Work of the Week: "Pendulum I (The Dowser’s Pendulum)" by Alana Bartol

Date: Mar 6, 2020

This week’s Work of the Week is Pendulum I (The Dowser’s Pendulum) by Alana Bartol.

This artwork came into the AFA’s collection in 2019 through the Art Acquisition by Application program, which is currently accepting submissions until April 1, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. (MST).


You can apply to Art Acquisition by Application program even if:

  • You have applied the Art Acquisition by Application Program in previous years.
  • Your artwork was purchased at the previous deadline.
  • You have applied for, or have received AFA Funding (grants), as long as you are in good standing with the AFA and meet the program eligibility requirements

See more recent acquisitions to the AFA’s collection.

About the Artist: Alana Bartol

Alana Bartol is a multidisciplinary artist with a practice that involves performance, installation, photography, and video. She explores walking and divination as a way to create relationships between the personal sphere and the landscape. Much of her practice is site-responsive, research-based, collaborative, and community embedded.

Bartol explores the ancient practice of dowsing in her art – a form of divination used to locate ground water, ores, oil, and information. Drawing on her family’s history and traditions with divining, her 2017 work Orphan Well Adoption Agency investigates dowsing as a means to connect nature and the non-human world, and to discover alternative relationships to natural resources. Bartol’s divination process carries echoes of environmental remediation, and her work embraces the questions inherent in both divination and remediation.

In 2019, Bartol was longlisted for the Sobey Art Award. Her work has been screened and presented in festivals and exhibitions across Canada, and in independent and experimental film festivals internationally. Bartol holds a BFA from the University of Windsor, and an MFA from Wayne State University in Detroit, where she taught the first performance art course in the Department of Art and Art History.

Bartol lives in Calgary and teaches at the Alberta University of the Arts.