum) Mission Creek Park n/a 160 04/25/18 Masked hunter assasin (Reduvius personatus) in my garage Ambrosi Road, Old Vines Restaurant 161 04/26/18 Dirt coloured seed bug (Rhyparochromus vulgaris) in my living room n/a  28 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 162 04/26/18 Flowering plum (Prunus cerasifera) Ambrosi Road in front of Karate place Barlee and Agassiz Road 163 04/26/18 Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale?) by Cooper Station bus stop by Orchard Plaza, along Ambrosi Road, Barlee Road, around KGH... 164 04/26/18 Daffodil (Narcissus) by Student Service Centre at UBCO Ambrosi Road by Dwell 165 05/02/18 Horsetail (Equisetum) Penticton by En'owkin Centre Mission Creek Park 166 05/02/18 Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus) Penticton by En'owkin Centre The Chase Winery in Lake Country 167 05/02/18 Saskatoon berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) Penticton by En'owkin Centre n/a 168 05/02/18 Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) Penticton at Sockeye fry release n/a 169 05/02/18 Click beetle (Ampedus behrensi) Penticton by En'owkin Centre n/a 170 05/02/18 Poison ivy (Toxicodendron) Penticton by En'owkin Centre n/a 171 05/21/18 Silver maple (Acer saccharinum) Rotary Beach Park n/a 172 05/21/18 Pseudoscorpion  (Pseudoscorpionida) my backyard  n/a 173 05/31/18 Rose rust  (Phragmidium spp.) between EME and University House Cedar Creek Park 174 05/31/18 Dimorphic flower longhorn ♀ (Anastrangalia laetifica) between EME and University House n/a 175 06/01/18 Cornflower  (Centaurea cyanus) UBCO campus parking lot beside EME  along Harvey Ave; Lake Country near the Chase Winery 176 06/02/18 Western rose curculio  (Merhynchites wickhami) Cedar Creek Park n/a 177 06/09/18 Smoketree  (Cotinus coggygria) Agassiz Road Quail’s Gate Winery 178 06/10/18 Common barberry (Berberis vulgaris) in front of my house n/a 179 06/11/18 Blue bottle (Calliphora vomitoria) my backyard n/a 180 06/14/18 Japanese tree lilac (Syringia reticulata) between row houses on Ambrosi Road n/a 181 06/14/18 Walnut blister mite (Aceria erinea) Agassiz Road n/a 182 06/14/18 Hoverfly (Helophilus spp.) Ambrosi Road my backyard  29 No. mm/dd/yy Life form Place of Encounter Other locations of observation 183 06/23/18 Green lacewing (Chrysopidae) The Chase Winery in Lake Country n/a 184 06/25/18 Yucca (Yucca filamentosa?) Vasile Road and Agassiz Road behind the University House, by Manteo Resort  Although I have had friends and classmates tell me of their own encounters in the Okanagan with praying mantises, black widow spiders, or mountain lions, I chose not to add anything in my field book I had not personally encountered. While I do not doubt their presence in the region, I find that my own personal lack of lived experience involving these life forms have not made them “real” to me, and therefore have yet to become associated with the region as I know it. During the process of actively encountering life forms and examining them closely, I realized how limited my awareness of my surroundings was before actively experiencing it. Shortly after moving to Kelowna, I saw a London planetree tree at Mission Hill Winery with spiky seed pods hanging from it. Having never seen anything like it before, I wrongly assumed there were nuts of some sort inside of the pods. Pulling the pods apart months later, I realized that each individual spike of the pod was actually a small seed attached to a cluster of ochre-coloured fibres. If it had not been for my effort to pick up the fallen pods for closer observation, I would have continued to believe my incorrect assumptions as true. There are also sweet gum trees in my neighbourhood that I initially mistook for being the same as the London planetree since they also had spiky pods hanging from their branches. It wasn’t until I picked up one of the sweet gum trees’ spiky pods that I realized that these pods are completely different from the pods of a planetree—solid and burr-like. I made many other careless assumptions in my early weeks in the Okanagan, confusing ospreys with bald eagles, and black vine weevils for ground beetles.   30 While attempting to identify life forms as specifically as possible, I realized that some species had unique binomial names but had common names (in English) shared with others of the same genus: One example is the Eleodes obscurus. The common name for this creature is “Pinacate beetle”, a name shared by other Eleodes beetles of other species.  Identifying an Eleodes obscurus as a darkling or pinacate beetle would not allow me to differentiate the creature to remember how it is unique from other species of Eleodes I might encounter, so I started listing the binomial names in my field book, recognizing that utilizing this language would allow me to organize my encounters more specifically. For some of the life forms I encountered, I was only able to identify the family or genus the life form belonged to (e.g. Cicadoidea), and such life forms were recorded in table 1 by the genus or family name in the italicized brackets. At the MFA Open House at the FINA Gallery in April 2017, I created an installation titled Entanglement. I labelled a tourist map of Kelowna with pins and tags on various locations where certain life forms were encountered. The tags listed both the English common names and Latin binomial names. In response to this work, there arose the question of whether or not the use of the Latin language was appropriate for the work in the context of the Okanagan. While I am still considering this form of presentation as problematic, the Latin classification system in my identification process is useful to me because its systematic method gives me an idea as to how carefully I am able to observe a creature. I was interested in how this classification system suggests a relationship between all living things including myself, rather than the suggestion of a ranking system or hierarchy. It also addresses the fact that these life forms exist in other places around the world, reaching a wider audience who will understand this classification system. As my work continues beyond my MFA and as I grow to know the land better, I intend to investigate learning and incorporating the Syilx names, which unfortunately for  31 me, currently hold little meaning due to my lack of knowledge and understanding of the culture and language.  