Mary Modeen is an artist/academic whose research links creative practice with interdisciplinary academic studies in the humanities, particularly philosophy, literature, feminist and indigenous studies. Her research has several threads: perception as a cognitive and interpretive process, and place-based research, which tends to connect cultural values, history and embodied experience. As such, this work usually combines creative art practice and writing.
Her PhD supervision is also characterised by these interdisciplinary investigations, linking studio practice with academic enquiry. International research networks, three of which Modeen co-convenes, are central in conducting the critical discourse which address, challenge and strengthen these research insights. She is also the DJCAD Associate Dean (Internationalisation).
The Sax-Zim Bog, 2023
The frozen and snow-covered paths of the Sax-Zim Bog in northern Minnesota, USA.
This work-in-progress has emerged from an on-going collaboration between Modeen and Professor Christine Baeumler of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities Art Department.
As part of Modeen's study visit, supported by the Institute for Advanced Study at the UoM, a session of bog-enthusiasts were convened in February 2023. They mutually shared various types of backgrounds and experiences, concerns and intentions in the preservation and promotion of northern wetlands.
This group, which included activists, conservationists, Indigenous peoples, artists and writers, will continue to share research, narratives and informational references as they seek to help each other in this work of stewardship and attentiveness.
Several pending grant applications seek to fund emerging new work, sited in wetlands.
This wetlands peat bog lies west of Duluth in northern Minnesota, covering over 300 square miles. It is famous for its rich diversity of birds and wildlife, especially various types of owls. The frozen and snow-covered paths are the only time of year when much of this terrain is traversable. A visitor centre, staffed by knowledgeable wardens and information about local species provide a rich background for this wetlands experience.