LINDA DUVALL Visual and Media Artist

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Flowers for Prince Albert 2002

The project 'Flowers for Prince Albert' honored buildings that were no longer in active use in the city of Prince Albert in Northern Saskatchewan. Each day over a period of two weeks, fifteen flowers were individually laid in front of a range of empty buildings, both residential and commercial.

Each flower was tied with a white ribbon, with a small tag attached. The tag contained both an email address vacantbuildings@hotmail.com, and a very brief text that evoked loss or transitions.

An essential part of this project was the potential for interaction with the community. This project allowed for an audience to remove the flowers at any point, or even add to them. Within the last few years, the shrine has developed internationally as a spontaneous means of honoring the passing of both people and structures.

Since moving to Saskatchewan 10 years ago, I have continuously been moved by the ongoing fluxes in economies, initially in the small towns that literally disappear, and then in the ebb and flow of businesses in larger cities in the province.

Buildings hold memories of activities, of people, and of interactions. In Saskatchewan, they also act as indices of potential survival of a town or city. This project commemorated those structures that have been vital parts of the Prince Albert fabric over the years.

Photos were taken each day of each of the flowers in their locations. A written diary also noted the varied interactions with the participants who arrived regularly to comment and discuss.