With the help of various resources such as field guidebooks, local residents, websites (e.g. bugguide.net, the City of Kelowna’s Urban Tree Guide and E-Fauna BC at ibis.geog.ubc.ca) and Smartphone apps such as GardenAnswers, I attempted to identify life forms either by referring to samples I would bring home, photographs I had taken on my Smartphone, or reflect on my memory to identify the species. I felt that the process of attempting to identify the life forms myself instead of bringing them to a horticulturalist or entomologist allowed me to discover more about the creature in question. By utilizing the web and field guides to identify the life forms myself, I became aware of existing similar species, forcing me to determine what made these life forms different from one another. The careful observations made me aware of the uniqueness of life forms that I probably never would have otherwise noticed.  I often began my identification process with a descriptive phrase in Google search as my starting point—I recorded these descriptions into my field book because it shows how I would have described a life form before attaching a name to it. These descriptions that are unfortunately often vague and confusing. Some examples of these search phrases include: “black bug with large body and powerful hind legs” (Spring field cricket (Gryllus veletis)), “wing-like seed pods” (Norway maple tree (Acer platanoides)), “bug shaped like a T” (Plume moth (Emmelina monodactyla)), “wasp with legs hanging down” (European paper wasp (Polistes dominula)), or “lantern like seed-pod” (Golden raintree (Koelreuteria paniculata)). I found this tendency to compare life forms unfamiliar to me with things I knew very interesting—the comparison of the plume moth to the letter T, the Norway maple seed pods to wings, and the raintree pods to lanterns. It made me understand the hermeneutic circle more clearly, that everything we see is  32 based on what we already know, the tendency to want to make connections when we are faced with something completely new.  I found that identifying life forms with specific names helped me to articulate the experience of my memories better, and as a result makes the now-familiar species within the complex environment feel less foreign to me.  The “date of encounter” category was one I did not originally include in my field book until a couple of months later. As I wrote down the encountered life forms in my first semester, I became increasingly aware of the fact that an understanding of Kelowna’s environment was clearly not something I could grow to know in a short period of time. As time passed, my list grew longer, and so did the complexity of my understanding of Kelowna. I also originally intended to limit my field book entries to one year, recording encounters from July 2016 to July 2017. However, July 2017 came and went, and I continued to become acquainted with more and more life forms. I had erroneously thought that by the time all four seasons were experienced, anything I saw afterward would be redundant. I decided I needed to extend the documentation time period, and I continued recording life forms until the thesis defence on June 26, 2018.  “Place of re-encounter” was also a category I added as an afterthought - it was interesting to me that trying to recall the places of encounters and re-encounters was easy to do, as I found my experience of places were often strongly defined by the creatures encountered in those places and that these encounters were what made these places meaningful to me.    33 3.2 Smartphone Camera Roll and Instagram as Research Methods  Figure 1. Instagram account  Screen shot taken on my iPhone 2017.  Supplementing this field book, as further evidence and documentation as well as an aid to my memory was my Smartphone camera roll and an Instagram account @heuristicreduction. The instantaneous and accessible quality of the Smartphone conveniently allowed me to capture moments of my lived experience that I could casually record and refer back to at a later time. @heuristicreduction is a sequence of photographs showing life forms that I had for whatever reason believed was worth stopping to take the time to photograph, which when referred back to, could reveal the directionality of my consciousness at the time the images were taken. Lippard states that images used to describe a place are best presented as a series of photographs (as  34 Instagram does), so that “one image can inform another and images and text can inform one another, extending the sense of presence beyond the individually framed view” (180). Susan Sontag’s On Photography emphasises the perspectival quality of photography, stating that despite the camera’s ability to present a faithful rendition of reality, “Photographs do not simply render reality—realistically” (67). She goes on to say that:  The earliest photographers talked as if the camera were a copying machine; as if, while people operate cameras, it is the camera that sees...But as people quickly discovered that nobody takes the same picture of the same thing, the supposition that cameras furnish an impersonal, objective image yielded to the fact that photographs are evidence not only of what’s there but of what an individual sees, not just a record but an evaluation of the world. (67-68)  The dates of the Instagram posts are conveniently noted below the images, and I often turned to this feature when adding a life form to my field book sometime after an encounter. For some reason I tended to photograph some life forms without feeling the need to add them to my life forms list, which I would often not notice until scrolling through my images at a later time. These photographs are also useful as visual references when I want to identify a life form, since the images sometimes captured species-specific physical traits.    