Night Forest is the first book documenting Megan Dulcie Dill’s artwork in a children’s story format. Each image is a large scale painting and when exhibited together with audiovisual the installation produces a feeling of transporting inside a children’s fantasy book. The project riffs on moving and still image from storybook to augmented reality.
The project concept is based on traditional children’s book illustrations and the Pacific westcoast ecoscape.
Join the songster Wren and friends as they embark on an epic journey through a mysterious old growth forest to find magic in voice and land. There are some big new words for all members of the family to explore in this adventure tale of loss and discovery.
Adventures of Wren is a delightful series of children’s books by Canadian artist Megan Dulcie Dill.
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MEGAN DULCIE DILL is a Canadian artist recognized for her contemporary interpretations of the natural world. She is interested in exploring the environment and rethinking conventional ways of learning by combining storytelling, mixed media paintings and mediated walks. She has been the recipient of past awards from the Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council and exhibits widely through private and public galleries. Megan is the co-founder of the Art Centre Powell River public art gallery and facilitates innovative arts and literacy programs throughout the qathet region.
ABOUT THE PAINTINGS: Every image in the Adventure of Wren series is a reproduction of a large scale painting made of acrylic paint, archived maps, walnut husk pigment and ink on 100% natural cotton canvas or Stonehenge 360 lb paper. What distinguishes the paintings are a combination of visibly physical brushwork with flowing passages of transparent paint. Luminous shapes emerge and come alive in the work through texture, colour and shifting lines. The images are expressions of direct experience on the land, imagination and a deep longing for renewal.
Adventures of Wren is Dulcie Dill’s first book in a series of children’s books showcasing the rich biodiversity found on Canada’s Sunshine Coast. www.mdill.com
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ABOUT THE PACIFIC WREN
TLA’AMIN NAME č̓uč̓u
LATIN NAME Troglodytes pacificus
Pacific Wrens are tiny brown wrens with a song much larger than themselves. They have been deemed a “pinnacle of song complexity.” This tinkling, bubbly songbird is more often heard than seen within the dark understory of old-growth evergreen forests where they live. When Pacific Wrens sing they hold their tail upright and their entire body shakes with sound.
Looking for the audiobook? You are also encouraged to go on a treasure hunt in a forest. Listen for bird song! Pacific Wrens are very vocal so listen for their rapid series of tumbling and trilling notes in old-growth forests. When you hear their sweet song, patiently look in the forest understory for mouse like hopping movements on decaying logs and upturned roots. Early mornings during the breeding season are the best times to find them perched in the open singing joyfully.
for Finn, Rupert and the magic hour
Adventures of Wren
NIGHT FOREST by Megan Dulcie Dill
“The Forest knows if you believe it is alive”, chirped Wren, “everything is magic in there, especially at night.”
Wren found her nest amongst the great cedars and settled down for sleep. She was tired and looking forward to transitioning to her nighttime persona.
She loved this part of her life when her bird body rested and her human form took on adventures.
Out of her hibernaculum she emerged.
And into the Night Forest Tunnel she went.
On the other side, Wren’s crepuscular friends met her. Wolf and Rabbit asked if she would help them search for the Watersong Boy. The boy had been lost somewhere in Deep Time and his disappearance had caused the forest creek to dry up. The animals wanted desperately to listen to the effervescent sounds of his song once again and drink and play with the salmon in the creek.
They prepared for their adventure into Deep Time.
First, White Deer, Raven and Owl helped to plot their route with a variety of Time Maps.
Next they dawned their Night Masks and equipped themselves with divining rods to source the Watersong Boy. Eagle watched over as Wren went deeper into the dense forest.
The rods bent this way and that until they were guided to a grouping of small children playing in the ferns and old lichen logs; the understory of the forest.
“Who are you?” asked Wren.
“We are the Forest Children of Waiting and we can show you how to play and listen in the forest while waiting for adventures to happen. If you do this, you just might find the Watersong Boy.”
They waited, played, listened, played… and played… and played all night by the light of the moon.
The moonbeams took them out of the Anthropocene to where the Watersong Boy was singing. He was beside the rock rings of Deep Time where the water was flowing out a song, clear and pure.
Wren asked if he would teach her the songs. So he shared the melodies that made water flow.
Soon, the moon was going down and dawn was breaking. Wren quickly followed the creekside huckleberry path back to the Night Tunnel. She arrived just in time for breakfast on the other side.
Wren sang her new songs the next day and the creek began to flow.
The mythical song was said to cure the non believer into knowing the Forest was indeed alive.
BIG WORDS/NEW VOCABULARY:
Anthropocene: Relating to the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the main influence on climate and the environment.
Crepuscular: Crepuscular animals are those that are active primarily during twilight (that is, the periods of dawn and dusk).
Deep Time: The multimillion year time frame within which scientists believe the earth has existed, and which is supported by the observation of natural, mostly geological, phenomena.
Divining Rod: A forked rod believed to indicate the presence of water or minerals especially by dipping downward when held over a ground vein.
Effervescent: Bubbly, with vivacity and enthusiasm.
Hibernaculum: A protective case or covering, especially for winter, as of an animal or a plant bud.
Watersong Boy: The magical boy who represents water. He ran away and became lost when water sources became depleted from overuse. His song brings clean water back to places that have limited amounts due to human activity.
Persona: The particular type of character that a person seems to have and that is often different from their real character.