Title: Locus (work no longer on site)

Artist: Lyla Rye   Exhibition year: 2002

Landscape, often regarded as the materialization of memory, fixes individual and social histories in place. Lyla Rye's installation, Locus, taps into one individual's memory (a local farmer's) and personal memory (Rye's). She started out with a Juniper bush, located in a meadow that slopes down to the lake, with Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm's fairy tale "The Juniper Tree" in mind. As often happens the original idea evolved and changed. Retaining the site, with the Juniper bush, Rye eventually discarded the fairy tale, while holding on to its central theme: regeneration. One approaches Locus along a rising pathway cut through the meadow. First you see the Juniper, then the ring of black rubber, with text, which circles the Juniper. You must walk around the bush to read the text. This action is reminiscent of many sacred sites where circumambulation is part of the experience. Locus, explores, not mythical or mystical memory, but the recent history of the land: the farmer's tale (whose land is adjacent to the Tree Museum) of tent caterpillars, of frogs dying, and returning when DDT is outlawed; and Lyla's childhood memories of Muskoka. Locus is a tale/memory of continuity and discontinuity, of the renewal of the land and our role in that progress. The Juniper, one of the hardiest of trees, plays a central role in the relationship between place/landscape and memory.

Lyla Rye is Toronto based installation artist, who began her studies in architecture. She received a BFA from York University, and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. Her work has been exhibited across Canada including at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria; The Power Plant, Toronto; the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Halifax; The Esplanade Gallery, Medicine Hat; the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Kingston; the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, the Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown and the Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto. Her international exhibitions include shows in San Francisco, New York, Adelaide, Paris, and Berlin. She has work in the collections of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, York University, Cadillac Fairview Corporation, The Tom Thomson Art Gallery, Harbourfront Centre and Robert McLaughlin Gallery.