302 Denison: Block on Hill
2017. Plywood sub-floor, wall, and plinths; 2 TVs with media players; Single-channel video projection.
Edited footage from the 1992 community film 'The Weatherman', which was shot on location at the Gonzales Hill Observatory in Victoria BC, is played on two TVs on the gallery floor. Surrounding the screens, a subfloor traces a scaled footprint of the Observatory. Five plinths mimic the height and location of the Observatory’s seismic piers—once used to isolate the sensitive telescopes from any vibrations in the building’s superstructure. HD video of the exterior of the Observatory is projected onto a facade rising from the subfloor.
Each TV has an audio component. On the first, the writer and director of ‘The Weatherman’, David Simmonds, reads a letter written by Francis Napier Denison, the city of Victoria's first seismologist, to the Canadian Government describing the recently completed Gonzales Hill Observatory. On the second, we hear the song that Ethel Denison, Napier's wife, would quote when referring to the garden she tended around the Observatory: "the hours I have spent with thee...".