3.3 Drawing and Zinc Plate Etching I found I could become more familiar with a life form through the close observation demanded in the process of drawing. When observation is conducted in the form of drawing, the product (the drawing itself) reveals not only the physical characteristics of the observed life  35 form, but also the artist’s interpretation of a subject. I began with several drawings and decided to give etching a try.  To create my etchings, I cut zinc sheets into eighths, creating plates of about 8.5” x 11”, a size I felt would not overpower the viewer yet be small enough to encourage the viewer to stand at a close distance so they could to peer in to examine the details in the drawings. The size of the prints allowed for only one viewer at a time, thus allowing the viewer to re-enact the one-on-one encounter. The careful way in which the etchings are drawn intends to convey the attitude with which I perceived the subject. I wanted the viewer to know that they are looking at something I regard as valuable and important. Etching added an interesting element to my work because of the repetitive printmaking process involved in producing an image multiple times, which I felt appropriately reflected the way in which some species are re-encountered frequently.  I looked at Ernst Haeckel’s lithographs in Kunstformen der Natur, and thought about how phenomenology describes intentionality as the isolation of objects by the consciousness, and Haeckel’s work represents this idea through art, depicting various life forms drawn in careful detail against blank backgrounds. The central compositions and empty backgrounds of my etchings express the Haeckel-inspired approach of observing the life form with phenomenological intentionality, where the life form lies in the viewers’ direction of consciousness, and everything surrounding the subject shifts out of consciousness. Megan K. Halpern and Hannah Star Rogers evaluate Haeckel’s artistic approach in “Inseparable Impulses: The Science and Aesthetic of Ernst Haeckel and Charley Harper”, noting Haeckel’s method of isolating life forms to pull them out of the context of time and space. Once these life forms are removed from their context, they are re-contextualized by being placed amongst other life forms on the page of the book. Essentially, an environment is deconstructed so that a new environment  36 can be presented. Such a method allows the artist to choose what elements of reality are represented and what is left out. Ultimately, the book becomes a representation of the world as viewed by a perspectival being with a selective consciousness. In my own work, I re-constructed the Kelowna environment by arranging these etchings in the form of an installation.  Because Martin Heidegger argues in Being and Time that all description is interpretation, I wanted to remind the viewers that this work is an expression of a perspectival experience. If I were to illustrate a life form as “accurately” as possible, it would suggest an attempt to reach an objective rendering, which would contradict my methodology. To prevent the viewer from perceiving these etchings as “correct” representations, I incorporated interpretation by integrating the occasional stylization; interlacing lines and spirals suggestive of early European cultural art, and printed on silk and mulberry papers as well as Hahnemühle Copperplate paper – Japanese and German papers – to add another layer of my cultural background to the work, acknowledging how my historicality influences my perspectival understanding.   37  Figure 2. Zinc plate etchings on Hahnemühle copperplate paper (2017) Clockwise from top left: Leptoglossus occidentalis, Vitis vinifera, Pinus ponderosa, Callipepla californica    38 I showed twelve etchings printed on Hahnemühle paper in a solo exhibition titled Encounter at Sandhill Wines from July 11 to August 15, 2017 and again at the Rotary Centre for the Arts’ Great West Life Mezzanine from November 2 – 29, 2017. I made prints available for purchase at what I felt was an accessible price of $40.00, allowing those who went to the exhibitions to imitate my act of connecting with a particular life form. For each of the 47 prints I sold at the Sandhill opening reception, I enjoyed hearing about each buyer’s connection to the life form depicted in the etching they purchased, which was sometimes a general appreciation for the life form, but more often a memorable encounter they had in the past. Since the purchasing aspect encouraged viewers to share personal stories about place identity, I consider the sale of the work as an important part of the art itself.    Figure 3. Encounter exhibition at Sandhill Wines (2017)  39  Figure 4. Etchings displayed with a champagne filler (2017)  For the MFA Open House exhibition at the FINA Gallery from April 3 – 7 2017, I attempted to bind my etchings into a book form. Due to the fact that the life forms my etchings depicted developed a complex interconnected relationship to one another in my mind, the work rebelled against a linear arrangement with a beginning and an end. I used the waxed linen binding thread I was originally going to use to stitch the pages together with to assemble the etchings onto the gallery wall in a web-like formation instead.    40  Figure 5. Entanglement installation (2017) Installation at the MFA Open House exhibition at the University of British Columbia (Okanagan). April 3-7, 2017.  Working with subjects belonging to a complex and interconnected system, I wanted to express my work in a way that would portray many pieces as well as a unified whole. I was introduced to the Rhizome formation, a philosophical theory by Deleuze and Guattari (A Thousand Plateaus) that explains the concept of a non-hierarchical, non-chronological formation expressing multiplicity and interconnectedness. Described as “an image of thought”, “any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be” (7). Deleuze and Guattari suggest that both plants and animals as well as the networks they physically create, such as burrows, can be viewed as rhizomes (6).  