Candice Irwin

In September 2017 I was invited to create a work to premier at the Annual Alberta Dance Festival. Inspired by the work of Governor General Award winning visual artist Wanda Koop, I entered into studio with artists Alison Keery, Roxanne Korpan and Amanda Pye to see what Koop would help pull from within us. As we prepare to bring Human Landscapes to Dance Matters, I pulled out my notebook from our original process. Below are some stand out passages from my reminiscing.


About Wanda Koop and her philosophies:

She uses colour as a language; she creates in black and white when she has experienced trauma or loss

To create a body of work we must:
- start from nothing
- learn a new language
- go to a new place

The video camera is an extension of her eye - a form of visual note taking

A painting is another form of screen that has the ability to morph into a mirror


About our relationship to our environment:

Intrusions of humankind into the natural world are potentially catastrophic

Alone originally meant a completeness in one’s singular being - not the absence of others; solitude meant the experience of oneness with god

In modern civilization we exile the wild; we think of nature as a force to be contained

Our environment is reflected in our bodies and our bodies are reflected in our environment


About what we were thinking about:

How does the reflection of the artist interplay with the reflection of the audience?

Is it about the shape or the person?

If everything is the same level of loud, nothing is loud

When that doesn’t work, start to search outwards

Interpreting the world is already a means of transforming it



Photo of Alison Keery by Citrus Photography, courtesy of Dancers’ Studio West