Lisa Hirmer

Creativity, 2019, Grantee Link >

Lisa Hirmer is a Canadian interdisciplinary artist based in Guelph, Ontario, whose practice spans visual media, social practice, performance, art-based research, and writing. Lisa was interviewed by Sangamithra Iyer for CAF in 2019 on a previous project called “Tree Time.” In 2020, Lisa’s book of poetry titled Forests Not Yet Here was published by Publication Studio Guelph. Due to the pandemic, Lisa shifted her focus onto crafting the Winter Sow Booklet—a documentation that encourages people to sow summer flowers during the wintertime in their gardens or balconies to nourish under-appreciated nocturnal pollinators. Visit Lisa’s website for more information. From January to May 2023, Lisa exhibited a series of photographs titled “Everything We Have Done Is Weather Now” at her solo show in the University of Lethbridge’s art gallery.

In 2019, Lisa received a CAF grant for a project entitled “Watching Moths,” which weaves connections between humans, light, moths, and photography and questions how harm can be slow and cumulative, how human sight shapes our relationships with other beings, and how we might expand ideas of care for animals. In 2021, she received a grant from Pollination Guelph to build a night garden for moths. In 2023, Lisa let us know that her garden was “alive and thriving.” Thanks to a Canada Council grant, she was able to expand the garden and open it to the public. She writes: “Lots of folks came out to spend time with the moths in the dark. It was pretty magical. We heard from so many how it opened up a whole new way of understanding the nighttime beings at work while we are sleeping.” You can see some images from the moth garden below and on the garden’s website.

Lisa’s projects echo those of 2021 grantee Roberto Mendez-Arreola, who received a grant for “Monarch Butterfly and People Co-Stories,” a research project which analyzed reports that farmers, amateur naturalists, and professional scientists shared through digital platforms about the migratory route of the Monarch butterfly in Mexico.