Vernal Pools

Blink members contributed to the pooling of Karen Abel‘s “Vernal Pool”, part of the  Gladstone Hotel exhibit “Grow Op

Here are some more images from the show

From Blink Collective artist/member Karina Kraenzle:

“Thinking about pools, there are a few small ones around today – as the sun is becoming stronger and there is hope for Spring – eventually…..but mostly we still have a lot of water in its frozen form!

Blink and NGC Winter 2014 IMG_7810 Cynthia O'Brien, Karina Kraenzle NGC Blink & Iluliaq Summer 2013 Iceberg debris NGC

We gathered snow and ice yesterday from in and around Blink Gallery, the site of much exploration and experimentation by artists from the Blink Collective and their guests during the warmer months of Summer and Fall.   Blanketed in snow, our little building called Header House, sits quietly expectant, seemingly also awaiting Spring.

Our first samples collected, we went to collect some from the formidable giant next door, The National Gallery of Canada, who watches over Blink Gallery all year long.   There has been ongoing repair work and outdoor installation at the National for some time now, and it is our intention to gather the “snowmelt” from Iluliaq  the massive iceberg installation.  Once there, we find a rather fascinating mix of construction material amidst our snow samples.    Very fitting because that’s an Ottawa Spring reality – a vernal pool of earth and debris.

From artist/member Barbara Cuerden: Blink Gallery​ lived alongside the Iceberg installation ‘Iluliaq’ for our 2013 Season. We loved having Iluliaq loom over us as our very beautiful and monstrous neighbour. We could even hear it ‘melting’ (there was a sound installation component too). 

When I first saw the grand iceberg, – a mini-version at Blink, something like, “Ice- Cube”, popped into mind, since we are so very small, and operate always in the shadow of the National Gallery Canada blockbusters.


Vernal Pool is a wonderful composition where the run off from the ‘iceberg’, the snow melting off the roof at Blink, and all the other pooled samples can converge. I also got my wish come true, as I collected site samples in ice cube trays.

The Vernal Pool project is also perfect as a virtual point of collaboration with artist Inuk Silis Høegh. From the NGC website:

In addition to exploring the duality of reality and fantasy, the artist encourages us to think about the human relationship with our shared environment. Climate change and the resulting glacial melt inspired Iluliaq which relates to earlier projects such as the artist created in Copenhagen at the North Atlantic House during the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15) in 2009. The rapidly melting polar ice cap is a global concern, and the fragility of the North’s majestic icebergs elicits a protective sympathy, yet in scale and force these ice formations emanate a power that equally can inspire awe and fear. Iluliaq offers visitors a sublime experience even as they are invited to consider whether the iceberg is threatened or threatening.

[Note the ‘run-off’ of debris on site at the National Gallery, where we collected snow samples].

Iceberg debris IMG_7819

Iceberg debris

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