Jennifer Norquist’s CV

April 18, 2009

Jennifer Norquist
2085 Lockyer Rd. Robert’s Creek, BC,V0N 2W1
604-989-3276 (Sunshine Coast cell)

Education and Training

-Emily Carr University for Art and Design 1993-95 and 2008- present
-Langara College 1999-2000 & 2002
Community Leadership certificate
University transfer program academics
-Escuela de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Taller de titeres- Puppetry School
-Instituto de Avellaneda de Cinematografia
Film program in Buenos Aires
-Frequent classes in dance, theatre, healing, yoga, shadow puppetry, vocal facilitation training

Art Experience

March 2009
-Curation of the show ‘Interwoven’ at Emily Carr University of Art and Design
Organizing and promoting this student textile show in the Concourse Gallery.
My piece ‘The Sewing Room’ was an interactive and relational workshop space in Gallery.

2000-present Community Development in Collingwood /Renfrew (Arts PowWow and The Still Moon Society) including:

• interactive puppet and theatre shows, site specific performance installations
• art and mosaic workshops,
• youth and environment outreach projects-more recently at Windermere School mosaic entrance, completed in Spring 2009,
• urban stream and green space stewardship and native plant gardening
• 90m mosaic walkway with artistic lighting through Slocan Park involving community, artists, architects and the Park Board
• interpretive sign design with local youth and graphic designer,
• walking meditation labyrinth with mosaic centre and native plant gardens with pathways and stepping stones.
• Community Mapping project

Art and Commercial projects 2000-present (often operating as Dragonfly Designs)

-Projects have included retail space and home interior design, murals, painting, large and small scale mosaic tile work, landscaping artwork, fountains, set creation, metal gates, design hand drawing using digital media and, costume and puppet creation and more. I often work in collaboration with artist husband Cody Chancellor.

Ongoing performing artist and co-founder of ‘Upper Realms’ performance collective on Sunshine Coast

– Stiltwalker, comical character and clown and puppeteer plus interactive event experiences (booking services for one or more artists)
Accept contracts from theatrical organizations and individuals to create costumes, props and puppets
-Course designs for puppet show creation and stilt building and walking

Nov 2004-Nov 2006- Producer, performer and teacher for MythMaker Productions and responsible for receiving two Canada Council project grants for inter-disciplary work involving community and professional performance art development.

Some Past Clients and Festivals

Centre for Mental Health and Addiction in Burnaby
Vancouver Park Board
Vancouver School Board and schools
Vancouver and Gibsons Public Libraries
Immigrant Services Society
Collingwood Neighbourhood house
Frog Hollow Neighbourhood house
Music with Marnie-costume and puppet making
Renfrew Community Centre
Douglas Park community Centre
Still Moon Arts Society
Mortal Coil Arts Society
Public Dreams
Private commissioned clients for home and garden installations
Shambhala Music Festival in Salmo BC
Komasket Music Festival in Vernon, BC
Sea Cavalcade
Sechelt Canada Day
Sechelt Family Arts Festival and Airport Show
Car Free Festival on the Drive
Edge of the World Music Festival in the Queen Charlottes
McDonalds FunZone
Renfrew Ravine Moon Festival
Bonfire Festival in Pender Harbour BC
Earth Day
….and more


April 16, 2009

Re-composing the pieces

The materials and resources that we have drawn from the four corners of the globe have
been scattered and reformed. As earthlings, we share a history that puts pressure on this
present moment to face the exploitation that affects humanity’s soul and our relationship
with the Earth. Through an exploration of movement Jennifer collects and reassembles
earth materials as a gesture to recognize and support our transforming and healing state on this planet.

This work will combine the idea of ‘earthworks’ or creating temporal art from organic found materials with performance and ritual. The body of my work includes many process that are in dialogue with natural systems including seasons and cycles, decay and growth. As humans we are constantly moving and processing earth elements for our cultural and consumptive needs. This process has been damaging on the earth itself and often includes the marginalization of people. I relate this work to my ideas within the concept of ‘compost modernism’ where we observe and then reconstruct a new reality that is nourished from the decay of the old system.

Jennifer Norquist has been working several years as an artist interested in sustainable practices within community development. Her work has included permanent site specific works near urban streams and performance works that address our relationship with nature. She is currently an avid gardener who spends much of her time building soil, planting seeds and watering plants.

