A Little Distillery in Nowgong: a novel across media (SSHRC Project)

Download an Excerpt of the novel


The central tenet of this project is to develop an interdisciplinary narrative that exemplifies the transformative nature of artistic production. While one of the major generative elements will be the research and writing of a novel that, like my earlier work, draws on postcolonial, diasporic, and globalization theories, integral to this project is a degree of interdisciplinarity that will further engage the reader/viewer through an interactive installation. By fully integrating multiple disciplines – specifically, writing, video, and installation – this project will be disseminated through several distinct forms to function in Canada and abroad in literary and visual arts environments.


The overall objective of this three-year project will be to explore and articulate possibilities for an extensive interdisciplinary production that allows for full development of all its composite elements. A Little Distillery in Nowgong will be composed of: 1) the writing and publishing in trade paperback of my fourth novel, 2) the development of an elaborate and interconnected suite of video shorts that reflect the historical and biographical elements of the research behind the project, and 3) production of an interactive text- and video-installation, collaborative both in the creation of the work (with artists, consultants, and technicians) and its dissemination (with viewer-participants at the installation sites). This project was supported by a three-year Research-Creation grant from SSHRC.


St. John's, 2008

The Distillery Project will involve several elements, including a collaborative exhibition in St. John's, Newfoundland, in early 2008. At the eastern edge of Canada, and with a history that expresses both independence and isolation, Newfoundland is an ideal site from which to intepret 'entry' into Canada. It is also a region rich in artistic expressions of all kinds, encouraging intense forms of collaboration. The St. John's portion of this project includes:

a) Initial contacts and preliminary set-up, August 2007

b) Presentation/discussion of the project at the Eastern Edge artist run centre, October 2007

c) Soliciting and commissioning of work from collaborating artists, Oct-Dec, 2007

d) Collaboration/production, including short-term residencies for collaborating artists at CiCAC, Jan-Feb, 2008

e) Final/full development of exhibition details, including leasing and preparation of space in downtown St John's, Feb-March, 2008

f) Opening exhibition and ongoing events pertaining to the project, March-April, 2008