Art Building Community

Kathryn MacKenzie

Kathryn MacKenzie (kmac) lives in inner city Winnipeg. She is a tradeswoman engaged with metal-working, bale building, planting plants, conversations about public space and art, justice, and other necessary craftiness. She has been a builder of houses and other projects, and currently works for the Spence Neighbourhood Association as a program coordinator. Her experience with carpentry and straw bale building led her to design and build the Outside-In House, a backward straw bale building. The project brought together a group of people not normally involved in the building processes to create an unconventional structure/sculpture not unlike a piece of pottery. She continues to challenge the building and other codes, and is open to suggestions. She is particularly fond of recycled materials.


Waste Land Labyrinth is a community-based project constructed on under-used urban land, created by builder Kathryn MacKenzie with inner city gardener Audrey Logan. Many others have joined this team to design and engage community in the life of plants and a celebration of survival in Winnipeg's inner city. Working with materials such as Jerusalem artichoke tubers, coffee and other hospitalities (food and warm drinks), chalk lines on the ground, digging implements, invitations, and drop-ins, they have reclaimed a public space and brought people together to share stories and make meanings. The Waste Land Labyrinth encourages walking and contemplation in and about urban space.



My work is rooted in engaging and challenging participants in art making, in planting seeds, and in seeing public space differently. I consider art to be a necessity, an essential way to express our selves and to share our views of the world. I invite everyone to spend time in places that one might not always linger, and to create sculptures that are temporary and land based.



Outside-In House, long view of straw bale sculpture, photograph, 2007
"Outside-In House", long view of straw bale sculpture, photograph, 2007
Outside-In House, inside view of Straw bale sculpture, photograph, 2007
"Outside-In House", inside view of Straw bale sculpture, photograph, 2007
Untitled, detail of cedar chest, 2005
Untitled, detail of cedar chest, 2005
Winnipeg arena 7, video still, 2005
"Winnipeg arena 7", video still, 2005