On the weekend of October 28 I had my first solo art show in over 10 years. It was made up of 14 paintings which I had been working on over the last 1-5 years. Early in the year I managed to secure an arts grant via the NWT Arts Council to work on a series of paintings which I was hoping to exhibit publicly in the late fall of 2022.
Yellowknife is tragically low on gallery space to showcase artwork, especially gallery space that is specifically designed to showcase artwork. Fortunately for me, a space came available for the right time and it happened to be a resurrected version of the gallery where I did my first solo show back in 2010: the Gallery on 47th St. The original (G47) had turned into a restaurant a number of years ago but the landlords later invested in the property next to them. When the new tenant left, the G47 was resurrected next door.
While there were some pieces in my show that I had been loosely working on for the last few years, the majority of the pieces were completed during the last year, particularly over the summer when I started a Master’s program. Inevitably, work from both studies spilled over into the other and I found my painting influencing my schoolwork and vice versa. I spent a lot of time considering Land-based Learning and innovative curriculum planning and through those studies, and my current ones I’ve been having many an epiphany.
I’ve come to see my paintings as artifacts of my life and my thinking; repositories of my knowledge, understanding, ideas, confusions, inquiries, discussions, and more; they contain my triumphs and failures, my satisfaction and my longing, my secrets, fears, desires; and when I walk away I can leave those things there, or pick them back up when I return; I can look deeply into them and find reflections and connects to my being; they are visual poems to my romantic relationship with life.
When it was finally time to do the show, I thought a long time about the pieces, the ones that had finished, the ones that hadn’t yet….stepping back I asked myself if I was ever done……then I nodded with only myself to notice….”yup,” I said out loud. “I’m done. I’m Ever Done.” This more or less sums of my art practice. Am I ever done? I hope not…..I hope I’ll never be done. But sometimes, I am pretty Ever Done.
I really fucked my back up just before I did the show. Hanging a show with a busted up lower back is….not pleasant. I had no range of motion from the base of my spine where it meets my hips for about two vertebra up. Thank goodness I’m good at squats and had the amazing assistance of the lady of the Gallery.
I’ve posted poems…..at some point I’ll figure out this whole website side of my life and post some images of a few of the pieces.