Tech requirements and venue:
Any space will be sufficient, indoors or outdoors
Proper lighting indoors, prefer tungsten
Outdoors daytime- prefer mid-late afternoon

$200- Artist fee for one performance
$100 for any additional performance
Transportation- $20 from Sunshine Coast by bus

April 15, 2009

Our performance art class presented our final performance on Weds. April 8. The concept behind the presentations is that we were creating a performance art festival with the themes diaspora, dislocation . We were broken into two groups and I was in the second so I will write about only the first group’s performances.

The first performance was by Yota, who entered into the spot light and began skip rope jumping, using the cord attached to a computer mouse. He then began to bring in other computer parts including a monitor, keyboard and tower, and started using them as weights and apparatus to ‘work out’.
img_0142He did sit ups and push ups, squats and bench presses, to name a few of the exercises that he used the computer for. His performance commented on how standard computer use disassociates us from the needs of our body. It was humourous and creative to see all the different standard gym exercises that one can use their computer equipment for.

Martina did a piece where she explored the stream of conscience writing technique in a performance that involved her covering her head in a white cloth that had what she was currently writing projected onto. The visual effect was intriguing as the letters and words appeared on her head glowing white head as she adeptly typed her unfiltered thoughts.img_0146

Patrick’s performance involved a grotesque mask, long johns full of foam balls and some serious nose picking. He seems to be acting like he was alone and not being watched, hence the nose picking, and as he read from a piece of paper the balls fell from his pants.img_0144

Ana, Genevieve and Grant collaborated on a piece that they presented as a video. They went out one night and collected discarded material and built themselves a fort behind some buildings and beside the dumpsters. They were created a commentary on homelessness, wasted materials in our society while having a fun time activating the inner child. img_0152

Derya presented a video of his online performance as part of his ongoing web presence art work. In the video that was featured he showed how the occult is present in society.img_01633

Reuben also showed a video where the subject was a rock n roll musician and seemed to go through a disorienting process of playing loud and slightly discordant music that ended with in him sitting stunned on his bed with his lover asleep behind him.img_0165

Sung Hua created a hip hop music video with a friend who was very skilled at basket ball and tricks. The video brought in cannons of hip hop including graffiti, body gestures and street setting.img_0156

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed the performances on this last day of last and I was impressed by the quality and thought that went into the presentations. It has been a pleasure to learn about performance art in the context of an Emily Carr course with the instructor, Margeret Dragu, and with an amazing group of artists as fellow students.

Maita: Puppet show from Quebec

April 8, 2009

Over spring break I had the opportunity to see a puppet show from the Quebec companies Théâtre de la Veille 17 and Théâtre de Sable’s production of Maita. It was presented by the Cultch as part of their kid’s series, yet it was shown at the Waterfront Theatre on Granville Island, as they are currently undergoing renovations. The story told was of a girl who lives somewhere in Asia who needs to leave her family for 1461 days to work at a toy factory in order to pay back her father’s debt. Her father is a shadow puppeteer and he gives her his favorite puppet, Issane, and her mother sews pearls onto its dress, one for every day she will be gone. Each night she gives the other workers a shadow puppet show, and removes one bead from the dress as a way keeping track the time until she returns home.



The puppeteers wore black and were on stage yet they became one with the 4-5′ puppets they manipulated. The performers agile skills of voice and movement combined with exquisitely crafted puppets created an enjoyable and artful production. The story brought forth a very real problem that we face in the world today: ‘first world’ children are playing with toys that children in less fortunate countries are fabricating under exploitative conditions. This tale was simple, yet tragic, and for many of the young audience it was possibly too challenging for them to fully understand. In the question and answer period it revealed that many of the youngsters were mostly interested in the puppets, the toy boats and the puff of smoke, however many of the children, especially the preteens were very concerned and interested in the issues involved and they engaged in a very thoughtful discussion after wards.


April 8, 2009

On Friday, March 20 a group of students from Emily Carr University put on a performance art fair at ViVo on Main st in Vancouver BC. The format of the exhibition mimicked that of a trade show with different stations where interactive performances were hosted by different artists. I arrived a little late so I didn’t not experience the event in its entirety but I did enjoy the diversity and fun that fueled the environment.

At one station there was a posse that you could join in by putting on headphones and dancing with a crew that all shared in the same music, or a sit at an affirmation writing lounge, you could interact with a human in a wooden box, and at one point we all did the hokey pokey together. It was a great deal of fun and there was a real feeling of creative collaboration and support. A lot of work went into this event and it was reflected in the quality and intentions of the event.

Thanks fellow Emily Carr students, especially Marina Comstock, for putting on this thoughtful event.

