Special Projects

Shameless Light

Shameless Light is a reading of love letters by women and looping video installation of Kitchen Circle for Ackerman (2016). Performance first occurred at the historic Lyric Theater in Carrizozo, New Mexico. Since then, Shameless Light has been performed at Athens Film Festival and the Wexner Center for the Arts.

Love Letter

Projected image, sound and drawing collaboration with Dani Leventhal, 2016.

Night Swap: Everything Must Go

Sheilah Wilson and Dani Leventhal invite all to attend a one night only outdoor swap. Objects crafted by Wilson and Leventhal will be offered for exchange. This is a trade; our objects for your objects. (Swap items are anything that can be carried into the park) Over the course of the evening, you can witness the swap area transform from the original display to something created by the public. Art in the Open, Charlottetown, 2016.

Walk: Pause

Pictou Island Porgage was a week long residency organized by Eryn Foster for seven artists on Pictou Island in July 2014.

Pushing a large piece of driftwood with chalk attached to one end, I walked the length of the island. I anticipated multiple lines left on the road after each day of walking. I had little idea how strenuous the act of pushing the stick with chalk the 18 kilometers would be, or how fleeting the line of chalk with traffic on the road. My focus grew to include the places in which I rested between the act of walking. I began to outline those resting places with circles in chalk. That which existed inside the circle was deemed rest -- breaking the line, making a new gesture.  A gesture that questioned the authority of linear time by making a circle for rest, into the land.

Body Transmission Tower

Body Transmission Towers completed during residency at Struts & Faucet. Driving into Sackville from Nova Scotia on the first day of the residency, I immediately felt the loss of the Radio Canada International shortwave towers. I had become accustomed to them as an anchoring feature signaling arrival into Sackville. The towers were removed in March 2014, after 67 years of service. I was struck by how their memory was visual yet also felt - a way of orienting the body in relation to space. I thought of the body as its own transmission site, where emotion and memory are projected outwards, always holding us in subjective relation to a space. In this case, I thought of thirteen bodies acting as their own transmission vessels. The body transmitting memory back to the RCI site. I ran ads asking for people to drive (or walk) with me to their most remembered spot for viewing the RCI towers. Quickly, I had many volunteers. Some had worked at RCI Sackville, others had lived around the area for much, or all, of their lives. I enjoyed the drives and conversations with all those who participated.

Many thanks to the fine folks (Amanda, Elliott, Cynthia) at Struts & Faucet and the good people of Sackville.

Available as sets of thirteen postcards at Art Metropole, Toronto.

Mothers March

Studio at Struts and Faucet, Sackville, New Brunswick. Banners in preparation for Mothers March.

Studio at Struts and Faucet, Sackville, New Brunswick. Banners in preparation for Mothers March.

MOTHERS MARCH is an opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge the multiplicity of ways in which we can navigate motherhood. Good mother, bad mother, angry mother, queer mother, single mother, working mother, stay at home mother, tired mother, mother to plants, generational mother, children of mothers, COME MARCH.

Statement on May 10 of Conflicted Ambivalent Glory of Motherhood


After a teach in on Radical Ephemeral presented on Martin Luther King day 2013 at Denison University, an airplane circled the school for fifteen minutes with a banner reading THIS COULD BE AN ACT OF COURAGE.

Gallery of images from event provided by students and faculty who attended. Sponsored in part by Spectrum Series campus-wide theme, "Creativity & Courage".

Melting Snow by Hand and other minor miracles

The event Melting Snow by Hand and other minor miracles was held in the Queen Elizabeth II Park in Masterton, New Zealand, 2012.

The melting of snow occurred in the presence of a real rabbit named Danger, as well as audience members. After the snow had changed to water I set up thedream machine and we had a picnic in the rotunda.

The Invisible Inside the Visible

The Invisible Inside the Visible , 2012.

The Invisible Inside the Visible, 2012.

The Invisible Inside the Visible began as an information gathering project in a rural Nova Scotian community.  Its purpose was to locate physical evidence of a century old landmark, a racetrack.  While collecting interviews and maps drawn by residents, it became clear that the memory of the racetrack location was both variable and imprecise. The physical location defied specificity in either drawn or oral recounting.

