Key Hole

Discussing matter in class lead us to the topic of the keyhole as a portal to the alternating role of viewer and viewed. While lying in bed that evening trying to fall asleep I could hear raised voices next door, the new couple that just moved in. I decided to put my ear to the wall and have a listen. I was surprised by how much I felt sucked into the room. I was immediately engulfed in a bubble of sound, though slightly muffled. I became the witness of an intense and abusive interaction. I was interested by the interdependence of the two people and the blurred lines between the abuser and the abused. I have become fascinated of late by a principal of transformation where one thing becomes its inverse; the abused and the abuser, each feeding into the other creating a cyclical cycle. I was also interested in the physicality of being at once in my dark lit bedroom in brixton, the charged fully lit room next door (which i could hear but not see), and a memory of myself in northern ontario having my shoulder shaken and words shouted in my face as i stood sobbing half trying to escape.

Screen Play: Listening at the Wall 

Woman: DON’T TOUCH MY BELONGINGS I SAID DON’T TOUCH MY BELONGINGS.

Man: muffled speech

Woman: (more desperate and repeated) DON’T TOUCH MY BELONGINGS

Man: well you can leave

You: in the dark you run to get a note book and pen 

Woman: sobbing

Man: Again Anna? Again? Again?

sound of a thump or a bang… is that the bed spring squeaking?

Muffled speech  

Woman: I’m in shock, you just hit me in the face. Its not just physically… mentally your really fucked up

Man: (maintaining the same even monotone, assertive and with a german accent) No Anna there is something seriously wrong with you.

Woman: struggles to argue her point like a trapped animal. 

You: Remember how you couldn’t explain it, couldn’t make him see the emotional manipulation. even now you are not sure exactly how or what happened. Above all he was always right and you were always struggling to know what was real. 

Man: I abuse you? You abuse me. Many times Anna. Every time your drunk.

Woman: (high voice, hurt, full of need) Thats because you went away.

Man: You are the one scratching and biting

Woman: (deep voice venomous) Yeah well you can call the police.

Man: You are telling everyone I’m abusing you.. trying to embarrass me in public! You are the one biting and scratching. You broke up with me, three times Anna.

muffled talking

two days later you see the Man with a scratch on his cheek taking a bottle of wine from the mini fridge in the kitchen. He makes casual conversation about the upcoming weekend. Days later you still haven’t seen the Woman 

Key Hole

Relics and Matter

nails and hair relic
nails and hair relic

IMG_8943

When researching the definition of “matter” I was interested in the clear distinction between that which is physical and that which is spiritual and cognitive. I questioned this distinction and began to think about rosaries, shrines, relics and other spiritual objects that live in both the physical world and the spiritual. When does matter become more than physical and similarly what exists with in an art work and with out? what are the boundaries of art and its practice?

It is the beliefs of a person that makes God, in all the senses of the word, reside in an object. I recalled the medieval pilgrimages to relics, remains of deceased holy people, that were often fictitious. Through manipulation and contextualization these remains were made into relics. This is mirrored by the manipulation and contextualization of material through medium in art to evoke emotion/ideas/beliefs. The underlying difference being that, generally, religion is used to explain and art to question. However, this depends on the social and political freedom of the time as art can be used to project values as much as it can be used to explore and discover. The art that is made by an artist is determined by the historic and social context of their environment just as much as by the artist’s creative powers. This is especially evident in the fact that what is considered art is dramatically different today than what it was a hundred years ago or fifty ears ago.

By making a relic of my own hair and finger nails I am defing the hierarchy with in many organized religions of who is holy and what is powerful and spiritual in the same way that we may now say that every person is an artist.

Relics and Matter

Artist Lecture – Lindsay Seers

During Lindsay Seer’s lecture she past around a bag with numbers and words which students selected, she then asked the students to read out one number and one word. Lindsay used the numbers to select an image of her work and the word to speak about her work through the lens of that word (i.e. memory or sound). This is a reflection of her process with the bees in It Has to be This Way. It is interesting that Lindsay formulates a controlled structure or parameter around her intuition in order to generate work. This allows for the unpredictable happenstance of life to penetrate her work while adhere to a set pattern.

Artist Lecture – Lindsay Seers

REDress Project – intro crit

In solidarity with Anishinabek people of Canada I participating in the REDress project, an annual art installation created by Winnipeg born artist Jamie Black, addressing violence against Indigenous women. On Oct the 4th across Canada red dresses were hung to raise awareness and speak out on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“The image itself can speak to a lot of people,” she said. “If they aren’t aware of the issue they are often shocked and surprised that it’s happening in Canada because there is a lot of under education and miss-education about indigenous issues here.” – Jamie Black

I was surprised, since returning to London, by the lack of international awareness of the historical and present day struggle of Indigenous people in Canada and the United States. I began to share my story of walking 2,270km from Winnipeg to Ottawa for MMIW and children in care with people in London. The shock and surprise I have been received with made me realize that I have a responsibility to bring awareness. As soon as I found out about the REDress project I began to organize an event giving myself a deadline of just under two weeks to prepare.

The installation and event took place at the Garden Centre, a squatted social centre/gallery in Camden, on the evening of Oct 11th. I prepared a presentation on MMIW, residential schools, the 60’s 70’s scoop, and ect. and invited Deana Shunkaha Wanagiwin from Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke (Pine Ridge Reservation), a powerful voice on indigenous rights, to speak about her experiences. Deana Shunkaha Wanagiwin was accompanied by Ant Hatcher and they shared through story telling and performance.

I completed the mural on both walls of the exhibition space in four solid days. This was a new experience for me because I have never done a mural before. I had once “assistant” and it was quiet the experience learning to direct someone while I was figuring out what to do myself. I used paint, wheat paste, aluminium foil, and images of the tar sand and bitumen in Alberta. I was drawing a line connecting the abuse of native women with the abuse of the land.

IMG_8914 IMG_8875 IMG_8925IMG_8896 12028642_1224107440948559_7981595440425335865_o-2 A tailings pond near Fort McMurray in July of 2012. (Jeff McIntosh:The Canadian Press) pelican_oil_spill tailing ponds alberta Seine River johnson

REDress Project – intro crit