Dear Carrie ( 2022) was the result of a creative mapping project which began with the intention of following the directive given to me in a class during my Master of Art in Art Education program at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. The class was with Dr. Nicole Lee who studied a/r/tography with Dr. Rita Irwin at the University of British Columbia. The directive we were given was: “Go for walks, develop an inquiry project on how you conceptualize community.”
I decided right away that I would audio record my walks. I followed the walking directive for a month. Walking, as it turned out was making me anxious, I think this was because it highlighted what I was missing. I missed Vancouver’s back alleys because they offered interstitial spaces where you can walk undisturbed with your thoughts…but downtown Halifax is built differently–there are hardly any back alleys in Halifax.
I decided to leave this process—the walks and the recordings. I thought the process wasn’t working out but eventually I realized that for me walking and recording, were simply starting points for the project—they were the beginning of the inquiry and part of the interdisciplinary process. I think this is where I started to appreciate a/r/tography as a process, a methodology, which Dr. Nicole Lee introduced us to during the course. This was definitely a process of leaning into uncertainty as a generative space for living inquiry.
In this project/inquiry I wrote four letters to my friend Carrie, who walks and Instagram documents the streets and the alleys of Vancouver. I published these letters/reflections on my Research Notes digital newsletter. The letters are visually accompanied by many of Carrie’s Instagram posts. You can read the letters on Research Notes (issue #45-48).