A lover of realism and the authentic and always working towards portraiture as an understanding of human and social experience. Slightly obsessed with objects, and very interested in ideas of space and place, how we are affecting by the areas we inhabit.
December critique presentation:
November: One thing about my practice that has been a challenge for a while, and in fact is one of the reasons I wanted to pursue a MFA and think about my intentions as an artist, is to bridge my mural practice more closely with my studio practice. Rainy winter in Vancouver is obviously not ideal outdoor painting conditions, but I really do want to stitch these facets together (*EDIT: No, not necessarily stitch them together, but keep both an active part of my practice.) Both sides of my work are investigations into people. Even these still lives to me are portraits, they are the ghosts of human interactions. I want to continue working with figures, but I think I want to say more about the spaces they inhabit, as so much of my street work has been centred around unhoused people of urban areas. Place and people are very strong in both practices. I think I want to build a large public work into this inquiry of authentic domestic experience by developing a public proposal to present. I have long wanted to create a mural that was more painterly, with errors, brushstrokes and disintegration, so hopefully this proposal will help lend me that opportunity, and perhaps actually transpire into a project in the Spring.
November continued: I had a great conversation with fellow MFA student Chris, discussing the curation process of photography and the lens of other people submitting their images, and I am realizing that I feel too disconnected from these images when I am not the one photographing them. I think I prefer this painting series/exploration to develop more as documentation of my experiences during these times we are living in, and I am finding more intensity/meaning when it comes from my viewpoint. My biased gaze into these space left behind by others and even myself. A walk-through journey that quilts together various domestic spaces.
This next painting is from this series is a bit different. I reached out to our cohort that are stuck living elsewhere internationally, and asked them to submit images of everyday spaces in their own homes, un-arranged and un-curated. A glimpse into the mundane, or everyday spaces they inhabit in their temporary living situations. This first still life comes from Xinwei in Singapore.
*Not quite finished, yet. Interestingly, Xinwei used this candle in a performance/art experiment yesterday. I see it differently now.
This next still life comes from Stephanie, while visiting her parents in Mid-west America. Shotguns and sunflowers.
***Progress at the end of the day, (oct. 28) will likely finish it in the 2nd session.
October continued: This next painting is one of my own mundane moments. My coffee cup on the window ledge of my bedroom. which is where I drink (and forget) my coffee each day. This orange light from I’m not sure where filters in most mornings, but not all.
So this first painting in the “Shelter” series (working title) is of my roommate Phresha, who is also an artist, working in her studio. I asked her not to tidy up, or rearrange anything, and allow me in quietly step into her space to observe and photograph, but not disturb. It is unfinished, but I have added progress photos.
***Terrible mid-way process point.
***Ahhh, why is this so terrible. I’m struggling right now with this painting. Still unfinished. Need to step away for a while.
October update: Project Proposal:
Authenticity is a virtue of art I have long admired and been inspired by, the humbleness of everyday moments, a simple, but sentimental appreciation of the ordinary. This desire to explore peoples’ genuine moments is leading me indoors, to people’s homes and personal spaces. Home is a very human construct to me. Not den, or nest, or place to survive as animals do, but home. Home is a word with a million meanings. It can be a sanctuary, a comfort, a cage or a place of contention. You can spend years working alongside someone and never have a glimpse of their personal interior, and yet, in light of the pandemic, we are receiving glimpses via technology during this “shelter in place.” So much of my previous artistic practice has focussed on the individual’s physicality, letting the lines of their face be the roadmap to their histories, but now I am tuning in more to the places people inhabit, the rooms and objects they curate and surround themselves with. The personal space is private, and intimate. My current project is a gentle probing of these quiet, interior moments, an indirect gaze into what Birthe brilliantly described as “the place where the life happens.” I want to step softly back from the voice of the artist and allow the ambience to suggest the experience. To say more by saying less. I have begun by taking a look around the home I inhabit, starting small with some of my own objects and areas, and reaching into the personal spaces of my housemates as well- we are 7 in a gorgeous old character home and everyone uses the spaces differently. We have our nooks, and places where we overlap and others where we don’t. This project is beginning to manifest as a series of small still lives from various areas and objects of the house, to be paired with more involved, larger paintings of my housemates alone, inhabiting the house in their own way. Currently, I have been referring to this as the “shelter” series.
As an aside, I think I might also be interested in homes, because for about five years now, I have had recurring dreams where I find new rooms in the houses I have lived in. I don’t know much about dreamlore, but I think it is very interesting. Sometimes it’s my childhood home, other times my current home, or my old apartment in Montreal, or a house I lived in 12 years ago in Edmonton, but I often find myself back in these old houses discovering new rooms, ancient bathrooms, attics, even a theatre once.
This first painting is an exploration of space and mundanity. A woman in Guatemala passes by a tienda during her daily errands, or activities. A moment that compelled me at the time (2010) when I photographed it, and wasn’t sure why.
***Not finished but getting there. Still trying to navigate quieter, less confrontational paintings.
Pre-Graduate Studies work: