Outreach: ArtScape artist-in-residence programme

Sophie Jaillet

Monday, July 31st, to Friday, September 8th, 2017

The Joggins Fossil Institute is pleased to announce that the 2017 ArtScape Artist-In-Residence is Sophie Jaillet from Montréal.

Sophie was chosen from among 15 other artists, across Canada and internationally, to take up a 6-week residency program and the Joggins Fossil Centre sometime during 2017. ArtScape The Artist-In-Residence Program at the Joggins Fossil Center is contingent upon funding.

Sophie Madeleine Jaillet is an artist and a rock collector from Montréal, Québec. Through obsessive observation, scientific methodology, fieldwork, and sculptural experiments, Jaillet explores her human finitude in a state of geological awareness. Her practice underlines the ungraspable nature of geological and climatological processes, as well as highlights the limits of human perception when attempting to engage with large-scale occurrences. Jaillet’s recent work is the result of a research-based studio practice, in which she manipulates and speculates about the materials of the Anthropocene.

Sophie Madeleine Jaillet holds a BFA from Concordia University (Montréal, 2013) and a MFA from NSCAD University (Halifax, 2016).


During my time at the ArtScape residency, I would like to start and complete a Joggins specific iteration of a new long-term landscape surveillance project. STILL* is a growing collection/archive of observation drawings of Canadian landscapes affected by climate change and geological activity. This work takes the form of repeated drawn documentation of the same chosen site in a given period of time with the intention of recording the variations in the topography caused by geological activity and/or climate change. STILL examines the notions of stillness and movement by intersecting geological and human timelines, as well as challenge the notion of endurance often associated with the environment, landscapes and rocks.

This project is developed around a regimented contemplation and documentation/drawing practice that imposes slowness and stillness on the observer in order to potentially witness the transformation of Canadian landscapes in the Anthropocene. This intimate and sensorial approach to data collecting and archive building aims to join human and geological temporalities in this obsessive and absurd (and impossible) endeavor of recording extreme slowness and amplitude. STILL is essentially a set of rules; it is the instructions that are followed every time a site is chosen and documented. The protocol is applied daily and repeated in a ridiculous and pathetic manner in an attempt to observe change and movement in static geological structures. The resulting body of work is a large number of drawings (at least one per workday of residency) of the exact same landscape. STILL is rooted in obsession, absurdity and pathos, but it is also a rational attempt at temporal consciousness. The project involves a shift in the contemporary pace of existence and can only exist at the sublime intersection of geological and personal timelines.

Some of the potential sites for the project involve geological and climate-related occurrences – such as tectonic drift or rising sea levels — that are impossible to perceive without equipment, while others are surrounded by melting glaciers or eroding cliffs that could potentially be recorded in the accumulation of drawings. Each iteration will differ in temporality, scale and meaning, depending on the site that is monitored and if change is observed (or not). STILL aims to emphasize the complexity of the interconnectivity and site-specificity of global processes like geological activity and climate change, as well as create a conscious space for ecological awareness in the Anthropocene.

Joggins’ unique geological history and carboniferous heritage makes it a perfect location to complete a new chapter of STILL. As the preserved Pennsylvanian ecosystems — exposed to the extreme tides of the Bay of Fundy — are gradually being un/discovered, new paleontological narratives are constructed. The weathering and erosion power affecting this coastal section, while actively shaping the landscape, creates knowledge and awareness. The production of STILL intends, like the study of the distinctive fossil record at Joggins, to generate meaning out of a collection of impressions of things fixed in time.

* The official protocol for STILL will be finalized during the Art of Stillness residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity in September 2016 and will be the official guidelines for production of work during the ArtScape residency.

2017 ArtScape: Artist-In-Residence sponsors:

Province of Nova Scotia [logo]

Municipality of Cumberland [logo]

Programme guidelines

The Joggins Fossil Institute

The Joggins Fossil Institute is a not-for-profit charitable organization established to protect, promote and present the Joggins Fossil Cliffs UNESCO World Heritage Site (designation 2007).

Mission Statement — to be exemplary in fulfilling our responsibilities under the United Nations Convention for the Protection of World Cultural and National Heritage to protect, conserve, and present the outstanding value of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs through research, education, and tourism.

The purpose of the programme

The Joggins Fossil Institute is offering an artists’ residency programme to further the educational and outreach components of the centre and its mission.

The programme is open to visual artists, literary artists, and performing artists on a revolving basis in a 3-year cycle.

We are looking for proposals that engage with, complement, examine, and reflect the natural environment and surroundings (flora, fauna, weather, water, geology, paleontology, cultural history etc.) of the Joggins Fossil Cliffs and Centre.

The residency would benefit artists who, through artistic creation and expression, wish to explore the myriad relationships between the human experience and the natural world. It provides the opportunity for artists to personally encounter nature in a unique rural setting.

The residency programme provides visual artists, literary artists and performing artists with the time, financial support, and space to enable them to better focus on their work.

The Joggins Fossil Institute is accepting applications from writers for the 2018 residency. Deadline for applications is Friday, July 28th, 2017, at 4:00 pm.


The residency is open to national and international visual, literary, and performing artists.

Visual arts

Consideration will be given to artists in all stages of their careers.

All disciplines will be considered, including but not limited to: painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, ceramics, design, architecture, photography, installation, performance, video and film, filmmaking, new media, and audio.

Literary arts

Consideration will be given to artists in all stages of their careers.

All disciplines will be considered, including but not limited to: fiction, non-fiction, nature writing, biography, history, memoir, science writing, poetry, journalism, children’s/young adult, screenwriting, essays, literary criticism, creative non-fiction, blogging, scholarly writing, science writing, fantasy and speculative fiction.

Performing arts

Consideration will be given to artists in all stages of their careers.

