Thu 22 Jun 2017 8PM

John Oliver and Carol Sawyer

Musical investigations into water-related themes, a work in progresss

The Foreshore

OtherSights at Access Gallery

222 E Georgia St, Vancouver B.C.

Since the summer of 2016, John and Carol have been working on a sieries of musical investigations into water-related themes, including polar ice melt, acid rain and most recently, the foreshore of False Creek. Sawyer draws on a wide range of text sources, including wikipedia entries, interviews and romantic verses to create improvised melodies interspersed with quotes from art songs and popular music intertwined with Oliver's real-time improvised electric guitar soundscapes. MELT is an informal presentation of their work-in-progress.

Attendance is free. MELT is presented in association with Sawyer's artist residency at The Foreshore, May-June 2017.


Carol Sawyer is a singer and visual artist working primarily with photography, installation, video and improvised music. Since the early 1990s her visual art work has been concerned with the connections between photography, fiction, memory and history. Sawyer performs regularly with her improvising ensemble ion Zoo (with whom she has released two CDs) as well as other ad hoc improvising ensembles. Her work is represented by Republic Gallery, Vancouver.

John Oliver's "wonderfully, creative music" (Fanfare) displays "a delicate yet often complex sense of beauty" (Musicworks}. Winner of the Classical Composition of the Year Award at the 2013 Western Canadian Music Awards for his orchestral composition Forging Utopia, he is known for his breathe of creative output, from orchestral and chamber music to intercultural works, electroacoustic music and opera. Two solo releases in 2012 celebrate Oliver's music: Time is Dust, a DVD-audio disc of Oliver's immersive electroacoustic music, and the CD Forging Utopia: Orhestral Music by John Oliver.


The Foreshore is a collaborative pursuit and shared space between Access Gallery and Other Sights. The Foreshore is inspired by the deep influence of the waterways on our cities and societies on the West Coast. As a place of unclear jurisdiction, and thus of contestation, friction, and constant movement, those who dwell in this zone must continually adapt to a changing environment. As a site it conjures histories specific to this region: narratives of trade and exchange, habitation and nourishment, resistance and violent erasure. Considering the potential of this zone as both concept and site, the project asks the following: How do we generate conditions of emergence? How can we take up space differently? How do we support unruly practices and futures?

Over the last 7 months, the storefront adjacent to Access’ gallery space at 222 East Georgia has hosted bi-weekly open discussion sessions informed by invited artists, writers, curators, and activists. Adding to this exciting program, we have launched an artist-in-residence series to provide space and time to artists interested in addressing questions of The Foreshore

Accessibility Info

Front door: width 35 inches. Front door step: height 4 inches. No ramp.

Hallway door: 35 inches. Washroom door: 29 inches width. Toilet: 12 inch clearance on left side, 19 inch clearance from toilet to sink. The washroom has no handrail. Washroom is all genders.


Other Sights for Artists’ Projects is a non-profit arts organization that develops new and unexpected exhibition platforms outside of the gallery context. Other Sights collaborates and shares resources with organizations and individuals to present artworks that consider the aesthetic, economic and regulatory conditions of public places and public life. For more information visit

Other Sights gratefully acknowledges the support of the British Columbia Arts Council, The Canadian Union of Public Employees Local 15, and private donors without whom this project would not be possible.


Established as an non-profit artist-run centre in 1991, Access Gallery is platform for emergent and experimental art practices. We enable critical conversations and risk taking through new configurations of audience, artists, and community. For more information visit Access Gallery.

Access Gallery gratefully acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Government of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and BC Gaming, the City of Vancouver, the Hamber Foundation, the Burrard Arts Foundation, the Contemporary Art Gallery, NSB Reederei, and our committed donors, members and volunteers.