Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Significance of a Journey

This month my artwork is featured in the newly minted ceramic studio and gallery, Hello World! Stop by to also check out Linda and Nicole's amazing ceramic work. So thankful to be a part of this!

The Significance of a Journey, photo collage and carving, 60''x67'', 2016

Artist Statement:
In March I attended a month long artist residency in Israel/Palestine. During my time, I apprenticed at a wood carving shop in Bethlehem. I was inspired by the many broken carvings that were shelved to be fixed for later. Olive wood brings to mind ancient generations, resilience and peace, while ironically harvested from a land that is infamous for its conflict. The figurines represent characters from the Old and New Testament in the Bible, some of which are also recognized in the writings of Judaism and Islam. Each carving is significantly flawed. There is a violence in these images, but they are also achingly human. These were ordinary people who were called into extraordinary and extreme circumstances. The stories they represent involve risk; leaving the relative comfort of the familiar for a promised (yet uncertain) future. The carvings are broken, they express a yearning for something better. One day they will be fixed.

What elements fuelled the mass exodus (or conversely exile) of nomadic groups in the ancient land of Palestine, and are those reasons any different from what is happening today? I am interested in applying ‘exile’ and ‘exodus’ to modern day issues of migration, deportation and nomadism. An increasingly relevant topic during our time as countries are emptied and borders are more defined.

Soldier Boy, olive wood and string, 8'' tall, 2016

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

In the House of my Pilgrimage

Please join Sarah and I at our opening next week! This is the show we exhibited in Alert Bay exactly a year ago. The work explores themes of home, transience and displacement. Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 3, 2016

Jaffa Gate and the stone

Heirloom Inventory, mixed media on paper, 2012

This is the first piece from my Great Grandmother's collection that I returned. All her other souvenirs have more specific labels like 'Sea of Gallilee' or 'Jacob's Well'. This one perplexed me. It could have gone anywhere. Or at least thats what I thought. I left it at Jaffa Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem. Later I learned of the complex history between East and West Jerusalem, things were not as straightforward as I had presumed. Ironically, the 'Israel' sticker fell off before I placed the stone on the ledge. I was able to return the object, void of labels. It could decide for itself. 

Apart from the socio-political ramifications of my action (unbeknownst to me), the first returning was more emotional than I expected. This little stone had been in my family for forty years and it felt wrong to leave it behind. It was so small, so insignificant and vulnerable. I had to fight the urge to turn around and rescue it. Maybe I could go back on my word slightly, set it down so it could get to know its mother stone, and then pocket it again. It would be safer with me, anyway. In the end, I forced myself to walk away empty handed. Not even allowing myself to look over my shoulder.