41 3.4 Found Objects Collection As potential drawing references for my etchings, I brought home leaves, flowers, pine cones, and feathers. Over time, since I could gather faster than I could etch, my collection of organic objects began to pile up. I included some of these objects next to my etchings installation at the MFA Open House exhibition, and it occurred to me that these found objects could be a part of my body of art work.    Figure 6. Assemblage of objects (2017) MFA Open House exhibition at the FINA Gallery, The University of British Columbia (Okanagan). April 3-7, 2017.   In order to preserve my collected organic objects, I learned to clean bones and feathers, and to press and dry flowers and leaves; I washed and hung seedpods, immersed soft-bodied insects in isopropyl alcohol and pinned hard-bodied insects.  42 I would pick up dead insects I would find on the sidewalk, and wrap the insect in a damp paper towel, placing it into an airtight container for about 24 hours. This would allow me to reposition the insect out of rigor mortis. Once the insect’s joints were loose from the moisture, the insect was removed from the container and placed on a foam board. I would position the insect with sewing pins and leave it to dry for between 48 hours and a week (depending on the size of the insect). Once the insect was brittle again and the fluids and organs inside the exoskeleton had essentially mummified, I would remove the pins holding down the insect and store it in a dry and safe place. Seed pods and objects such as pinecones and acorns were cleaned with either alcohol or bleach to ensure mould or other unexpected life forms would not emerge to decompose my collected items. Since acorns detach themselves from their “hats” (cupule) when they fall to the ground, I gathered the acorns and the hats separately and used cement glue to reattached the hats to acorns that fit. To preserve walnut shells, I peeled off the outer layer of the walnut, cracked open the shell, removed the nut inside, and glued the shell back together. To prevent horse chestnuts from rotting, I peeled off the outer layer and baked the chestnuts in the oven at about 250 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour on a sheet pan. Owl pellets were collected with vinyl gloves and plastic bags and wrapped in aluminum foil. I baked the pellets in the oven at about 325 degrees Fahrenheit for thirty minutes to kill any bacteria, and then proceeded to dissect the pellet. Once the bones were carefully pried from the mounds of fur, they were soaked in hydrogen peroxide to soften and remove any remaining dried connective tissue. I found the process of cleaning and preserving my collection significant because it was a hands-on form of interaction and observation that was very involved. By handling and arranging these objects, I became familiar with the structure and the details of the objects I was working with.  43 As my collection grew, where and how to store my organic objects became a pressing question. I had been storing the organic material in a heap in my bookshelf, but I risked damaging them. I began using glass domes, glass boxes, frames and shadow boxes to protect them. It occurred to me that this process of preserving place-significant objects was very similar to the way in which memories and knowledge are preserved in long-term memory. While the objects inside the cases themselves are often of little or no value, I noticed that placing something into a glass box to preserve it transforms the objects into something that is perceived as being valuable and meaningful.  In the process of preserving the various objects, my awareness of their ephemerality was heightened. Leaves, flowers, and insects lost colour and grew thinner as they dried, leaving me with something extremely fragile. Although the preserved object – like my associated memories – will continue to slowly deteriorate over time, it will in some form continue to remain. As I considered exhibiting these objects as art, I wondered if it was meaningful to use dead matter to represent a place. As I contemplated this question, I thought about how matter cycles: most likely, without my intervention, the dead objects I had picked up and brought home would have decomposed and returned to the ground as soil, becoming a part of the land again before cycling through another life form. Preserving these objects is like freezing moments of life in time, which perhaps makes it a bit like a photograph.   44  Figure 7. Wasp nest and male Vespula germanica (2018) Found objects in glass and brass box.  I enjoyed seeing the various preserved objects all together, and I thought about the way Annette Messager’s framed sculpture/photograph installation My Vows (1988-1991) was displayed, in which “the individual elements...form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts” (The Museum of Modern Art 331). I was inspired to assemble my framed objects together as an installation, though I did not complete this project. Geoffrey Farmer’s The Last Two Million Years (2007), an installation of many cut-out images from the book “The Last Two  45 Million Years” published by Reader’s Digest in 1973 was another installation I was interested in. The non-linear arrangement of cut out images disrupts the chronology of the book (Tate 2009) creating new relationships between the cut-out images. The encyclopaedic book boldly attempts to contain all of history, and I see both the book and Farmer’s installation of assembled and arranged cuttings as microcosmic representations of the world.   