Friday, 3 February 2012

When the Crow Calls

 To begin with some missing photos from the last blog, of Chinese New Year with LUM seen below

It was a packed house, we must have had about 40 people for dinner

Here is the one and only Linus Lum. A great addition to the residency I have to admit. Having this handsom and intelligent little one around has made for a beautiful experience at any of our social events.

Included only because I would feel the only reason to stand on a toilet seat may be to tap dance... 

Daily may have been misleading, as I have now begun to realise that weekly is more applicable. There are far too many things going on in this lovely town for me to even remember to check my email let alone keep my promise of checking in with this blog. I will attempt to keep this a bit more updated as the final two weeks of my residency are approaching. How scary.

The project is in its final stages. SO EXCITING. I am in awe of its formation and although diligent planning was necessary at the beginning and process was slow, it was all in good measure and things have worked out smoothly because of it. I am now working on constructing the top piece. The interesting part of all of this is the fact that the idea has been with me for almost a year now, so the concept of it is somewhat in flux. I hope to finalise those thoughts over the weekend. Perhaps I will put some pictures up of its current state, wish I would have done more process shots...

The lovely part about working in the shop (where most my project is forming) is that I also have a beautiful and large studio space to do whatever I like, which I may have mentioned before. Forgive my memory. So with that being said I should mention that I had another studio visit with LUM this past week. I must admit that I was unsure of what may happen during this visit. I was optimistic and pessimistic prior to our meeting. Pleasantly surprised, I had an amazing revelation. There was a point in my works where I was putting up a block still, there has always been an issue of this underlying barrier within most my works. LUM addressed it with knowingness revealing that it was clearly more obvious than I had thought. Interesting as well was that my tribulations with our seminars and the thickly layered theory readings were unmasked within the studio. I did not feel intimidated with my works beside me, and LUM noted that he needed no convincing. He liked my work....

The seminars on that note have been bipolar to say the least and there are quite a lot of dramatised emotions being unearthed. Comical perhaps, but also a bit disrespectful. Our readings this week included Barthes -Myth Today and Benjamin - The Author of Producer both of which LUM said we should have read by this time in our careers. I have to say, I am surprised that these readings were not recommended to me earlier as they were very applicable to my works and studio research. Barthes in particular, as Benjamin became a bit politically charged for me. Everyday experience is language, yet so much of it is beyond language. I am not sure I want to speak on the experience in class too much, it is quite theory based and just as it was confusing in class, I believe it will become confusing in blog/written form. Let me just say that we discussed semiotics, and the differences between Sign, Form, Signifier, Signified, Symbol, Meaning, and the Crisis of representation. Meaning = Form. Meaning = concept. Form motivates concept but simultaneously concept motivates form.
My head hurts all over again

Wednesday we decided to move our seminar into the studio world and attempt to critique another residents works she has done here in the residency at this point. I was quite excited for this moment as I have to admit that critiques are something that I enjoy. I will admit my disappointment in this critique, although I knew it would be interesting and perhaps difficult with so many new personalities there were etiquette issues that could not be ignored and I felt negatively influenced the whole experience.

Critique Etiquette 101 (artists should know THIS by now...dare I declare)

1. Do not answer your phone during a critique - especially if the critique is of your work. (This includes texting)
2. Do not leave the critique for unknown reasons and upon returning ask for explanation of conversations already had during your absence
3a.  Talking is not necessary to be engaged within the critique, but silence and disengagement is rude and to be frank, you may as well leave.
3b. Non-verbal engagement can translate as a sign of your participation and comparable to anothers verbal input at times.
4. Allow the completion of anothers thought before you interject with your own
5. Do not argue, but rather rationally discuss. In arguing there is a disengagement from the work and wasting of vital time within the critique. These conversations -which become personal arguments and unrelated to the work- can be discussed amongst one another post critique.

