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Virtual Reality Exhibition In Partnership with Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival

June 9th -12th


Hailey Guzik and Ruth Marsh will be exhibiting their work during this years Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival! Hailey is one of two Virtual Reality Artist In Residents that has been working at CFAT for months exploring/developing a V.R. based interactive installation encompassing a vast myriad of artistic mediums. Ruth was the artistic mentor and guide for this years residents. They have developed a unique and luxuriant syntax that is expressed beautifully in their ambitious V.R. world building. Both of these works should not be missed xoxo!

Hailey Guzik will be installing a mixed reality Installation titled "Touch Tank" at the Salt Yard Too Stage located on the waterfront boardwalk near the Salter St. parking lot, it runs from June 9-12, 2022, 5-10pm daily. Hailey Guzik will also be on site Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for any questions you may have.

Project Statement

Touch Tank intertwines painting, virtual reality, video projection, and haptic audio-visual design, inviting audiences to wander within the complexities and manifold possibilities of human and non-human interaction. Reimagining empirical experiences of Nova Scotia’s coastal intertidal zones, the work explores embodied notions of looking, touching, sensing, and remembering to propose an experiential digital framework for ruminating on the interconnections of painted, virtual, and touristic simulations of landscape. This project was made possible thanks to the partnership of CFAT and HIFF through the Digital Skills for Youth Internship Program.


Hailey Guzik is a visual artist from the Maritimes working in Montréal, QC. Her practice expands painting into three-dimensional media and new technologies to explore site-specific experiences, materialities, and aesthetics in relation to notions of home, place, landscape, and environment. Holding a BFA from Mount Allison University (2017), past projects have been supported by ArtsNB, Conseil des Arts et des Lettres du Québec, and Canada Council for the Arts. Exhibitions include ConneXion ARC, Fredericton; Galerie LRC, Moncton; Visitors, Saint John; Gallery on Queen, Fredericton; Owens Art Gallery, Sackville.

Ruth Marsh will be installing an immersive virtual reality piece in the Lighthouse Art Space lobby and H.I.F.F. Lounge that is viewable June 9-12 before, after and during the screenings happening at this years festival.

Ruth Marsh (they/them) is a multidisciplinary artist working in immersive and digital world-building, installation, and drawing-based practices. They are a non-binary settler based on unceded Mi'kmaq territory in Kjipuktuk, Mi’kma’ki (also known as Halifax, Nova Scotia).They are interested in playfully queering the intersections between DIY culture and science fact/fiction/fabulation to ponder positive mutations and imagine with bodies and environments. Marsh’s work has been shown in galleries, museums, and festivals within Canada and internationally, including the Confederation Centre of the Arts (Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island); Discovery Centre (Halifax, Nova Scotia), The New Gallery (Calgary, Alberta); Trieste Science+Fiction Festival (Trieste, Italy); Labocine: The Science New Wave and InScience International Film Festival (Nijmegen, Netherlands).

Project Statement

Now more than ever before in human history, virtual spaces have become critical conduits for human connection, rest, and escape. We are moving through a painful time when the fear of touch, public spaces, bodies, fluids, breath, proximity; even the fear of interacting with one’s own body (“Wash your hands, don’t touch your face.”) is omnipresent and unrelenting. Fruiting Bodies is a loving invitation for everyone, but particularly queer folks, to immerse themselves inside of a truly peculiar and juicy, alternative planet.

Ruth’s art practice relies on an eclectic, handmade, DIY aesthetic. They think about artists like Marilyn Minter and Maisie Cousins who each pair everyday materials like candy and flowers to create dripping, oozing, scintillating dreamscapes. They are an ardent player of the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons as well as a passionate reader of Octavia Butler’s series of novels, Lilith’s Brood. They are interested in pushing the line between beauty and abjection in their work so they wouldn’t be upset if it inspired an ASMR response in folks experiencing it.

While making Fruiting Bodies over the past two years, Ruth has found special enjoyment in populating their virtual spaces with textures grounded in the mundane, physical world. In the spirit of embracing art-making in quarantine, they have been constructing eclectic Jell-O molds out of an array of household materials such as animal bones, sugar sprinkles, glycerine, fruit, fungi etc. They capture these assemblages in photos, using macro magnification. They like the way these magnified, everyday things become strange when used as the textures that populate the unusual flora and fauna of the Fruiting Bodies universe. To them, this feels like a very queer tactic: to shift perspective on everyday surroundings to make them juicy, sparkling and uncanny, perhaps imagining that the world they’re building is the planet that Juno Birch, Janelle Monae or Prince is from.

Chapter One: Pulse and Breath

Chapter 1, Pulse and Breath takes the form of a vast landscape for you to explore. Feltus (you) are a humble Ooloi tasked with exploring a labyrinth of jelly tunnels which jiggle between the central, beating heart-chamber and the far-flung ocean. With only your glowing eggs to assist you, you must carefully navigate around obstacles and move errant blood cells out of your path. The wise will seek the wisdom of the dancing, spinning, wind monster, if you can find her.

Chapter Two: Gut Flora

In chapter two, our betentacled player character, Feltus(you) bravely explores the inner workings of the digestive tract which takes the form of a living, far-away, semi-aquatic planet. Landmarks to explore include a central volcano with its own interactive, harmonic chorus of mushrooms, a glowing waterfall and small islands populated by friendly, singing, macro bacteria. Much of planet Gut Flora’s landscape exists underwater; visitors are strongly encouraged to explore its deep, ocean trenches filled with shimmering fungi and pulsing phosphorescence.

Chapter Three: Treasure Trail

Chapter three is a sensual journey through the purple twilight mists and fuzzy mounds of planet Treasure Trail. Feltus must shatter six, mushroom-crystal eggshells scattered along the trail in order to stimulate the landscape to joyfully release its giant, crystalline, softly sighing/gently moaning macro spores.

Chapter Four: Peach Fuzz Island

After a blissfully indeterminate time at sea, Feltus, our betentacled, semi-aquatic protagonist, washes up on the warm, glowing beaches of Peach Fuzz Island. Feltus must explore the island’s colourful, downy landscape, watching the sky carefully for glow-spore signs in order to find and communicate with the Island’s chatty, demodex inhabitants.

Chapter Five: Mycelial Bone Cathedral

As Feltus, you will journey around the glistening, nighttime glow of the Mycelial Bone Cathedral situated somewhere deep within the far reaches of inner space. Observe the shimmering spores, grasses and undulating cephalopod eggs that glitter the landscape. Discover the dulcet, echoing songs that emit from each-and-every bone of the crystalline skeleton that makes up the structure of this world and help Feltus create their own unique harmonies within it.

Chapter Six: Dream State

In this final chapter, Feltus (you) will take a journey of the mind through time and space through the four stages of sleep. You will travel, small planet to small planet by breaking open the crystalline, mushroom, eggshell gateways which instantly teleport you from one dream state to another. Nothing is linear in this tiny solar system, however as there are multiple ways back and forth between scintillating neuron fields, dewy fungus gardens and glowing night skies. (Nijmegen, Netherlands)

Hailey Guzik

Ruth Marsh


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