Ingrid Koivukangas
Environmental Artist

Responding to sites around
the world through works
created in site specific
installation, intervention, ephemeral sculpture,
video, sound,
web, permanent
site-specific sculpture,
photography, printmaking,
painting & drawing.

to work in different
geographic regions
& locations
in the world, creating
site-specific works in
response to the land.





Ingrid Koivukangas

Artist Statement

In a world that is constantly changing via incredible leaps in technology and unbelievable strains upon the environment I am constantly questioning our connection to the land and our loss of connection to that land. How do we arrive at a place where a balance has been found between technology and nature? At what point do we begin to realize that we are not moving through a passive landscape, but through a landscape that is a reflection of our having lost touch with the sacredness of the Earth itself. As an environmental artist my work is a reflection of our collective archetypal memories and ways of relating to the Earth.

Think of it -- our physical bodies are made up of stardust, ancient dinosaur bones, trillions of cells that communicate with other cells, water that is controlled by the moon just as the tides are – water that is affected by our very thoughts. We breathe air that has been recirculating around the globe for millennia – we breathe the same air that our ancient ancestors once did. We are interwoven into the very fabric of the Earth – the Earth is interwoven into each of our physical beings. We also share these physical connections, and are further interwoven, with every other living being on this planet. We each carry genetic memories within us, for at one time all of our ancestors lived in harmony with the Earth and understood the delicate balance between what was seen and what was intuited

My work is classified as environmental art and encompasses many mediums including site specific ephemeral and permanent works, interventions, installation, sculpture, video, sound, writing, web, photography, painting, print making and drawing. I work in response to sites in the natural world. I am interested in issues of identity, especially indigenous cultures, including my own, place, the environment, technology and globalization – questioning how our identities are shaped by the land while also exploring how technology can be integrated into that understanding. Much of my work is an attempt to provide the viewer with a starting point to begin contemplating their own landscape and possibly their part in its preservation.

I am never sure what will happen when I begin working in a new area or landscape. Each site that I choose, or perhaps chooses me, is for a different reason. I do not research an area before I begin working there. I work intuitively at sites, with site energies - sometimes through dreams, impressions or waking dreams. Once the work emerges and is on its way to completion I will begin a site research based on local history, local stories, and connections to the larger universe - celestial, botanical, animal and spiritual.

From a forest fire site shards of burned roots were hung from a ceiling and viewers were encouraged to open jars of burned materials, while the sound of quiet breathing filled the room (Wildfire! 1998). A canyon site involved working across approximately 5 kms, from a viewing station at the east site that invited viewers to travel to the west site to investigate what could be seen glinting on the other side - and in doing so asking them to become involved in the journey, to be aware of where they were physically, to become a part of the land (Viewfinder Project:Kelowna 1997). The weather played a large role in Vancouver with rainwater being collected over three days and then put into 48” long glass microbiology tubes (Rainfall 2001). Archetypal symbols - circles, spirals, lines - have guided and become part of my exploration in the land, and harken back to earlier land artists and beyond. A golden spiral was overlaid on a map of Vancouver and sites chosen wherever land and water met (Nautilus Project 2001). Circles radiating outwards, reminiscentof raindrops on water, begin from CBC TV Vancouver and invite viewers to journey through the land (The 5 Circle Project: Vancouver 2002). This work now exists online as an interactive work. Outside of Montreal, birch bark rings encircle sixty pine trees, creating a long white line that emphasizes the lay of fhe land and invites viewers to journey through the land to two other sites (La Ligne du Nord: Sud-Oest/The Line of the North: South-West 2003). In Saskatoon the cliffs along the South Saskatchwan River became the installation site for large stone works honouring animal spirits – Otter, Hawk, Frog and butterfly – that can be seen from the sky, the bridges and from the walking path on the opposite side of the river (South Saskatchewan River Project: Saskatoon -- Meewasin, 2004). Viewers were encouraged to leave the gallery installation, during the Works Festival in Edmonton, to journey to the river to view the site-specific piece that connected the gallery and site (North Saskatchewan River Project: Edmonton, 2004). In Spain the moon, quartz and piedra muerta (dead stone) came together in a large circle that is meant to be viewed during a full moon when it will glow in the night, echoing the werewolf folklore of the area (La Luna de Galicia, 2005). From a wetlands heritage site cellular images of natural site materials, human cells and images of stars and galaxies come together to form a micro/macro view of the site in the gallery. Viewers were encouraged to leave the gallery with maps to journey to the site where Starfloats, glass balls filled with luminescent Earth pigments, echo the phosphorescense found in the cellular images and stars, as they glow in the trees each evening as the sun sets, connecting the site back to the stars and the cellular level (Finn Slough Project, 2007).

I am especially open to, and encourage, collaborations with scientists, researchers, architects, landscape architects, planners, writers and other artists. I am available for private and public commissions and to teach environmental workshops.

Ingrid Koivukangas
BFA: Okanagan University College • MFA: University of Calgary



Copyright 2003 Ingrid Koivukangas, all rights reserved