These may be personal - but I would like to think they are transparent within critique etiquette... I would like to think

So if that wasn't enough, I haven't even begun to talk about all the other things that have been going on in Banff. We have a visiting artist with us Maria Thereza Alves who is such a lovely lady. Her works will be within Documenta 2012. She is a close friend to a woman within the Trading Post residency so we have had the opportunity to spend some time with her in a relaxed environment. Which brings me to my next event which was learning how to bead! Bev Koski (the close friend of Maria) has been kind enough to host some small workshops for learning to bead and I have learned it is quite an extravagant art. I am in awe of their creations here so far and anticipate their final projects. During my encounter with Bev I created a ring of a certain stitch which I can not recall the name of. It has become a thumb edition in accidentally making it too large, but I enjoy its affinity to belong to my thumb.

This past Saturday I attended LUMs badminton session which he has been hosting every Saturday. I guess one thing that I have not revealed about Banff is their amazing recreational facilities. They have a great gymnasium with a running track as well as a weight room, squash courts, a climbing wall, a pool/hot tub as well as an array of classes which we can attend for free. I have been going to Yoga twice a week here since I arrived, been able to see the gym a few times but not as much as I had hoped. Back to badminton, I was seen as the secret weapon I guess, don't let this blond hair fool you. My physical abilities were greatly underestimated by the people in attendance which I found humorous. I was surprised most of all by LUM, who questioned why I hadn't attended more often, which of course is the fault of my need to work while attending the residency. So I have been travelling back to Calgary Saturday evenings to work Sundays. Although he admired that I had a - if I may I quote him -Gentle touch- he still annihilated me in our singles competition.

This brings me to my next physical event that is happening this afternoon. I am hosting a curling seminar for the residents here. I cant even begin to describe the diverse reactions and understandings of what Curling is. Someone said to me, its not played on skates? At which point I looked into doing a seminar. I will let you know how it goes.

I was invited to enjoy a lovely Moose Meat themed dinner last night hosted by Brian Jungen. A Selfless offer that turned into a grand evening. Much conversation, compassionate company, and as I have always believed good food creating good memories. I was able to run into a few people that I had not met officially and in those conversations learned some amazing attributes. This Banff environment is so full of diverse and creative people and experience - it has become my utopia of art.

Jordan in the kitchen with Jungen (to right) and friend (to left)
Vincent messing around during dessert creating the tower o lonely squash

Last Friday we had a bonfire as a group here. What a fantastic evening. I decided that I wanted to make some Bannock for the event and spoke to another resident here for some help in making it, although I believe it is not that difficult. As per usual, I forgot about my request but I was pleasantly surprised when the resident (Autumn) sent a bowl of Bannock for us! She had gone snowboarding and did end up arriving later on in the night but I was so happy she was so generous. Some others brought an assortment of vegetables, garlic, and spices and created a tinfoil dinner I call it. The Bannock turned out to be the star of the night. We made just simple Bannock buns but also Bannock wrapped hot dogs, and my inspired creation Bannock Smores. All I have to say is my life has changed. They were the most incredible dessert I have had, and all in good time as we discovered during the bonfire that one of our cohorts was hiding from us that it was his birthday! It actually happened to be the gentleman who is helping me with my project in the Wood Shop. His name is Sean and it was a delight to share with him his birthday celebrations. Tonight we are hoping to have another bonfire since it was such a hit last time.

And now, I believe I have sufficiently updated you all and myself. I hope to check in a little sooner than last time but I make no promises as I wander through the endless marvels of this utopia in the woods.

The thought of something
The thought of nothing
The thought of you
Full of nothing

1 comment:

  1. Hi Meagan,
    As usual it is always such a delight to read your blog updates. I agree with you that finding time to write daily may not be possible, why don't you just write whenever the mood takes you. It sounds like you are meeting lots of people and personalities. Your etiquette rules for crits are true, but isn't it surprising when we discover that even the academics can dismiss the rules applied to them. Maybe the lessons there are that you excel in those areas more than you thought! Maybe you are a good role model for how a participant should engage. Lots of cooking and mingling going on, do you find this helpful to feel a sense of belonging here? Time is sure flying by for you, and you really seem to be gathering up faith in your abilities and not feeling as doubtful - yay! Love your poetry, as with most artists, your thoughts are never turned "off" and no doubt this is what drives you. Keep at it, and it will all reveal itself to you! Thinking of you and sending hugs xo :)