(photos will come soon)

Performance Art Class- Installation and Traces

April 1, 2009

On March 18th and 26th our class performed and presented our Traces and/or Installation projects and critiqued each others’ work. The performances involved video, props and sound utilizing different theoretical and conceptual devices including durational and relational aesthetics. In some works we watched as spectators or audience while others we had the opportunity to engage as part of the experience of the artwork. The work was extremely diverse in nature, each student approached the assignment uniquely according to the interests and skills from his/her greater practice. We saw some students had a strong visual or sound component while others were critiquing cultural phenomena and our perceptions.

Some of the activities included in the performances involved covering the body in paint or food, like syrup and flour. We also saw gold leaf, a rabbit costume, computer blogging and sculpture. Poetry, surveys and sound played a role also in repertoire of the class work. The pieces all demonstrated the talents, ideas and skills that my fellow students have been cultivating. I really appreciated the supportive yet honest critiquing that we shared with each other, as it expanded my perspective on what how and why we create performances as artists.

I am still fresh in learning about the ‘canons’ of performance art but it seems that we hold the possibility to expand on the field of performative art in order to communicate our ideas and concepts. As emerging artists we can offer a fresh approach to performance that gives us more tools for personal expression and cultural critique. Perhaps we can even serve to shift society through our art.

Francisco and the gold leaf

Francisco and the gold leaf

net(work) survey by Martina

net(work) survey by Martina

Knitting Circle in Concourse Gallery- Jennifer with Carlyn

Knitting Circle in Concourse Gallery- Jennifer with Carlyn

relational, durational and community based performance artists

February 25, 2009


Victoria Stanton is a Montreal artist whose practice includes relational activities that engages the public at various events, in particular arts festivals. Her performance are executed in a non-formal manner, where her audience is not necessarily seated or positioned as a ‘spectator’, but where they are an integral part of the unfolding of the piece and its meaning. In her work she expands the notion of art to include conversations and interactions with people where we would not normally view them as her audience in small where he has created the fictitious ‘Bank of Victoria’ in 2001 ( in which she is the CEO offering consulting on money issues of a broad conceptual nature. She is also a critical writer and has published books. One performance that caught my attention is that prepares cake or cupcakes and roves through the site offering the treat to her audience. This work came to her in response to her own food intolerances and by serving her audience cake she is able to enjoy these desserts vicariously and explore nuances of eating and indulgences. As people feed each other and eat with their hands they become part of this playful and interactive art piece that has been performed at many events since 2001. She bakes specific cakes and wears special outfits that fit the occasion. I found myself drawn to this work particularly for various reasons. Firstly, I also love cake yet I too suffer from food intolerances. After finally accepting that fact in 2003, I started a cathartic, yet comical healing process occasionally take on an alter ego, Cosmic Cupcake and feed people cupcakes at various events in celebration and recognition of sweet indulgences, of which I cannot fully partake. It is said, that if you have a brilliant idea, it is only because someone thought of it first and is already doing it. How many people in this world love cake, cannot eat it, so they make it a personal mission to bake it, where a fancy dress and serve to others so that they can personally still enjoy it?

“Let them eat cake.”
Marie Antionnette,

Perhaps these wise words had been misinterpreted.

Paul Couillard was born 1961 in New Brunswick and became a performance artist in the 1980s after quitting his government civil servant job. He is a writer, multi-media and performance artist who also is an arts organizer and curator. His work explores the body and its sensations, cultural and social identity and notions of shared universal experience. He has played a seminal role in performance art, particularly in eastern Canada and co-founded the performance art organization FADO in 1993 where he acts as art director. In Toronto, 1999 he curated a twelve month long series of durational performance art works by artists from the UK, US and Canada called TIME, TIME,TIME. The works ranged from 12 hrs to several days as artists expressed themselves through endurance, community-building, public/ private boundaries, ritual and transformation over the year leading up to the new millennium. His own piece, Trace Elements, was a 24 hr performance involving ritual and installation including spice stained fabrics done on Dec 21, the final day of the festival, that fell on Winer Solstice that.

Couillard seems to be a man that is passionate about enabling the expanding notion of what performance and experimental art is. His artist practice includes not only making performance art, but also creating frameworks for artists and audiences to connect and share in the collective experience of being the multi-layered human.

