Circling the Confluence: an exploration around the Elora Gorge

Andrea Bird and Daniel Beirnes’ Collaborative Show Circling the Confluence: an exploration around the Elora Gorge.
Elora Gorge Tornado

Elora Gorge TornadoAndrea and Daniel are partners in life as well as art – living rurally in Wellington County with their family. Andrea’s primary medium is encaustic while Daniel sculpts with natural elements, using branches and stone in this case. For this project, they have collaborated on both the wall pieces and the sculptures, treading into new territory together. Over the past decade, they have worked together on various projects and exhibits, with this being the most ambitious and collaborative yet.

The idea for “Circling the Confluence” has been germinating for a few years. Research and collecting elements for the show began in January of 2011. The branches were taken from nearby tracts of land that were literally flattened by the 2005 tornado, and transformed into four sculptures that reflect the rivers and the convergence of the rivers, as well as the tornado itself.

Elora Gorge TornadoThis project surveys a circular path, centered on the confluence of the Irvine and Grand Rivers. The artists’ work incorporates found objects and “tornado branches” transforming the gallery into a map of geography and insight. The eight wall paintings that surround these installations represent various locations on the circle around the confluence, each with its own sense of place and essence.

The show continues until November 6th at The Minarovich Gallery – The Elora Centre for the Arts, 75 Melville Street, Elora ON –

The images below are from the opening reception – Thursday, October 6, 2011

Full Circle

In the fall of 2008, Daniel and Andrea had the opportunity to collaborate again at the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts, on Queen St. West, in Toronto. This time their focus was on the circle, in all its’ simplicity and beauty. For over a year, Daniel has been mapping/walking/installing a large circle that surrounds their home near Mount Forest. It is best indicated in their collaborative piece, “Full Winter Circle”, which also shows the overhead view of their home scratched into the wax. Items used in this piece were collected from the property, as were all the organic materials used. There are individual as well as collaborative works in this show, all concerned with and paying homage to the circle. Techniques were developed just for this show, taking the medium to a new level of experimentation and depth. Some of this work will be on display at the Alma Gallery in Guelph during March and April of 2009.


andrea bird & daniel beirne: InterPLAY installation and exhibit
Propeller Centre for Visual Art, 984 Queen St. West, Toronto
May 10-20, 2007

InterPLAY: reciprocal play, action, or influence…to exert influence on each other… that was the definition we found that described the collaboration we intended. Andrea, being an encaustic and collage artist; Daniel, an environmental sculptor… where was the meeting place between the two? Playing with themes, wax, natural elements collected on daily walks – the idea that emerged was one of wanting to share our sense of awe at the beauty of nature, from the rich texture of the forest floor to the sticks found on the shores of the Saugeen River. There were so many threads that, when carefully followed, led to the work seen here. Having lived and worked creatively together for more than 20 years with our two sons (a few hours outside of Toronto), we are comfortable supporting each others’ creativity. The idea of collaborating for this show grew from the desire to take this one step further. To really explore where our work and process is similar… & where is it different? How do we envision and manifest our idea of nature as a sacred place? Every step of the way, we needed to articulate our ideas, initially to our self and then to the other. This was a journey that took us to the edge of our comfort zone & into new territory. All of the work in the show, including the work done individually, is a response to the show as a whole.