Figure 8. Asclepias syriaca (2017) Found objects in glass and brass box  Figure 9. Tragopogon (2017) Found objects in glass dome   3.5 Assemblage I started thinking about the way I arranged objects within the glass boxes, and I was drawn to the concepts of transformation, appreciation, and preservation of ephemera in Joseph Cornell’s work, as well as his poetic and balletic way of suspending objects. Cornell’s methodology of collecting acts as “an attempt to preserve memory through intense accumulation  46 of objects and ephemera that speak to the artist” (Waldman 35). His work interested me because of the Wunderkammer-like presentation of his objects, using objects which are not usually considered valuable. The found objects Cornell uses are described by Waldman as ephemera, objects with a short life span. By placing objects in a box as a means of presenting and preserving them, the way in which the object is viewed is transformed. He not only gives the objects a new sense of value but through arrangement, also new meaning. I was especially drawn to the theatricality and whimsy of Cornell’s Zizi Jeanmaire Lobster Ballet Box (1949), and Tilly Losch (1935). Inspired by his Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) (1940) in particular, I began experimenting with creating my own series of shadow box assemblages that served to do more than just protect the object from damage.  Cornell’s Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) assemblage is a window-like shadow box divided into six smaller boxes, each of which contains a paper butterfly suspended by string with (according to Dawn Ades 1997) cocoon-like wood shavings below. The most interesting aspect of this work to me is the glass, which is frosted over with white paint, leaving clear round openings though which the butterflies can be seen, encouraging viewers to peer into the round view frames to focus on the butterflies. I thought this window was an effective way of encouraging viewers to examine the work at a close distance. I explored assemblage using Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) as a starting point and inspiration, titling my first series of six assemblages Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) series, Homage to Joseph Cornell. I showed these with another assemblage I made, Quercus rubur, in the MFA Connect exchange exhibition from October 10 – 20, 2017 in the FINA Gallery at the University of British Columbia Okanagan and from November 6 – 10, 2017 at the Audain Gallery at the University of Victoria. Instead of placing butterflies in my Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) series, Homage to Joseph Cornell  47 assemblage, I arranged a variety of found organic objects within each shadow box: a pale snaketail dragonfly; tree of heaven seed pods; ponderosa pine needles and a pine cone; lavender and honeybees; Norway maple seeds; Amur maple seeds. I speckled the glass of the shadow boxes with white acrylic paint, leaving a round opening in the centre imitating the frosted-window look of Cornell’s work. Ades describes the frosted glass panels and round openings as references to either snow as depicted on Christmas decorations or as a microscope’s view frame. Personally, I read this as a reference to the phenomenological attitude – the Christmas-like feel is the child-like wonder of heuristic reduction and the microscope-like view frame suggests a focused directionality of consciousness and careful observation towards an object. I also placed tourist maps in the assemblages along the back wall of the shadow boxes, inspired by Maya Lin’s small and carefully cut Altered Atlases (2006), which transformed the meaning of space as represented in cartographs. The maps I used for these assemblages were tourist maps I had absent-mindedly collected when I first moved to Kelowna. As these maps were meant to be disposable, I saw their ephemera-quality as a complement to my ephemeral objects and I positioned the maps in the shadow boxes centering a location significant to the preserved objects.  48  Figure 10. Untitled (Butterfly Habitat) series, Homage to Joseph Cornell (2017) Assemblage.   49  Figure 11. Quercus rubra (2017) Assemblage.   50 3.6 Wunderkammer For my Graduate Studio II class exhibition Social Engine at the FINA Gallery from November 20 – 24, 2017, I used a white IKEA display cabinet filled with my preservations to create a sculptural piece unifying various objects into a single cohesive form. The display cabinet had glass doors at the front and glass panels on the sides, allowing for light to come through. I drilled holes through the shelves of the cabinet and installed dowels to hang dried plants and seed pods from. I pasted tourist brochure maps on the inside back of the cabinet to suggest locations relevant to my preservations. Some of the objects placed in the cabinet were in frames and glass boxes, while others were loose. I thought of this piece as something between a cabinet of curiosities and a theatrical microcosm, a sort of Gesamntkunstwerk, based on Hans Ulrich Obrist’s description in Curating, Exhibitions, and the Gesamntkunstwerk, where he suggests that an entire universe can never actually be realized, but we can instead create a self-contained world; a world inside the world (31). The cabinet felt a bit like a doll’s house to me, because of the amount of time I had spent arranging and rearranging the objects within the cabinet. As I placed more and more objects onto the shelves, I felt a growing perception of connection between the objects because of placement and spatial arrangement.   I felt that the contents of the cabinet needed some way of being further contained, so I experimented with different ways of tinting the glass of the cabinet from the inside. I was dissatisfied by many of the paints and window-films I tried on the glass panels, and finally tried a mulberry cheesecloth-like paper. The grid-like paper’s openings allowed for some visibility through the paper, and I immediately liked the result. Once adhered to the glass, the paper seemed to act as a veil or filter and a limited way of seeing – perhaps even a barrier. Being a Japanese paper, I felt it could represent my cultural background that shapes my perspectives and knowledge systems. I removed the handles on the cabinet so that it would be clear to viewers that  51 the cabinet was not to be opened. As a result, I found the cabinet itself appeared more like a sculpture rather than a functional object. In the Social Engine exhibition, I had the cabinet standing away from the wall, facing towards the centre of the gallery space. The cabinet faced away from the gallery entrance so that the back of the cabinet was what viewers saw first. I liked this set-up because it showed the MDF backing of the cabinet, and I wanted viewers to know that the cabinet was not something inherited and did not have a history elsewhere – it was a new but affordable object that a contemporary university student could own. Once set up in the gallery space, I couldn’t help but realize that this cabinet and its contents were more than just a summation of my place experience – it was also a self-portrait. All of the objects within had been selectively noticed and chosen by me, and thus everything was meaningful to me and had memories attached. This specific combination of objects, representative of my memories and meanings of place are more a part of myself than they are of Kelowna.   