All disciplines will be considered, including but not limited to: dance, composition, vocal, instrumental, puppetry, song writing, animation and theatre.

Eligible projects

Residencies are available for research, development and production of ongoing or new bodies of work.

The artist’s proposed projects should take into account the Joggins Fossil Institute’s resources. Projects that do not require access to specialized equipment are most suitable to the residency programme. Artists are responsible for acquiring any additional specialized equipment.


Each residency is 6 weeks in duration.

The dates of the residency programme will be decided upon by the Joggins Fossil Institute and the successful applicant. The Institute’s administration office is open year round with public visitation from mid-April to mid-October.


Funding is approved after the selection of an artist and therefore is contingent on funds.

  • Studio space, a private office, and cost of accommodation are provided by the Joggins Fossil Centre.
  • The artist is responsible for securing their own accommodation.
  • The residency pays a writer’s fee (in 2018) of $3,262 plus Writers’ Union of Canada reading fees and Professional Writers’ Association of Canada workshop fees.
  • The residency pays living costs of $500.
  • The residency pays travel costs to and from Joggins, Nova Scotia — up to $1500 — for air/land public transportation or vehicle mileage
  • The artist is responsible for their local transportation.

Artist’s responsibilities

  • Artists are expected to provide public access (either to individuals or groups) to their studio and/or office one day a week during the residency.
  • Artists are expected to provide two public presentations (lectures, workshops, readings or performances) during their residency.
  • Artists may undertake any other outreach programmes they wish after consultation with the Joggins Fossil Institute staff.


Submissions must be by e-mail.

To submit to the Artist-in-Residence Programme please send:

  1. an artist’s statement (maximum 500 words) describing your recent artistic activities and professional development, your work in general, its influences and direction;
  2. a brief description of your project (maximum 500 words);
  3. technical requirements and/or site specifications if applicable (maximum 1 page);
  4. a plan and a working schedule;
  5. a biography (maximum 1 page);
  6. documentation of your work:
    • visual artists: up to 10 images or 5 minutes of audio/visual material — (JPEG or TIFF @ 300 dpi minimum)
    • writers: up to 25 pages of prose or 10 poems;
    • performers/composers: up to 10 minutes of audio/visual material
  7. a current curriculum vitæ;
  8. a letter of reference from a peer, mentor or professor (for emerging artists)

Selection Jury 2018

Denise Corey

Denise Corey, Chief Librarian, Cumberland Public Libraries, reads… a lot. Drove to PEI to have Rainbow Rowell sign a book. Waited in line to meet Maggie Stiefvater at Hal-Con in November. Kinda nerdy. Thinks zombies are a thing. Self-proclaimed delicate flower who has been described as “delightful”. Loves chatting books with all and sundry — check out the BookRage podcast on iTunes. Thinks wine is a food group. The best at being humble. You can follow her on Twitter at @dhcry.

Laurie Glenn Norris

Laurie Glenn Norris is the Education and Outreach Manager at the Joggins Fossil Centre. She has published two books: Cumberland County Facts and Folklore (Nimbus: 2009) and Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and The Great Amherst Mystery (Nimbus: 2012) which was a finalist for the 2013 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for historical writing and was, in 2015, optioned for a feature film. Her short story “Rockley’s Screaming Ghost: The Mary Harney Mystery” will appear in Where Evil Dwells: The Nova Scotia Anthology of Horror later in 2017. Laurie’s book reviews have appeared in Quill and Quire, Atlantic Books Today, and MUSE. She is currently working on a book of nineteenth-and twentieth-century Cumberland County letters.

Ian McKinley

Ian McKinley is a Canadian diplomat currently on leave to follow his wife of 24 years, Josée Lanctôt, to beautiful New Brunswick. He writes what he calls “fantastic realism,” a genre that seeks to escape the traditional tropes of fantasy, wherein pure good confronts ultimate evil for global domination. Rather, Ian’s narratives are driven by alignments and/or collisions of human interests and values.

His first novel, The Gallows Gem of Prallyn was released to positive reviews in November, 2014. It throws together an explosive mixture of zealotry, class oppression, and nationalism, the results of which take the reader on a gripping adventure.

Ian unveiled his second novel, Harbinger, Book One of Northern Fire, at the 2016 Frye Festival,in which he participated as a “Prélude Emerging Writer.” In Harbinger, Ian explores questions around culture and the type of societies particular cultures construct, the various tools of societal control that societies develop, as well as the question of whether an individual can change the fate of an entire nation.

Ian is working on edits to The Winter Wars, Book Two of Northern Fire. If things go to plan, it should be available by November, 2017.

Ian was born in Calgary, Alberta, and grew up in Northern Ireland and on the Canadian prairies. He graduated from the University of Lethbridge and joined the foreign service shortly thereafter. He has served Canada abroad in Colombia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and at the Permanent Mission of Canada to the United Nations in New York.

Ian is a member of the Writers Federation of New Brunswick as well as the Sunburst Award Society for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. He speaks English, French, and Spanish.

Published works

Speculative fiction novels:

  • Harbinger, Book One of Northern Fire, novel, 2016
  • The Gallows Gem of Prallyn, novel, 2014

Non-fiction articles

  • “Embracing Engagement” (with Anna Nitoslawska), Au courant; A Publication of the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, Spring 2003, Volume 12, Number 1
  • “The Case Against Hitchhikers,” Bout de papier, Summer 2001, Volume 18, Number 2

Please note

The residency programme is contingent upon funding. Applicants will be notified as soon possible if the residency is not be to offered in a particular year.

For further information and to submit materials, contact:

Laurie Glenn Norris M.A.
Education and Outreach Manager
Joggins Fossil Centre
(902) 251-2727, ext 224 or education@jogginsfossilcliffs.net

Published: 2016-05-05