Workshop – Nuit Blanche North 2013

T H E    S C A R E C R O W S

A new temporal public art installation by Thom Sokoloski and Jenny McCowan

Presentation July 13, 2013 Huntsville, Ontario, Canada (9pm-2am)



Throughout history, the scarecrow has been a figure or effigy made of found materials to ward-off the incursion of unknown and unpredictable threats. Through ceremony, they are imbued with a collective soul of the community to have the power to conjure mystery and warning to all that approach.

For this year’s Nuit Blanche North, artists Thom Sokoloski and Jenny McCowan will create three 18-20 ft. tall Scarecrows, representing earth, wind and water, which will reside on floating docks in the Muskoka River to protect the spirit and beauty of Huntsville.

To achieve the collective soul of The Scarecrows, the artists are inviting the community of Huntsville to participate in the making of spirit bottles (see how to participate below)!


imagesInspiration to use spirit bottles comes from the long history of how bottles have been used as containers for spirits, messages, stories, ex-votos and outsider art, etc. They were often used as offerings and/or protective amulets created for divinities, holidays, incidents, lost friends or anything else the maker had in mind. In each case, the design arose out of a personal relationship with a story and the selected materials integrated into the bottle’s expression.

Being a northern community, Huntsville has a unique relationship with the elements of earth, wind and water. Sometimes they can be challenging and create chaos while other times they are supportive and bring serenity. As an inhabitant, we need your stories, creativity and commitment for this project to give The Scarecrows of Huntsville real authenticity!

Then on the night of Nuit Blanche North, participants who created a spirit bottle will meet at the docks in downtown Huntsville. You will then be chauffeured by canoe in a water choreography to the illuminated setting of the artwork (see rendering above). Arriving at your selected Scarecrow of Earth, Wind and Water, you will be met by a dance guardian who will receive your Spirit Bottle in a ceremonial exchange: a personal and intimate moment that leads to the realization of the power of The Scarecrows by night’s end!



To assist our participatory process, we will have an open studio in Huntsville where you can come to work, ask questions and meet with other participants with whom you can collaborate. We are located at 64 Main Street East, just past the bridge!

We created aCreation Journal to guide you in the making of the Spirit Bottle, so feel free to stop into the studio and pick one up.

We look forward to your participation.


Comments are closed.