I was questioned about the visibility of the objects within the cabinet, even though I had installed LED lights inside. I was told that it took too much effort to see through the paper on the glass to view the contents, but I felt the effort and commitment demanded to see inside the cabinet was important to the work – a lot of what is in our environment is easily overlooked, and it can sometimes take a lot of concentration to find these objects amidst our everyday lives. I thought about Walter Benjamin’s idea of cult value, and on the early purposes of art: the earliest artworks originated in the service of rituals – first magical, then religious. And it is highly significant that the artwork’s auratic mode of existence is never entirely severed from its ritual function. In other words: the unique value of the “authentic” work of art always has its basis in ritual. (24)  52 Benjamin comments that in a work with cult value, it “is exhibited to others only coincidentally; what matters is that the spirits see it. Cult value as such even tends to keep the artwork out of sight” (25). This cabinet seemed to be situated between being a work with exhibition value and cult value, since the arrangement of objects within are shown but concealed at the same time.    Figure 12. Wunderkammer (2017) Installation at the Social Engine exhibition, November 20-24, 2017.  53 3.7 Objects in Suspension (Results) My solo exhibition at the FINA Gallery from February 11 – 16, 2018 was titled Objects in Suspension, which reflects the way in which my consciousness would suspend life forms from their surroundings. This exhibition was a continuity of the work in my last two exhibitions in the FINA Gallery, where the containing space of my assemblages slowly grow larger. In the MFA Exchange, the framing component was a series of small shadow box frames. In Social Engine, it was a display cabinet. In this exhibition, it was the white cube gallery. While putting together this exhibition, I continued thinking about Walter Benjamin’s cult value, where the ritualistic aspect of the work or the process of creating the work acts as the purpose rather than the finished work. As I tied, wired, and strung hundreds of acorns and filled tiny wood borer lines in fallen ponderosa pine branches with paint, the labour began to feel spiritually ritualistic, and I really felt as though I was starting to understand what it meant to create something where the purpose was in the process rather than the finished work. Handling feathers, seeds, and pine needles, and the hours of drilling, wiring, knotting, and hanging the work was both meditative as well as labour intensive, and this process made these objects meaningful to me. I wanted the exhibition to convey how I responded to or interacted with certain organic materials; with the ponderosa pine needles, I tied many bundles of needles with embroidery thread. I wanted to show how I had admired the long and bristle-like the needles of the ponderosa pine and to portray the action of picking up the needles by the bundle from the ground. With the cheesecloth tapestries, I wanted to re-enact the way in which my clothing would catch the burrs. I picked up are a number of fallen ponderosa pine branches from an area of pine trees on the UBCO campus that is currently being developed, and where wood boring beetles are prominent. I discovered that if a fallen branch had been chewed into by larvae, the bark will twist very easily off the branch, which made finding branches with elaborate wood borer lines fairly easy. I soaked the branches in a  54 mixture of water and bleach (in my bathtub) and used an old toothbrush to scrub off any remaining wood that had been mulched up (frass) by the larvae, which was deposited along the pathways. I used white acrylic paint to fill in the wood borer grooves with my fingers. I removed any paint that I got outside of the grooves with sandpaper so that only the paint within the grooves would remain. However, I felt the sandpaper allowed me to pay little attention to the designs of the grooves, so I switched to using a small razor blade. With the razor blade, I could carve the excess paint off while navigating around the larvae pathways, which was much more interesting to me. I was also happier with the results using the razor blade because the lines were much cleaner and I didn’t lose any of the shallower grooves as I did in the sanding process. Reflecting back, I realize the process of searching for fallen branches was really important to me, as it made me realize how exploring nature helped me to overcome my disassociation from the land: under the bark of some of the branches I examined, I discovered of hibernating ants. I had no idea that ants could hibernate, and these encounters really made me think about how my seemingly insignificant actions can influence other creatures.  I exhibited a number of objects suspended by string to suggest the action of picking up objects from the ground, using height to address hierarchies between the viewer and nature. By bringing something that may typically go unnoticed from our feet up to eye-level, the object gains importance. Bundles of dried plants were hung over the entryway of the gallery at about 63” above the ground so that most adults would have to duck to enter the gallery space. I wanted this sort of bowing motion to create a sense of a shift in hierarchy.   