The Space Between


Collaboration, the ability to work with other artists, writers, curators, and now composers, has been an important part of the formation of my body of work. I owe a debt to them for making my work stronger.

Kevin Morse’s compositions have attracted me for several years. I view his notes on a page as visual landscape, moving like the ebb and flow of the tide. This series of etchings reflects on movement within time and space, ascending and descending, as well as moments of stasis in life. Gaston Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space has permeated my thinking as he writes about the importance of the house from cellar to garret. As my thoughts move throughout the space, I wrestle with the clarity and uncertainty of the mind and how to be content in whatever state I find myself.

The creation of the print, the drawing, painting the grease resist, the etching, reworking and printing the plate, forces me to realize just how little control I have over the process. This has become very freeing as an artist.

Collaboration has the same effect on me. The realization of Kevin’s brilliant composition has made my work clearer, enveloping my thoughts while being a counterpoint to them.


Musical composition tends to be a solitary undertaking, yet I find myself most drawn to projects that afford me an opportunity to connect in some way with other artists, writers, and performers. This collaboration with Dan Steeves has been a rich and fruitful process and has pushed me to ask new questions of myself and to think in new ways, conceiving of music that both stands on its own and relates to visual art; which works both in a concert hall and in a gallery installation; and which is at the same time accessible, expressive, thoughtful, and – I trust – interesting.

I admire the way Dan’s prints provoke more questions the longer you consider them. What seems at first to be a straightforward image is always, in fact, far more complex than it initially appears. When Dan’s images and my music are considered together the result is, I hope, an untidy intersection of multiple, conflicting and complimentary ideas and interpretations. The music at times challenges, and sometimes confirms, expectations about form and meaning. In any case, I hope it encourages lingering and contemplation.

I am grateful to the Tesla Quartet and the Saint John String Quartet for their roles in bringing this music to life.


Dan Steeves is a New Brunswick based artist who has received numerous awards for his intaglio prints. Included in those awards are the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Award and the Strathbutler Award for excellence in the arts. He also has been elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. His work has been exhibited in public exhibitions across Canada and in the United States as well as several countries throughout Asia, Europe, and the Ukraine. His images are represented in the Canada Council and New Brunswick Art Banks and numerous other public, institutional and private collections.

He has published two books, The Bone Fields and
The Light That Lives In Darkness. He recently released The Mutability of Knowing, a boxed folio suite of images with an accompanying essay by Andrew Steeves of the Gaspereau Press. He has been featured in the Devil’s Artisan 73 Journal of the Printing Arts. In this journal, Tom Smart contributed his essay ‘Dan Steeves: What Lies Unseen’, an illustrated examination of his work and career.

His recent solo exhibition, The Memory of Pain, with guest curator Tom Smart, was exhibited at the Confederation Centre of the Arts and at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery.


Kevin Morse is an Associate Professor in the Department of Music at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. He is an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre and was a musician-in-residence at The Banff Centre in 2015. A committed educator, Morse was awarded Mount Allison’s J. E. A. Crake Teaching Award for the Faculty of Arts in 2015. He holds a PhD in Composition from the University of Western Ontario.

Morse’s recent composition for choir and orchestra, This is my Canada, was commissioned by the PEI Symphony Orchestra as part of the Canada 150 celebrations in 2017. Other recent projects include New Brunswick Street Scene (2016) for soprano Sally Dibblee with chamber ensemble, and Alone/Together (2016) for piano duet.

Morse’s theatrical output includes two short operas commissioned by Toronto’s leading contemporary opera company, Tapestry Opera. His most recent opera, A Modest Proposal: a flesh-eating fable (with a libretto by Governor-General’s Literary Award nominee Lisa Codrington) was presented in a public workshop performance in Toronto in 2015.