A cul-de-sac is a dead-end street surrounded by houses. Confined within a curb, continuously manicured by the municipality, yet left with little indication of its use to the public, it is a ubiquitous indicator of urban sprawl. Sometimes, you’ll find a landscape island in the centre of a cul-de-sac. While these islands may be seen as underutilized spaces they have the potential of becoming much more––even a paradise. Cul-de-sac Island explores nature, place, and identity through the juxtaposition of the artificial and the real. In grappling with my own understanding of nature, the installation is informed by personal history, memory and contemporary notions of ‘nationhood.’ Through performative action, play, amateur ethnography, and failure, the work serves as an ongoing investigation into my personal sense of place and home.
Jordyn Stewart is an MFA candidate at the University of Waterloo and received her BA, Specialist in Art and Art History at the University of Toronto, joint program with Sheridan College. In 2016, she was an artist-in-residence at the University of Windsor’s Emerging Artist Research Residency, as well as Hamilton Artists’ Inc.’s Cotton Factory Residency Program. She was awarded a Shantz International Research Scholarship through the University of Waterloo, and worked with artists Alison S. M. Kobayashi in Brooklyn, and Anna-Sophie Springer & Etienne Turpin in Berlin during the summer of 2018. She is also a recipient of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada Master’s Scholarship.