55  Figure 13. Wasp Nest Paper (2018) Paper from an abandoned wasps’ nest on linen stretched over a wooden embroidery ring.   56  Figure 14. Objects in Suspension installation (2018) Red oak acorns, English walnuts, horse chestnuts and red horse chestnuts on embroidery thread.   Figure 15. Ponderosa Pine Needle Bundles hanging over boxes of pinned insects (2018) Insects in glass and brass boxes; pine needles and embroidery thread.   57  Figure 16. Gathering (2018) Found objects altered slightly and arranged on plinth.   Figure 17. Objects in Suspension exhibition (2018) The University of British Columbia (Okanagan) FINA Gallery. February 2018.  58  Figure 18. Dried plants at the FINA Gallery entryway (2018)  59  Figure 19. Bark Beetle Paintings (2018) Acrylic paint on fallen ponderosa pine branches.   60  Figure 20. Bark Beetle Paintings (2018) Acrylic paint on fallen ponderosa pine branches.  61  Figure 21. Wasp nests, driftwood, and bird skeleton arrangement on plinth (2018)   Figure 22. Ponderosa Pine Needle Bundles (2018) Pine needles, embroidery thread, and map pins.  62  Figure 23. Three Tapestries (2018) Burrs, acorns, cheesecloth, branch, dowels, and embroidery thread.  This exhibition was modified and shown under the same exhibition title at the Member’s Gallery at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art from April 13 to May 5, 2018. I made the installation of acorns, walnuts, and horse chestnuts much larger, increasing the wire mesh grids from which the objects hung from one grid to four, and increasing the count of acorns, walnuts, and horse chestnuts from 150 to over 500. Looking at the wire mesh, I was reminded of the mesh-texture of the mulberry paper I had pasted on my display cabinet. With less variation in what was exhibited, I was able to play around more with the shadows casts by the gallery lights. The shadows of the acorns, walnuts, and horse chestnuts gave the bare walls the illusion of depth so the space seemed deeper and fuller.   63 The acorns, walnuts, and horse chestnuts, suspended by white embroidery thread, easily tangled with each other while I worked with the many meters of string, making me think of Deleuze and Guattari’s rhizome again. I thought about how this work reflected how delicate the environment is—interfering with one string can affect many others. I felt this was an interesting way of representing the rhizome because the connection between objects is less obvious, but still very much there: Instead of using one long strand of string as I had in the Entanglement installation at the MFA Open House exhibition, this piece was created from hundreds of individual strands. Upon reflection, it is interesting to me that the binding thread I had used in the Entanglement installation was waxed, which is a treatment done to string to prevent it from tangling. I realize this is ironic since I was trying to portray an interconnected network. I also realized that the Entanglement installation was completely static – even if a viewer touched the work, nothing would happen. In the Objects in Suspension installation, the viewer only has to breathe to know that the suspended objects are easily affected and interconnected. In this interaction between the viewer and the installation, the viewer becomes a part of the presented environment.   64  Figure 24. Objects in Suspension exhibition at the Alternator (2018)   Figure 25. Objects in Suspension exhibition at the Alternator (2018)   65 For the thesis exhibition from June 16 – 29, 2018, I reused to the white cabinet that I had used for the Social Engine exhibition to return to a more contained work. Over the past year, as the cabinet had stood in my studio, I had emptied out its contents and had slowly filled it up again with mason jars, organza bags, and glass boxes to store all of my preservations, which I decided presented a very nice representation of my gathering over the course of this research.  I felt that a contained work allowed me to express how an environment existed within myself. I re-used the exhibition title “Objects in Suspension”, because while the suspension of objects was not literal this time, each preserved object in the cabinet was like a memory suspended in time. I removed the grid-like mulberry paper from the cabinet’s door panels: Since there were no other pieces in the gallery room, I could dim the lights, and the darkness enveloping the piece achieved a similar effect of containing the cabinet’s contents.    Figure 26. Self Portrait in the Objects in Suspension thesis exhibition at the FINA Gallery (2018)   66  Figure 27. Close up of Self-Portrait in the Objects in Suspension thesis exhibition at the FINA Gallery (2018)   Figure 28. Close up of Self-Portrait in the Objects in Suspension thesis exhibition at the FINA Gallery (2018)  67 Chapter 4: Conclusions    Looking back to the artwork produced over the course of this program, I applied my research findings to answer the questions I had asked in the introduction of this paper:  Firstly, my question, how can creating visual art about a local natural environment develop a newcomer’s sense of place? is answered throughout the methodology chapter of this paper. I felt that the mixed media approach of art making was effective since each medium used in the body of work produced revealed different knowledge, experiences, and insights on Kelowna’s life forms and environment. In the field book, the extensiveness of just how many life forms I as a newcomer had yet to meet upon arrival (table 1) is evident in the number of entries recorded.  