Abigail Auld | 2022 Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency provides professional artists with time to focus on their work in the beautiful natural setting of Riding Mountain National Park, housed in the historic Deep Bay cabin.

Follow along as we feature this years’ artists-in-residence and their exciting projects!

MAC: Tell us a little about yourself as an artist and your practice.

AA: I am a writer and curator, who works across the fields of architecture, design, and contemporary art. My writing and exhibition-making explore how human systems of power and relation are reflected in the way buildings, cities, and towns are constructed. I am particularly interested in connections between urban environments and the ecosystems that sustain them, and in artistic practices that contemplate human-altered environments.

Abigail Auld leading a tour.
Photo by Susan Algie.

Tell us about your project—what will you be working on in the Deep Bay Cabin?

While in residence at Riding Mountain National Park I will be working on revisions to my non-fiction manuscript about Manitoba Tyndall limestone. This project chronicles the transformation of 450-million-year-old bedrock into Tyndall Stone, an iconic mottled building material. It considers the rock’s geology, quarry history, and use in thousands of buildings across Canada. My writing also guides readers to think about Tyndall Stone as more than commodified material; tracing the way the contours of this rock formation lent shape to land and life across millennia.

I will also use my time at Riding Mountain National Park to incorporate my curatorial writing into this manuscript. I am curating the exhibition Moving Matter: Between rock and stone, up at the University of Manitoba School of Art Gallery from August 11 to October 14, 2022. This exhibition pairs my book research with work by 13 artists, including nine new artist commissions.  I am looking forward to weaving these artists’ work into the book project.

Abigail Auld typing on a laptop.
Photo by Moya Miller.

What is your relationship with the park, and what are you most looking forward to exploring?

I have not been to Riding Mountain National Park before and am excited to explore its varied ecosystems and learn about human histories here. I am especially looking forward to experiencing the Manitoba Escarpment environment.

How do you hope the park will influence or inspire your project?

I hope that my time in residency may inspire future projects. While experiencing this place first-hand, I would like to learn about how the Federal Park’s governance has shaped understanding of this environment overtime. I am interested in historical pamphlets like the Geological Survey of Canada’s 1974 “Guide to the Geology of Riding National Park and Its Vicinity” by Arthur Lang, in learning about forestry history in this region, and in learning about the expulsion and land claim settlements of the Keeseekoowenin Ojibway First Nation.

The Riding Mountain Artists’ Residency is offered in partnership by the Manitoba Arts Council and Riding Mountain National Park.

Interested in the staying in the Deep Bay cabin? Find out how to apply to the Riding Mountain Artists Residency through the Learn – Residencies grant stream. Apply by November 1, 2022 for a residency in the summer of 2023.