Drawing a Paper Canoe

Elizabeth Bryce

Draw old unseen (memory) watercourses (networks) using contemporary media

A map of Dunedin and an artist at work.

When Dunedin was founded as a European city, movement and transport was difficult because of hills and cliffs. As with many cities, land was drained, water was hidden or re-routed, hills were flattened and used to fill swampy areas on the shoreline. Streams that descended from the Dunedin hill suburbs through the ‘green belt area’ into the Octagon and Moray place went under some buildings, the shoreline was not far from Queen’s Gardens and Water and Jetty Streets were aptly named.

Like a palimpsest there are traces of  the waterway layer – and other routes like paths, roads, buildings, gardens,  empty places-  are re written over the original route/text.

This proposal is to draw and record a walk along the old (approximate) waterline route of the shoreline and to communicate its progress via several media. The route will be  physically marked several times by walking, each time  leaving signifiers such as canoes or stencil marks and recording progress via  a cellphone  GPS tracking system to an internet url.

A paper road, like the paper roads of the town planners,  may never be built.  But it exists in it’s planning – on paper. It could be like the tracks that can be made by my GPS to the URL – they exist but in another dimension.

The paper canoe is a  theoretical canoe – one that is written about in theory or history.
As well, it is a  paper canoe in that it will be tracing a ‘paper road’ (the shoreline) –  a road that is on paper (my virtual device ‘paper’) only. Perhaps the paper canoe exists in theory only.

The paper canoe work will have several iterations or palimpsest, across the old shoreline from Toitū to the Oval.

A series of paper boats and drawings on a wall.

A closeup of two paper boats.

Links: http://eikapai.co.nz/

Liz’s page about the work http://eikapai.co.nz/?p=203