The listed places of encounters and re-encounters in the field book suggest that specific places become embedded with memories and experience, making these places meaningful. The table’s entry dates reveal how knowledge about a place is dependent on spending time in a place. I had commented that a life form only seemed “real” to me once it was encountered firsthand, which supports von Uexküll’s Umwelt theory, that our realities are constructed only by what our senses have experienced, bringing insight to how important it is to be directly and physically involved in a place in order to develop a sense of place. My Instagram account @heuristicreduction suggests that the accessibility of the smartphone camera can help to reveal patterns of an individual’s interests and attention (direction of consciousness). As a method of gathering phenomenological data even when I was in a passive attitude, there were times when I took snapshots of certain life forms with my smartphone but didn’t consider adding the life form to my field book until several days later, making this method an interesting addition to my data gathering. Drawing and etching allowed me to observe various subjects closely and  68 made me aware of physical details I was not aware of previous to drawing. This further helped me to recognize a life form’s uniqueness, allowing me to be less likely to misidentify a similar life form in the future, and more likely to recognize a re-encounter. My struggle to arrange my life form encounters in a linear formation and the resulting Entanglement installation at the MFA Open House exhibition demonstrates how knowledge of relationships between places and life forms gains complexity over time. Collecting and preserving plants, feathers, insects, and other natural found objects allowed me to work with organic matter as an artistic medium, which allowed me to explore the physical qualities of the objects, and arranging these objects as assemblages allowed for creative and perspectival expression and interpretation. My Wunderkammer and the Objects in Suspension exhibitions encouraged me to think about how the environment becomes a part of myself. My second and final question was, how might creating art about the experience of a place enhance or facilitate the development of one’s connection to a place and sense of belonging? A sense of belonging in my case arose from getting a better sense of where I fit in the complex interconnected system of my surrounding environment. The extensive interactions I have had with the various life forms of Kelowna has no doubt changed the way I perceive nature. With two years of actively obtaining experience and a much richer knowledge of my surroundings, I have become much more aware of how I am situated. The process of allowing myself to get to know what is at my feet and around me, examining both live and dead matter has had me constantly handling organic materials, gaining a sensory familiarity of the textures of the environment. The meaning-embedded re-encounters I now have with life forms in Kelowna evoke memories, feelings, and respect I did not have upon arrival.  69 As with any research based on one’s lived experience, one of the limitations of this research comes from the limited awareness a human being is capable of. Inevitably, if say, ten different researches all carried out this same creative research, the resulting data and art would tell of varying experiences. It is important to emphasize that this research is about one individual’s experience of a place and cannot speak for others. This limitation may be overcome if many participants were invited to participate in the same research activity, such as a class of students. By instructing a class of students (as participants) to explore, collect, and draw found objects, and afterwards interviewing them and examining the art produced could further confirm the findings of my research—that a stronger connection to place can be actively acquired through art creation. Findings may vary depending on how long the exploration goes on for, the participants’ familiarity with the place, the accessibility of nature in the place of research, the researchers’/participants’ family histories, and the varied limitations of the individuals’ sensory organs. These research findings could be used to encourage children to play outdoors, explore, and interact with nature, providing a better understanding on how such a way of learning could encourage a generation of citizens that are more environmentally conscious. However, I do not wish to restrict place engagement to only children. As a young adult, this methodology has created a richer sense of place for myself and as such, I believe it is never too late to begin re-connecting to our surroundings.  As noted in the introduction, this study looks at a specific place in a specific time. While the body of creative work expresses a personal experience, it is also a documentation of Kelowna’s ecosystem. This record may become significant as a reference to other fields of research as the land continues to change. In my documentation of encounters, I learned that a lot of what made up my surroundings were species that are alien, invasive, or introduced. Since my  70 research implies how significant life forms are in shaping a place’s identity, further research could examine how a changing population of species has changed the way Kelowna as a place is understood. Finally, this research looks at only a very small portion of what makes up a place. The research could be expanded upon by learning about another aspect of a place, hearing the stories and history of the land. Instead of gathering data about encountered life forms, stories about the land could be gathered. It would be interesting to see how obtaining the knowledge of stories  might change how I perceive a place, and how my art changes in response.     71 Works Cited  Adams, Jennifer D. “Theorizing a Sense of Place in a Transnational Community.”  Children, Youth, and Environments, vol. 23, no. 3, 2013, pp. 43-65. Accessed 22 October 2016. www.jstor.org/stable/10.7721/chilyoutenvi.23.3.0043.  Ades, Dawn. Surrealist Art: The Lindy and Edwin Bergman Collection at the Art Institute of  Chicago. Thames & Hudson (New York), 1997.  “Annette Messager, My Vows.” Publication excerpt from The Modern Museum of Art, MoMA  Highlights, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2004, originally published 1999, p. 331. 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