a)Well, as I juggle many things, making my own work, teaching, and coordinating our student gallery, no two days are the same really. Also, my work is very project based and sometimes I'm juggling a couple at a time. So in an average week…I spend a good amount of time emailing and researching on-line, shooting or working in post-production in photoshop, and meeting with students. I might teach once or twice a week-depending, and there is always lots of arts administration work to do. Not very exciting I'm afraid…! OH…but there's always good food and wine, my partner is a fantastic cook! As much movie watching as possible…and we have a lovely house in the country…so I try to escape there when I can to read…and write, and work on my projects.
a)I grew up in a small town in
Southern Ontario. I
now live in downtown . I would
say that being in the city is very stimulating for my work. Of course there are
great exhibitions and artist talks, but I also LOVE music and going to
concerts. I've been going to the opera for over 20 years. I love all kinds of
music and the great thing about being in Toronto,
is we can go to the symphony or to a small bar and hear fantastic musicians.
Lately I have been collaborating with musicians in my work, so more and more I
am seeking out diverse musical experiences. Toronto
a)Well it may sound funny but I grew up in a very small town and there wasn't much in the way of visual art…except church. My mom made me go to church on Sunday and during mass I would daydream and look at the murals, statues and stained glass. Even though I understood the symbolism, I was more interested in the idea of making the art. In school art was always my favourite subject.
a)I think after many years I'm starting to understand it more…but I also feel that it has a method of its own and to a certain extent and I just have to get out of the way. Intuition certainly plays a big part, but it is also combined with a lot of research and reading. And then the two start to have an interesting conversation and things go from there. I've started keeping a separate sketch book for each project and since I sometimes have more than one project going on at the same time I find these books very helpful. They contain sketches, notes, quotes from things I've read, technical information, measurements, everything. If I meet with someone to talk about my work I write in my sketchbook. When I feel stuck with a project I try to touch it lightly and then back off. Things need their own time. Projects have not gone well when I've tried to push them into something they don't want to be.
a) I hope it both touches people but also challenges their thinking.
a)About art…I get very engaged in the subject of the work and I try to find out as much as I can about it. For example, I've been working on this series with endangered and extinct birds called Aviary. In developing this work my inner dialogue ranged from technical questions of how best to photograph them in the lab, to running to my binoculars and bird guide to see what is out my window. I then go to the Cornell Ornithology website to look up the bird, and then I read scientific articles about extinction and the history of parlour decor (with stuffed birds) in Victorian England, and then I work in photoshop some more. It's a very circular process. One thing feeds into the other.
a)YES and NO. I suppose sometimes there may be financial realities of materials I can't afford, and time to do more work. I can't make things as quickly as I would like to or afford to travel as much. But I think there are always fences we learn to work within, and as creative thinkers these parameters are sometimes really interesting and they can stimulate the way we make things.
a)That's a challenging question. I don't have the exact quote (and it may be erroneous) but during the war someone suggested to Churchill that the theatres be closed to save money for the war effort, and his response was, then what are we fighting for? I think art celebrates the best of our humanity, it challenges and stimulates our thinking, connects us to each other and to something bigger than all of us, brings beauty to the world, provokes us, feeds our dreams. It's the food of our soul.
a)Well, it is hard to imagine. Imagine no music, no pictures of any kind, no beautiful pottery…everything would just be utilitarian. Art/creativity appears in many ways all around us. I looked around my house just now and saw beautifully woven fabric on a chair, photographs, paintings, pottery, a beautifully crafted wooden desk and clock. I suppose things would have the most utilitarian shape and no colour no sense of beauty and the most basic use of materials. And no music, no literature, no cinema, no theatre, no dancing, no poetry…. It would be as if our souls had all died.
a)Hmm. Well if I tell you a secret it won't be a secret anymore, so I have to tell you one I'm ready to reveal. O.K. I'm superstitious. I get it from my dad. It's not that I really believe these things, let's just say I don't mess around with them. Luck is luck. Obsession. I never stop thinking about my projects - ever.
q) Where can people see more of your work on the internet?