BAM! (Borderless Art Movement) is known for painting to live music in front of an engaging an audience as they playfully create large paintings and multiple panels, a musical and artistic journey. This particular group of BAM! painters are made up of the following artists, Sheila Anderson, Jessica McVicker, Rae Braden, Diane Boudreau, Terry Pamplin, Jen Walden and her seven-year-old daughter, Sadee Walden.
As part of WAMP’s Northern Sights project, we began final stages of planning for the Borderless Art Movement (BAM) Shoot with a meeting on June 2nd, 2018. The team met with the group to discuss shoot locations, logistics, painting theme and musical accompaniment. During this meeting, we planned to have the paintings and performance on the beer barge as it tours around the back bay of Great Slave Lake. This barge is the centrepiece every summer as the historic society re-enacts the arrival of the beer barge that in the old days would deliver the first shipment of beer for the season to Yellowknife. We envisioned the background slowly slipping by as the painters worked on large panels in a circle with the camera in the centre and having various musicians play through space and even canoe up to the barge. Perhaps even at the end having the painters jump off into the water for effect.
The group met several times practicing and discussing what the theme of the painting would be and how they would move and rotate panels in the circle. The video team was also shooting these rehearsals and giving feedback about the positioning of the panels and how the time would be structured with musicians. The team also agreed on June 25th as the shoot day with the 26th as a backup for weather, and so we booked the barge for those days. In the meantime boating over to where the barge was located and getting measurements for space and how the panels would fit on the barge. We became concerned it would be a tight fit as the diameter of the circle for working didn’t leave much space to the edge of the barge!
Finally, the shoot day came and we all met at the government dock. It turned out to be a very windy day, which would be a disaster on the water with such large plywood panels. The group decided to wait until after lunch and make the call then. The wind did not let up and so the video team worked on plan B looking at other locations for the following day. One of the locations which we eventually went with was the Giant Mine site next to the mining museum near a cliff. The team thought this would give more to look at in all directions with mine carts and equipment, gave some shelter from the wind and was a good representation of Yellowknife. We were able to confirm all of our musicians for the new day but still didn’t know if William Greenland would make it in time as he would be landing in Yellowknife around the time we were starting. Luckily everything went smoothly and we had beautiful natural light and clouds and Greenland was able to arrive in time directly from the airport and play a set with his flutes. As BAM painted we started with local fiddle player Andrea Bettiger, then William Greenland and finally ended with an Electronic Music set with Sami Blanco thematically moving from older style of music to a more modern style of music.
Every 20 minutes Sadee Walden would signal the passage of time by playing a triangle or other noise maker which cued the panels to switch places moving in front of the 360 camera. This worked really well allowed for everyone to have input on each panel and made for a great VR experience!