This project, entitled Lobster Lamentation is a collaboration between Miles Brokenshire, a landscape photographer, and Larry Weyand, a performance artist and rug hooker. Both recently moved to Corner Brook on Newfoundland’s west coast. Miles has always been fascinated with the structure that humans have casted themselves upon and will use any medium to portray that, be it rocks, trees, or sand. Larry is fueled by the complex history of lobsters and emotional trauma and investigates how those hard to swallow narratives can fit into the soft boundaries of textile-based performances in craft. Together these two artists created an interactive platform as a way to showcase absurdist, narrative performances through the stunning landscape of Gros Morne National Park. Absurdity in art history has been a strategy employed by many artists to cope with the socio-economic situations of their times, responding to current events which have strongly impacted the communities around them. It is not a random, senseless approach, rather it allows artists and viewers to unpack the present moment through humor and interconnectedness, instilling in everyone a sense of comradery and shared experiences. Brokenshire and Weyand softly addressed and represented a variety of pandemic situations through documentation of Weyand’s lobster performances. This unique project also brings to light issues such as mental health, the environment, and the feeling of being trapped in these pandemic times.
Larry and Miles were aiming to achieve a number of goals through this innovative Connecting through Culture project. The first was to create, perform and document a series of lobster performances within the Gros Morne region to inspire people with a sense of place and to create connections within the region’s artistic community. The theme of the lobster is not only a familiar entry point to the communities of Newfoundland & Labrador, but allows the artists to expand on various narratives, connecting lobsters to pandemic sentiments. The analog photographs taken by Miles highlight the contrasts between the confines of feeling trapped in domestic spaces and the stunning grandeur and splendour of the landscapes of Gros Morne. Through digitization, the artists will share their interdisciplinary work via various social media platforms reaching local communities and extending to provincial, national and even international audiences. It is hoped that this dissemination will ignite a sense of togetherness, especially in current pandemic times. Audiences will be invited to interact and react to the shared content. As relatively new residents to the region, Miles and Larry also hope to develop strong and lasting relationships within the Gros Morne community through this project.
Click here to see more of Larry’s work or follow on Instagram – Larry or Miles.