Drawing the Canada-Wide Science Fair : Rodney Sayers

Drawing the Canada-Wide Science Fair is a collective of sixteen artists who have come together to interpret and play with the spectacle of a national science fair through visual language. By drawing on-site during the Canada-Wide Science Fair, the artists will create and immediately broadcast drawings of selected projects on display. The idea is to expand the notion of drawing around science themes to include the potentials of visual priority, cross-disciplinary work, collaborative drawing, multi-perspectival drawing, non-precious drawing, interactions with people, live tweeting, 5-second-delay blogging, and other unexpected possibilities. Here’s an introduction to Rodney Sayers, Canada-Wide Science Fair Artist.

Klehwetua, Rod Sayers is a member of the Hupacasath First Nation, from Ahwinnis, now known as Port Alberni B.C. Rod’s practice examines the role of traditional artwork in a contemporary world. He believes that for an art form to remain vibrant, it must evolve and adapt, but remain true to its origins.

Black Wolf, 2012 © Rodney Sayers

Black Wolf, 2012
© Rodney Sayers

What is your experience with science fairs?
I am an avid fan of “Star Trek” and Science officer Spock has been one of my lifelong role models. He once said “Once you have removed all possibilities, what ever remains, however improbable must be the answer”. Science!

The scientific method?
Science has one downfall. It only believes that which can be proved through empirical data. What about magic? Intuition. Gut feelings? Bluffing?

How does the scientific method compare with your method(s)?
I believe in magic, intuition, gut feelings and especially the bluff.

How is drawing part of your practice?
Drawing serves as a visualization tool.

Describe an experiment you’ve done.
When I was 8 years old, I build a home made fire cracker from wooden match heads, a small cardboard cylinder, masking tape and a home made fuse. The device went off unexpectedly, launching the cardboard cap into my arm. I still bear the scar it made to this day. Science!

3 of a Perfect Pair © Rodney Sayers

3 of a Perfect Pair
© Rodney Sayers

Do you know any scientists? What are they like?
Yes, he is an extractive metallurgist and a petro chemical engineer. He can explain how the cushions in your furniture are actually pushing up on you with a certain force, even though us mortals believe that we are only pushing down on them. That is weird. Science!

Do you know any high school students? What are they like?
Yes. Self entitled pigs in the wilderness.

Thoughts on working en plein air / in real life / in dynamic / scientific / display oriented environments.
They are o.k if wine and cheese are involved.

How is risk a part of your practice?
Great accomplishments involve great risk.

How is interacting a part of your practice?
I bartend at the Triannon openings.

Got any good science jokes? art jokes? collaboration jokes?
Have you heard about the Atomic rod and reel? It’s the latest in nuclear fission!

Can you describe what it’s like to work on something new / outside of your area / unfamiliar?