What do you see when you look at the moon? What do you see when you look at yourself? Louisa Ferguson’s The Apparent Magnitude of Every Day explores both questions, with 365 glass tiles, each featuring the moon for a single day, and an excerpt from her journal from the same time. Ferguson’s work is now on display at the Godfrey Dean Art Gallery, until Oct. 26.
Ferguson’s fascination with the moon began when the artist moved to Meacham, SK. from Montreal, PQ. She said she became very aware of the moon for the first time.
“You can live in a quiet community and that quiet and stillness allows you to really go into detail and see things. It’s basically a meditation on very specific moments of every single day, following the moon cycle.”
The show depends on the observer, and where they are, whether they’re looking at the moons or Ferguson’s journal entries. That plays into the title of the work.
“Apparent magnitude, which has to do with how bright the moon is, really depends on what’s between the observer and the moon. If I’m in Meacham looking at the moon, the apparent brightness is going to be very different from if you are in Saskatoon looking at the moon... That’s a personal journey, and I approached every single day that way as well, from my vantage point what is that day about?”
She said that the interpretation of each tile is going to be different for each viewer, and she wants it to be a conversation.
“It’s a dialog, it’s a conversation and I’m okay with that.”
It’s a show that rewards time, and she hopes that means there will be repeated visits, and that people interpret the work differently every time they see it. She compares it to a German poet who she loved at one point, and then moved away from, because art means different things depending on the person.
Ferguson admits that there were days when she didn’t want to go into her studio and make another tile, but it gave her a reason to force herself to do it, and keep in practice. She also said that feeling of reluctance tended to dissipate after ten minutes and she was good to start again.
She’s also happy that her show opened the same day as Autumn Light, which features nine area artists showcasing their work.
“People will say ‘it’s good for them to see a professional artist’ but it’s also good for me to see a local artist and what they’re doing, because that informs me as an artist as well.”