The Interconnectedness That Exists Between All Things

What about the bees_still

What about the bees? explores our impact on the environment and how our simple daily actions can create an imbalance on our surroundings in detrimental ways through the use of sculpture and video projection.  Researchers are indicating that our wireless communication methods are having an disastrous impact on the bee population, disrupting their natural cycles and creating a decline in their population.  Bees provide us with honey, but they also are a key instrument in pollinating our food sources and will ultimately impact our food supply if their populations decline.  What about the bees? draws attention to our use technology for immediate communication, becoming a necessity in order to survive in our society.  Wireless communication has become a part of our everyday living, but how have we compromised other necessary natural cycles and species in our environment?

A Journey Through Demarcation
BFA Exhibition – Stephanie Turtle
March 20 – 24, 2017 

“A classical definition of line is as the recorded movement of a dot on its journey from one place to another.  This sense of linear movement implies a direction or a sequence of directions.  It accordingly implies a sense of time – in other words, line most often has a beginning and an end, and to experience it takes time”.*

A Journey Through Demarcation is an exploration of line to capture a moment in time, revealing the shadows and reflections which exit under the surface from the everyday experience.  My sculptures involved drawing with line, and using light and shadow, geometric and organic form and reflection, to design immersive environments.  This dystopic architectural landscape is intended to dislocate the viewer’s perception of reality, create a heightened sensorial experience and to reveal the poetic beauty of decline, and loss of function.

In Underneath the Surface I am utilizing the natural process of oxidization to document the splendour of what is hidden underneath the surface, what is hidden and what goes unseen/unnoticed in everyday life.  In revealing the underbelly of a discarded cast iron manhole cover my intention is to draw attention to its slow rusting decline, to capture its subtle destruction, and to capture the beauty of a moment in time that otherwise might be lost.  
* From Expressive Drawing: A Practical Guide to Freeing the Artist Within by Steven Almone

Manhole Cover_found object - STurtle_2016
Manhole Cover, Stephanie Turtle, 2016 (found object)


A Journey Through Demarcation_gallery map-STurlte_2017
Gordon Snelgrove Gallery Map, 2017



Miscommunication Tower (up-close)- Stephanie Turtle_March 2017
Miscommunication Tower (close-up), Stephanie Turtle, 2017
Miscommunication Tower_shadow - Stephanie Turtle_March 2017
Miscommunication Tower, Stephanie Turtle, 2017
Miscommunication Tower_full view - Stephanie Turtle_March 2017
Miscommunication Tower (full view), Stephanie Turtle, 2017


Nucleus - STurtle_2017
Nucleus, Stephanie Turtle, 2017
Underneath the Surface - STurtle_2017
Underneath the Surface, Stephanie Turtle, 2017
Abandoned Carapace - STurtle_2017
Abandoned Carapace, Stephanie Turtle, 2017
Communication Tower - STurtle_2016
Communication Tower, Stephanie Turtle, 2016
Communication Tower_side-STurtle_2016
Communication Tower (side view), Stephanie Turtle, 2016
Residual Landscape (collaboration with William Lee) - Stephanie Turtle_February 2017
Residual Landscape (Collaboration with William Lee), Stephanie Turtle, 2017


Working with coloured water-soluble graphite and ink to experiment with creating transparent layers.

Emerging – Stephanie Turtle, 2017; water-soluble graphite, ink


Mask – Stephanie Turtle, 2017; coloured water-soluble graphite, ink


Defiance – Stephanie Turtle, 2017; coloured water-soluble graphite, ink


My most recent drawing experiment uses the steel shavings from filing my metal sculpture to create abstract images.  I am incorporating the idea of deterioration by allowing the metal to rust directly on the page, which decreases the amount of control over the outcome and  natural chemical processes take over, allowing for an element of chance.


I wanted to experiment with Yupo paper, ink and wax and was quite surprised by the results.  A little different from my regular drawing practice…

Version 2

Cliffside, Stephanie Turtle, 2016


Version 2

Nebula, Stephanie Turtle, 2016


Our senior level sculpture class collaborated with the University of Saskatchewan Sustainability department to present a show with found and discarded materials from the U of S campus, transforming waste into readymades.

class-projectLocated in the North lobby in Place Riel our class collaborated on this piece as a group.


Nest 2016

Nest, Stephanie Turtle, 2016


In my sculpture, Nest, I used a found parrot cage, tipped over and stuffed with synthetic materials that spill out, to signify the unnatural way we claim ownership over other species by locking them in cages and domesticating something that was once wild. Our methods and technologies are wildly out of balance and our need to dominate and control nature has a resulting negative impact. The nest is a bird’s traditional home which has been disrupted and infringed upon by our destruction of the environment.



Nest, Stephanie Turtle, 2016 – Photo by William Lee


Grain Elevator – Photo by Jon Degousoff

Grain Elevator was a University of Saskatchewan group collaboration I participated in between fine arts and engineering students called STEAM.  Our goal was to produce work for Nuit Blanche Saskatoon 2016.

The Grain Elevator viewed initially would reveal historical photos projected onto the wood panels, when activated by an air compression system designed by the engineers, would blow off the structure onto the ground below.  As the panels fell off the structure, video projection of the microscopic synchrotron images would appear, slowly transforming the elevator with active visuals.

Grain Elevator by daylight

The Grain Elevator has been a part of the prairie landscape for over a century and is synonymous with the food production in the history of our province.  This historical icon is slowly disappearing and reflects how the farming industry has transformed through the introduction of technology.  Our goal is to reflect on the history of agriculture in our community and to present how it has changed and evolved over time. 

Grain Elevator – Photo by Jannik Plaetner

We are using the disappearing grain elevator and historical archival photos to reflect on the past farming practices.  In order represent the new, we have partnered with the Canadian Light Source and are working with digital images and video produced by the synchrotron.  The digital methods we have used through video editing and video mapping software also reflects new methods in art creation with the application of utilizing computer technology.


Photo by Barbara Reimer


Photo by Barbara Reimer


Photo by Barbara Reimer


Photo by Thilina Bandara




Communication Tower, 2016
Communication Tower, 2016

Communication Tower, 2016, 2.5′ x 2.5′ x 8′

In Communication Tower, I created an inverted pyramid using diagonal metal rods to cast geometric shadows and create optical crosshatching through the voids of the sculpture.  Triangle-shaped mirrored plexiglass pieces are wired abstractly onto the framework, bouncing light and shadows throughout the gallery.

My sculpture is a comment on our wireless communication technology and how it impedes our ability to interact in society.  Cell towers are designed to improve communication between people by allowing for immediate availability, yet have us more distant and distracted by our screens.  I turned my pyramid structure upside down to suggest this disorientation, so that it provides a fragmented reflection of viewers as they approach and ultimately become immersed in the work.

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