Linda Rae Dornan

Linda Rae Dornan

Woven woven lost and found

Walking is a catalyst for connecting place, memory and experience. During the festival, audiences are invited to join Linda Rae Dornan on regular excursions—stripping the streets of interesting garbage tossed to the curb, the detritus of a consumer society left abandoned and destroyed—with an intent to re-animate the value of these found/transformed objects through storytelling.


My art practice is performative across a range of media including video, performance, drawing, sound, installation and writing. Exploring the complex systems of language/communication through visuals, sound, performativity and embodied text are the formal materials of my practice about place, memory and being. Experimentation, making mistakes to discover possibilities, has always been an integral element of my work process.

In 2014 I published an artist bookwork, It Speaks You, built poetically from the script of an earlier performance about losing one’s ability to speak. It explores, in an inter-textual context, whether text has human form using a cyclical structure, a (Greek) chorus, and visual play. Calling the Cuckoo, is a compilation of performance shorts about language as body, voice, space and movement which I performed at 7a*11d International Festival of Performance Art in Toronto in 2014. Language and text is both spoken and written on a wall and my body, and words are torn apart and reassembled. In a continuing project of three years I have been walking along the shoreline of the Bay of Fundy creating a vernacular map of its geological diversity and history, and testing my own physical and vocal responses to the landscape. I created Topophilia (love of place), a video score about the Tantramar marshes and the Bay of Fundy where I live, designed to be interpreted musically by the NB group Motion Ensemble to ask, how do you make the written word SING/SPEAK the land?

All this to say that most everything I do is performative.


Linda Rae Dornan’s art practice is performative and interdisciplinary, inclusive of video, installation, performance, sound and writing. Each feeds into the other exploring how we speak/communicate and connect to each other and the land around us through voice and body, listening, language, embodied text, place, memory and being. She has won the Strathbutler Award, the Linda Joy Award, has been the recipient of many grants and has shown/screened her work across Canada, the United States, and in South America, China and Europe. She lives in Sackville, New Brunswick, Canada.

Image: Henry Chan