Ghost Net Drawing Svalbard Selected Works

Ghost Net Drawing, Svalbard 2021

Changes we are making on a global scale to our environment are accelerated in locations where I have recently made work. In both Canada and Norway, I have focused on visualizing precarious landscapes on the verge of radical change. Sailing around Svalbard, Norway, we collected large amounts of garbage, fishing nets and ropes. At each site, I used these objects as large drawing tools, dragging them through the sand and snow before we loaded them on the sailboat. I photograph ephemeral drawings situated in the landscape and print them on recycled fabric and paper. 

On the Arctic Circle residency, Laura Millard reclaimed a ghost net in Svalbard—one of many lost, abandoned, or discarded commercial fishing nets that plague our waters. Recovering and using the net to draw the symbol for infinity in the ephemeral snow, Millard continued her approach to large-scale land art by photographing the drawing with a drone and painting over the print, rendering it to memory, and preserved. As in the cycle of life, the land is returned to itself.

Noah Gano
Ghost Net Drawing Svalbard 40×60 inches, watercolour, gouache, pencil, chalk on photograph on hahnemuhle paper
Ghost Net Drawing Svalbard
Ghost Net Drawing Svalbard 40×60 inches, watercolour, gouache, pencil, chalk on photograph on hahnemuhle paper
Shared Terrain, Photo by Christine Lim courtesy of DesignTO Selected Works

Collapse & Circle Draw

Collapse speaks to impermanence and instability. Crumpling the image of Svalbard’s Esmarkbreen glacier, falling out of its frame, calls attention to the ephemeral and unstable nature of this environment. I have been moving my practice increasingly from two dimensional images to more sculptural, immersive ways to present images in a space. Playing with the ideas of light, darkness and collapse, I wanted to bring the image of the glacier out of the frame and have it collapse into the viewer’s space. What ways might be found to metaphorically reflect the tenuous, changing impermanence of a warming planet? During my Arctic Circle Residency that October in Svalbard, I saw that landscape plunge into increasing darkness. This work incorporates these experiences, using light and printed fabric to transform my image of the rapidly collapsing Esmarkbreen glacier in an area of the globe that is experiencing the effects of climate warming most rapidly and acutely.

During the 2019 Arctic Circle Autumn Residency in Svalbard we sailed around Spitsbergen and collected boatloads of discarded nets, ropes and plastic garbage we picked up in remote locales. Circle Draw is made in the moraine silt of the Chauveaubreen glacier which debouches into Ayerfjorden. I pulled a found section of fishing rope through the sand in a series of circles, reflecting on time, cycles, and our transience in this place.

Shared Terrain, Photo by Christine Lim courtesy of DesignTO
Collapse at Shared Terrain, 2022
Shared Terrain, Photo by Christine Lim courtesy of DesignTO
Collapse at Shared Terrain, 2022

Crossing Selected Works


When people get lost, in the desert or thick forest, for example, they tend to walk in circles. Lacking objective points of reference, they curve around in loops, all the while believing they are walking in a straight line. I have used this idea of going in circles as an analogy for our current situation, especially in dealing with climate change. ‘Fake news’ and convenient forgetting feed a collective inability to see what is happening right in front of us, and so lost… we go in circles.

Playing this out visually through large scale drawings done on a frozen lake, I have used a snowmobile to depict images of an endless circling. The drawings are photographed from above using a camera equipped drone. The choice of a snowmobile as the fumy, intrusive, and ludicrous drawing implement intentionally questions how we inscribe ourselves on a place and with what means. One day while I was photographing, a group of deer crossed straight through the drawing, undeterred by the chaotic lines there. The deer’s direct, unswerving path stands in sharp contrast to the drawing, reversing the rational/ predictable with the irrational/ wild nature of who laid which tracks.

Crossing, 2019


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Recursive Traces Selected Works

Recursive Traces

Collaborating with artist Simone Jones, who made the sound component, Recursive Traces is an installation where backlit snowmobile drawings and sound have been inserted into an abandoned concrete silo that once contained theme park displays of ice and foam icebergs. Our intent was to create a dizzying environment of sound, light, sculpture, and image that focused on the absurd reconstructions of an environment in peril.

Recursive Traces was presented as part of In/Future at Ontario Place, curated by ArtSpin. The environment is the abandoned “Ice Silo” that had been part of ‘The Wonderful World of Weather’ when Ontario Place was open. The styrofoam icebergs were recovered from the garbage and reinstalled as were the glacier photos.

This 11-day exhibition has transformed the desolate remains of Ontario Place into a remarkable new platform displaying the projects and performances of over 100 Artist & Musicians.