Paula Jardine has been one of the most influential community artists working in western Canada. She was born near Edmonton in 1956 has worked in Toronto, Vancouver and the Island. She began the idea of Public Dreams in Edmonton before bringing it to Vancouver where she conceived of the ideas for the lantern festivals Illuminaries and the Parade of the Lost Souls, among other celebratory events. She was also the first Vancouver community centre resident artist in 1994 with the Trout lake Resortoration project. Her most recent ongoing community festival is the Night of all Souls, at Mountain View Cemetary in Vancouver. This festival reflects a great deal of research and compassion with regards to death, vigils and grieving.
The work of Paula has had a large impact on my own work both directly and indirectly and I hold a great deal of respect for her. In 1994 she came and spoke at Emily Carr when I was a very young art student and she made a great impression on me of the possibilities of community based art. When I returned to Canada after living abroad for a few years I volunteered for Public Dreams seeking her out, only to find she had left the organization and moved to the island. Since then I have had the pleasure of working with many profound artists who had Paula has an instrumental force in their lives. She is a mentor of mentors, and far more than just an artist, she is a magician who inspires and unites the community spirit through art, ritual and celebration.

Shadow Play performances

February 14, 2009

Our FVIM 322 Video Performance class received an assignment from our instructor, Margaret Dragu, to work in groups to produce a three minute Shadow Play to perform in class on January. Shadow play is one of the oldest forms of performance and the first ever ‘projected’ image as seen in the Indonesian puppetry of Asia and the shadow dances and ‘lanterna magica’ of Europe. We were able to use our bodies and any improvised puppets or props to make shadows using a slide projector as a light source. We created sound using voice, instruments or pre-recorded sound track. We were asked to perform the play twice, the second time we did it silently and the audience photo documented.

First Shadow Play
The first scene began with a wire coil creature crawling from the mouth of a sleeping giant. The coil strolled and danced his way through dreamy landscapes. Dissolves of colours, forms and patterns created the world that the character played in. He finally crawled back into the giant’s mouth before he awoke. The little wire guy moved with a great deal of character and responded well to the stimulus of the environment. At times we saw a lot of the puppeteer’s arms and in those moments it seemed she was watching more the puppet than the action on the screen.

Pig nose and the police

Pig nose and the police

We were the second group and therefore I will skip to the third play. It began began with the puppeteer mostly in the shadows with something in his hand that he was holding inside the light frame. It slowly unfolded and grew into the head of a pig. Another character with a police mask entered the light and expressed an air of authority before his head became two. The focused tempo of the transitions was aided with live percussion in the background. The play ended with the pig face retracting to nothing but a snout. I really enjoyed seeing the puppeteers’ faint shadows outside of the lit up square revealing their manipulative presence.



The fourth and final group worked with screen from a dead large flat screened TV. It felt very experimental in nature as the screen prop deviated from the common approach to shadow puppetry. The simple accompaniment of the mini keyboard gave a electronic overtone and set the mood of the piece. One character seemed trapped in the screen and shrunken in distortion while the other character had some sort of power to keep her there. The dynamic between the characters expressed an inter-play of power. The casting of light and image being refocused in the screen was quite intriguing. The performers expressed some disappointment that the original screen they had worked with behaved entirely differently and made rainbows. Sometimes we have to accept that when experimenting in art it is impossible to recapture a moment of play.

Performance as an Artform

February 11, 2009

Performance is one of the fundamental ways that humans express themselves and has been part of all cultures through out time.  The idea of performance art is a relatively new concept that gained status in the 60s and 70s, that separates itself from theatre, circus or music which considered to be performing arts . In terms of form and conceptual approach it grew from visual arts where the object embodies the art form. In performance art it is the actions of the individual or group in a particular time and space that constitute the art form.

I choose to look at three examples that I felt approached the idea of expression through performance very uniquely and had different target audiences.

Interior Scroll, 1975

Interior Scroll, 1975

Carolee Shneeman is considered one of the first performance artist who worked mainly out of New York in the 60s to the present, although most of her seminal work was done in the late 60s and 70s.  She emerged in a time in North America when feminism in contemporary culture exploded onto the scene and women began demanding the right to represent themselves and their bodies in art.  Women bodies have been a popular subject in art, however it was mainly from the perspective of the ‘male gaze’.  Carolee Shneeman responded to this by using her own body as the object, often naked, to express feminine power, desire and sexuality.  Her performance works included body painting, mud, ritual, projections among other things.  The addressed many of our denied aspects and transgressive natures through her work and paid particular attention to the role of the vagina and vulva as sources of erotic energy.  She researched non-European and Indo Eastern sources of knowledge including the serpent coiling as part of our sexual energy.  One of her most famous works, performed in 1975, is the “Interior Scroll” where she paints herself and then draws a folded scroll of paper from her vagina and reads from it, representing the yoni as a source of interior knowledge.  Her integration of body into art was profound at this time because presented the female body as own powerful entity, not necessarily needing the the male gaze.