This project investigates the mutable nature of memory, as evidenced in the journey to find the track. I was curious about the nature of lived and collective memory versus the physical evidence of a historical site. Hierarchies of perception and location were turned upside down by heterogeneous memory of collective experience. The oral memory was fluid in location. This destabilized the existence of the actual mark; the imagined locations unmoored the mark from its physical existence.

The performance onto the track was a mirage made tangible. The documentation was put into newspaper form and distributed in the community, creating another utterance of location to add to the stories collected.

The primacy of authoritative voice is intentionally subverted by the personal and the lived, in both my own writing and the collected memories and maps from the area. The potential for location as a mental state is proposed through a performative gesture into the land. The ephemeral performance is a metaphor for the way in which a gesture or word can leave a mark that can be both affirming and generative in the creation of place. I am interested in exploring the experience of place as felt through the body and translated through language and geography. The multiplicity of versions becomes a perplexing and destabilizing way of considering the possibility of anchoring place through words.

The goal of this collecting was to create a temporary drawing of something that exists-- and does not exist. Using hydrated lime, I traced the outline onto the landscape. The act of putting the powder down was, itself, an act of appearance and disappearance. The wind carried the powder, creating forms that mimicked clouds in the sky, before dispersing.  Some fell into the grass, creating a drawing for the airplane to photograph. Since then it has rained. The mark has disappeared. The question of where the oval exists can be asked once again.   It is situated in the midst of a large green field.  I have seen it. 

Link to Audio Directions to racetrack

Link to pdf of newspaper document The Invisible Inside the Visible

Link to interview with curator, Corey Lindsay, at Ross Creek Center for the Arts about project. Ross Creek exhibited project in September-December 2012.

Thank you to those who gave directions and shared stories:  
Jim Baillie
Janice Gill
Mildred Heighton
Donnie Langille
Willis Langille
Margaret MacLean
Peter McDonald
Susan Sellers
Linda Thompson Reid
Beulah Wright
And especially the community pasture supervisors:  Ross MacKay and Raymond Mitchell

Canada Council for the Arts.
Rita Wilson for all of her help, Cydney Haynes for the use of her camera and Marcus Boroughs.

A huge thank you to Meh’s for so graciously providing a venue for the project. It was important that the work be available to the community, and the publication and audio will be installed at Lee Tik’s gas station and Quikmart during the W(here) festival.


Anna Swan Fan Club

The Anna Swan Fan Club was initiated in July of 2007.  Anyone is welcome to join this fan club that celebrates the life of a renowned giantess from Nova Scotia.   (Anna Haning Swan born 1846, died 1888) There are varying levels of membership, and each membership level comes with an introductory 'i love you anna swan' item as well as a biannual newsletter on the ASFC and news relevant.

Have Your Photo Taken with a Canadian Holding the Last of the Canadian Snow

Have Your Photo Taken with a Canadian Holding the Last of the Canadian Snow, roadside attraction, Madrid, New Mexico 2007.

Launch of the Erg

Commissioned for the Museum of Fine Arts, Santa Fe, the 'Launch of the Erg' took as its inspiration a thrice sunk ship, the Erg, in Halifax Harbour, Nova Scotia. Reconstruction of a model of the boat, and a floating of the model with weather balloons served to raise the Erg once more, this time into the skies of the New Mexico desert. (2007)

The performance for the 'Launch of the Erg' is on the Museum of Fine Arts website, click here to view. (Flash 8.0 or higher necessary to view)

26 Versions of Nova Scotia

The westray mining disaster occurred in 1992, when I was 16 years old.  26 miners died. In New Mexico I made 26 versions of Nova Scotia, as sewn from memory. Tracing paper and thread, 2005-6.

Free Mending Service

The mending projects began in 2002-5, with mending broken parts of moths that had been ordered and broken in transit between Nova Scotia and New Mexico.

The Free Mending Service followed, which was advertised in local papers, and with business cards, 2004-5.