Downhill from Here: A Sensorial Geography (September 18, 2016)



Narratives in Space + Time Society was commissioned by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to create a public art walk related to Terroir: A Nova Scotia Retrospective.  The exhibition, running from June 2016 to January 2017, “looks at regional artistic expression through the culture from which it emerges.”

The many artists and collaborators involved in the NiS+TS event “Downhill from Here”, held on Sunday, September 18, 2016, were from a broad field of expertise and interest ~ including cosmology, astronomy, the extensive history of African Nova Scotians, storytelling in several traditions, the state of arts and culture in the province, somatic movement, and the geography of the region.  “Downhill from Here” began on Citadel Hill with an opening by Women of the Shore, and concluded at the Gallery itself, with a consideration of the works in the retrospective show.

Dalhousie University School of Architecture professor James Forren spoke on the subject of sightlines and view plane bylaws from Citadel Hill, citing these quotations in his talk:

‘The defenders of the Hill were not the British soldiers that had garrisoned the fortress for a century and a half but citizens, young and old, who spoke out for the protection of the City’s vantage point and sweeping view of the harbour.’
– Elizabeth Pacey, The Battle for Citadel Hill, 1979

‘I have always disliked these viewplane bylaws and would like to see them scrapped as well as the overly restrictive height limits in the HRM by Design.’
– fenwick16, skyscraperpage.com, 2010

‘Africville’s absence from discussions concerning heritage in the central city is not due to the two issues being unrelated, but rather speaks to a long history of exclusion and marginalisation upon which the city, as a colonial, military space, depended.’
– Lachlan B. Barber, “Making Meaning of Heritage Landscapes,” 2013