Title: Butoh (2003-2004, No Longer on Site)

Artist: Marguerite Larmand   Exhibition year: 2003

"In the clearing that the horizontal trunk spans, the figures hang and gently sway in the breeze or when caused to do so by visitors (human or animal). Larmand has stated that the inspiration for Butoh comes from the Sankai Juku Dance Troupe, a Japanese-based group best known for their balletic performances done while being lowered from the sides of buildings (which resulted, years ago, in the death of one of the dancers), so theatre, drama, and the idea of the stage are integral to the work. But metaphors proliferate in this altered stand of maples, one of which has everything to do with the idea of home. What we essentially have, here, is a kind of sketch or outline for the concept of a home (stay with me, now). The long horizontal timber spanning the clearing is arguably analogous to a long central ridge poll of a roof held in place by supporting columns (the standing maples on either side). The roof itself could be likened to the canopy of trees overhead. If we push the analogy to a possible conclusion, the figures hanging suspended in the clearing could be likened to, say, a household finding shelter from the elements, bound together by the meaning of "home". In Larmand's piece, the tree trunk spanning the clearing and holding the figures suspended above the ground is bowed in the middle by their weight. If we tweak our analogy, perhaps this expression of gravity might be representative of the emotional and psychological weight of the sheltered inhabitants straining things to the point of some kind of possible (or even eventual) collapse. Butoh does, after all, have an air of impermanence to it: the ridgepole is tied off with rope at either end (and not permanently fastened), and the figures are likewise simply roped into position. Entropy and decay will eventually have their inevitable way. As with everything, this world too will collapse. "Life is a bridge," the saying goes. "Build no house upon it." But we do, and it does. Always". 
Gil McElroy, "House and Garden (Some Sheltered Thoughts)," The Tree Museum, (The Tree Museum, 2002-2003)

Marguerite Larmand was born in Victoria Harbour, a farming community on the southern shore of Georgian Bay, Ontario. She received her BA in Art and Art History from McMaster University, Hamilton and her MA in Art Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Larmand's career as an artist has expanded with solo and group exhibitions across Canada and in Eastern Europe. Nature, community and ecological issues inspire Larmand's work.