Flavor Flav was born William Jonathan Drayton Jr. March 16, 1959. Although he is generally known for being a rapper there are some components to his personality, image and career that make him a one of a kind performance artist.  He gained fame in the 80’s and 90’s with the band ‘Public Enemy’ where he didn’t just rap, he invented what is now coined as the hype man.   He jumped around with a gold grill on his teeth, crazy hats and a clock around his neck, “cuz time is precious”.
Flav in '85, beginning of his 'time based art' career

Flav in '85, beginning of his 'time based art' career

20 years of wearing the Viking helmet-that's commitment

20 years of wearing the Viking helmet-that's commitment

His work has been seminal to the hip hop culture and image.  He was a clown and not afraid to be freaky and make a fool of himself and he received a lot of attention for it.  He was comic relief for the Public Enemy main man, Chuck D, who delivered hard-hitting, authoritative lyrics expressing the injustice of the system on black people. “Fight the Power” on the album “It takes a Nation of Millions to hold us Back” is the best known songs and was included in Spike Lee Joint soundtrack for “Do the Right Thing”. Public E was one of the first highly political hip hop/ rap bands to make it to the mainstream and reach the ears of millions.  Flav’s comic relief made the sting of Chuck Ds intense lyrics palatable to the N. American public.  When Chuck D was asked “Has the media stereotype of a black person progressed since the beginning of the century and the days of the minstrels?” his answer was “Nope, not much difference to me, only that nowadays minstrels are broadcasted worldwide.”

Flav dropped out of the public eye for a long time as he struggled with a crack addiction, which he has been clean from since 2004.  He recently got a comeback on a reality TV show where he televised an affair he had with Bridget Neilson.  He later went on to host his own reality show called the Flavor of Love where a household of young hopeful beauties vie for his love, often to the point of degradation.  He has been hugely criticized for this show as it is said to perpetuate racist and sexist stereotypes, particularly towards other blacks.  The controversy around his show has generated a lot of dialogue and seems to contradict his previous work with Public Enemy (or not).  He was ‘honored’ on the Comedy Network’s Roast’em tribute where some of the top rappers and comedian flambasted him on every possible disgrace they could come up with.  Even though he is known for degenerate behavior it was very clear that he is incredibly well loved and respected in the entertainment industry.

Biotic Baking Brigade


“The pie is the limit” with this very creative and secret activist group that became known in the early 2000’s for throwing pies in the faces of Neo-liberalist figure heads.  They are actually an international group of activists, originally based in San Francisco. They sought to bring attention to globalization, environmental and social issues by humiliating CEOs, politicians and media figures whose actions were deemed somehow neoliberalist, selfish and greedy.  The main pie thrower, Agent Apple wrote a pie throwing handbook that outlined how to hit a successful target.  In 2001, from April fools day to May Day, was declared ‘Operation Dessert Storm’ and no press conference was safe from these pie-throwing activists.  Some the most esteemed recipients of a pie in the face included Milton Friedman (famous economist), James D Wolfenson (World Bank President), Andy Warhol (artist) and the presidents and CEOs of Enron and Monsanto.  Needless to say some of these activists received some stiff jail sentences for their pie throwing and almost all remain anonymous.

Bill Gates a la creme

Bill Gates a la creme


Shadow Jamming with Mind of a Snail

January 27, 2009

On the first and third Wednesday evening of each month Mind of a Snail hosts ‘Shadow Jam’ at the Main ARTery.  The shadow jam is an interactive collaborative experience where the guests are invited to create music and sound as well as make and play with shadow puppets using flashlights, an overhead projector and any other light source onto a white sheet.  Mind of a Snail is Chloe Ziner and Jessica Gabriel who are both formidable musicians and artists  are able to create a portal into the visual and sound realm that allows for amazing levels of collaboration not normally possible.  Each session has a theme, last week was endangered languages and indicator species.

The evening begins with the guests crafting up the shadow puppets out of cardboard, cellophane, wire and anything else that is handy.  When it is time to hang the sheet there is a little ritual that takes place where we begin in silence and Jessica and Chloe lead us into a space where we begin to listen carefully to every sound and see all the subtle light sources that already are present.  We are all welcome to participate how we please with both sound and visuals.  The best jams happen where the participants are observing in conjunction with playing to create cohesive synergy and profound magic.

A little shadow goes a long way.  Jessica Gabriel