Four members of the UK-based artist collective Bristol Diving School have been undertaking a four-week residency at Oxygen Art Centre.
The collaborative group has been researching the local historical context of Nelson and surrounding area, its unique ecosystem and rich network of people and legacies. Their research has involved meeting with members of the community — botany experts, astronomers and staff of local cultural institutes, to name a few.
A localized engagement with Nelson’s diverse cultural and natural environments has informed Bristol Diving School’s consideration of broader social narratives relating to systems of belief and knowledge, activation and speculation of space and territory, and the role of the artist as interpreter, amateur, fabricator.
Bristol Diving School will be participating in two upcoming public events, providing an opportunity for people to meet the group and get a sense of the research that they have been developing.
First up, to celebrate Canada Day in Nelson, Bristol Diving School will present “Painting School” at Lakeside Park. Taking inspiration from a long history of empirical botanical studies and modes of classification, they will be examining a selection of local plant specimens and studying their attributes through the traditional practice of watercolour painting. Bristol Diving School invites participants to create postcard-sized studies that will be used to initiate an exchange economy within the Lakeside Park setting.
Next, on Friday July 5 from 6 to 9 p.m., while ArtWalk openings are happening throughout downtown, Oxygen Art Centre will be open to anyone interested in seeing the installations created by the Bristol Diving School during their residency. Oxygen is full of their different works that manifest the undertaken tangents of research. This presentation is part of an ongoing body of work developed by Bristol Diving School, which investigates methods of processing information and associative learning formats.
An online project called the Proboscis-Extension-Reader accompanies the artist practice and research process of the collective. For more information visit: p-e-r.net.