I’m not sure I thought that was a job title that would end up on my resume, but I’m so glad it has. After a crazy summer in Toronto, I flew back to Vancouver on Sunday and less than 12 hours later boarded the ferry to the Sunshine Coast to work with deer crossing the art farm on their annual Rainforest Circus. I’m living on the farm in an 85 square foot caravan. I wake up when the sun comes up and I go to bed when the sun goes down. It’s simple in that way.
There are no regular days on the farm – each day comes with its own set of challenges and thrills. On Tuesday morning the intern and I drove down to the beach at 8am for a pre-breakfast swim. Just because we could. On the night of the full moon we had a campfire where we roasted apples from the tree on the farm. Often when I look around I see one artist building an installation, a pair working on a scene for the circus, a group designing a display, someone else painting set pieces. From one direction is the sound of chainsaws and from another there are children playing. But we all stop to each lunch and dinner together. It’s communal in that way.
Over the course of yesterday and today we moved from the farm down to the forest to rehearse and started to put things into place. And again, I look around to spot three people at the trapeze, two working a scene, art being installed, a sound system being tested and so on. But me? I’m moving through all of it, making sure everyone has what they need. “Did you hear that we moved that scene over to the other clearing?” “If we put the vinyl flowers here, can the wire deer go at the top of the hill?” “What if I start the music when the last audience member makes it around that curve in the path?” Small pieces, coming together to make a beautiful whole. It’s creative in that way.
And I’m so content: I’m organizing people, being invited to collaborate creatively, and laughing. Lots and lots of laughing.
I’ve been trying to document the adventure a bit, taking pictures on my iPhone. But my photos do none of it justice. They do not capture the way the arial silks artist took my breath away the first time I saw her free fall in time to the music. They don’t capture the way sound moves through the forest. They don’t give you a sense of the smell of moss, dust, and nature. They try, but fail, to give a sense of the way the light comes through the trees. But here are some of my favourites.