681 Blair Rd, Cambridge, ON
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These stones are as old as the beginning of time. Glaciers moved them here thousands of years ago. They were used in a wall of a home for over a hundred years. They served to keep a fire contained. They sit here now.
Remnants of this project remain at rare Charitable Research Reserve.
As part of CAFKA.18, artist Don Russell built and activated Stone, Clay, Fire: Building a Circle in the Springbank Gardens at rare Charitable Research Reserve. This piece comprised of a circular trench that was filled with two different kinds of clay and lined with stones, forming an inner and outer circle on either side of the clay. On top of the clay the artist, with the assistance of many hands, kept a small fire burning which baked the clay from Summer Solstice on June 21 to the full moon on June 28. This site acted as a gathering point between Indigenous and non-indigenous populations for contemplation, sharing, and to witness the artistic process. It is a symbol of aboriginal presence and its lasting wisdom.
On July 7, the stones from Stone, Clay, Fire: Building a Circle were transmuted to their permanent home at Andrew Judge’s Minjimendan (Indigenous Foods Garden) also at rare. Select stones were bound creating Drawn by Fire, a temporary installation in Cambridge Art Galleries’ Queen’s Square Gallery. These stones will be returned to the site after the closing of the exhibition. Folks are welcome to visit rare’s Springbank Community Gardens to experience the remnants of Stone, Clay, Fire: Building a Circle.
Don Russell grew up in the bayside community of Stephenville, Newfoundland, he identifies as Mi’kmaq (Qalipu Mi’kmaq First Nation, Newfoundland) and Acadian French. Russell has practiced painting and sculpture for over twenty years. He is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s School of Fine Art (1995) and of the Dundas Valley School of Art’s postgraduate program (2002). Russell lives and works in Cambridge, Ontario and maintains a studio in downtown Guelph.
Parking at rare Springbank Community Gardens
The baked clay from Stone, Clay Fire: Making a Circle is located on the rare property just behind the Springbank Community Gardens, 681 Blair Road, Cambridge. Minjimendan is located in the Community Gardens. There is limited parking at the site. Overflow parking is available in the South Parking Lot. A gravel walking path connects the South Parking Lot to 681 Blair road.
Please walk up the hill to the gardens from 681 Blair Road. There are three accessible parking spots at the garden that are reserved for gardeners and visitor who require them. Please refer to the map on the right or go to http://raresites.org/cliffs-alvars-trail-system/ for parking locations.