Chris St. Amand, Portaledge, The Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly, Arts Court, Downtown Rideau

Chris St. Amand, Portaledge, The Ottawa Art Gallery, 2 Daly, Arts Court, Downtown Rideau

Cliff hang

As a climber and a recreational pilot I have always approached my interests in the mountains and in the air with proper training and certification to try exciting activities that are about living”.

– Chris St. Amand

A Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau and Ottawa Art Gallery commission. Funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

Portaledge is a deployable hanging tent system designed for rock climbers who spend multiple days and nights on a big wall climb. For climbers, this piece of technical gear is the only shelter from hostile conditions in extreme environments. Artist Chris St. Amand will rig a portaledge from an anchor point from the roof of the Art’s Court Building. The artist will rappel down and anchor to it while occupying the tent structure for the duration of the evening, rappelling down to the ground at the end.

With the use of high powered headlamps his movement from within will appear as a shadow play. While the portaledge may look to be situated in a precarious position, the work is about safety and the negotiation of risk in one’s life, as well as endurance and an alternative way of experiencing the urban environment.

Chris St. Amand’s artistic practice explores notions of scale as it relates to an abstraction of landscape with an interest in activities that disorient a perception of space and place. He presents experiential observations in an art-making context that in part use his own body as an instrument. St. Amand is interested in storytelling and modern myth-making in an effort of locating his mind and body in the natural or built environment. St. Amand refers to his artworks as experiments; they are only devices to aid in the transportation of concepts.

A Nuit Blanche Ottawa+Gatineau and Ottawa Art Gallery commission. Funded by the Ontario Arts Council.

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