10 | Home | Studio

The concept of home studio during the pandemic takes on a layered meaning. For many of us in this cohort, “home” is something that we are creating in our current space of transit. For myself, I moved into my home last month, and am adjusting to returning to a country, grounding a space for my child, and creating a productive studio environment during an online program.

I often have my studio practice separate from my home life, and finding the balance of creative drive and focus in a space that also requires me to be a mother has been a practice of role shifting and intention making.

For this action, I wanted to look beyond my screen, and place myself away from my desk to share what I have created for myself beyond my computer. In this cyber context, we often see each other for what is behind us in our meeting space, but rarely can we share what we ourselves are looking at during these sessions.

1. A sketch of my pregnant body as I was growing Eve in my womb. Drawn by the artist Daniel J. Kirk, it highlights the vulnerability and strength of changing form. I have it in my creative space to acknowledgement what I am capable of.

2. An unsigned print that I found at a flea market in 2015. I wish I knew more about its history and often find myself getting lost in it.

3. A photo of me as a child when I was five-years old. I remember placing this photo of me in this frame when I was an older child as an act of self-care in a home environment that was riddled with stress and unhealed wounds. I keep this as a reminder of my resiliency and as a guide to my inner-child.

4. By artist Angelique Merasty. On the back, this text is written: “This authentic Cree Indian birch bark biting was created by Angelique Merasty of Denare, Saskatchewan. A specifically selected piece of birch bark is folded and the image is formed by gently biting the bark between the teeth. This was a traditional Indian art form but Angelique is the only person still practicing and the only person capable of such sophisticated imagery today. Her images drawn from around her, the bugs, ducks, flowers and all her fantasies reflect a close relationship to the earth and the keen eye of an artist.

5. A birch bark basket I made under the guidance of an Indigenous teacher in the Kootenays (2015). In this process you soak the birch bark overnight so it is malleable and create the form using strategic folding methods. It is then stitched together using narrow strips of bark and can be finished with a leather strap. This basket holds sage that I harvested with my daughter at Nose Hill park in Calgary, Alberta on the unceded territory of the Michif Piyii (Métis), Tsuu T’ina, Stoney, Ktunaxa and Blackfoot. I was taught how to gather sage under a Blackfoot elder during my undergraduate degree in Indigenous Studies and use this plant’s guidance to connect my mind and my heart.

6. My grandfather’s hat. In May 2014 I had the honour of being with him in Ireland when he died. It was my first presence with death and I was holding his hand and stroking his hair. I felt an energy leave his body and rush through my own in a cold and powerful wave. Unbeknownst to me, at the same time of this experience, my baby daughter woke up from her deep sleep a mile away and began to inconsolably cry like never before. My partner, unable to console her and becoming more concerned by this unfamiliar crying, put her in the car and rushed her to me. My grandfather was a carpenter and an incredible person. I keep this hat close to me as a inspiration of strength, purpose and faith.

7. Leaves found in Slottsskogen, a forest located in the middle of Gothenburg, Sweden. They had survived the winter winds and had started decomposing while still regaining their form. I think they are very beautiful.

8. Sketch of my daughter drawn by artist Daniel J. Kirk from an image I took when her and I were on a trip to Montreal. She is an important guide and beacon for me in all my decisions of life.

9. Small but important contribution that Eve did in my space with a series of coloured stickers. The only real pop of colour on my wall.

10. Behind these many coffee mugs are two important objects for me. One is a wooden box I was gifted when I was 9-years old by an elderly Polish couple that I had befriended in Selkirk, Manitoba. These two people showed me my first experience of unconditional love and were a cornerstone to me building that type of relationship in my world. It is filled with treasures from both my childhood and adult life, and was the only thing that survived a massive theft of all my belongings in 2012. Under it is a white moleskin journal that contains writings of July 2019; a recording of a Rose Dieta with the plant medicine Ayahuasca, and the final days before my dad’s passing.

11. I had the opportunity to share space with Elham, Melanie and Meghna this past Monday and was taught embroidery. I am currently working on a small project where I embroider leaves using the colours found on the arbutus tree from Action 9.

12. A piece of furniture I made in 2013 while I was pregnant with Eve. Made out of Black American Walnut, I titled it Grandmother’s Desk as a homage to my matriarch lineage and as a reverence to a life that can create something to be passed down. Contains a hidden drawer big enough for a letter.

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