On April 12th, at the Electric Umbrella Tattoo shop and Gallery, I will be showing my latest work in a show I am calling “Hand for a hand; a collection for trade.”
I am currently working on scrap salvaged wooden panels, with paints I’ve been moving around with me for years. It’s my goal to not spend any money in the making of this collection and in exchange, I’d like to open up the floor to trades of goods and services instead of dollars and cents.
It’s my belief that everyone should be surrounded by art and souvenirs that move and inspire them. Making pieces and then knowing that someone who really appreciates the uniqueness of certain handmade things, will get to enjoy them, is worth more than money in your pocket.
Before you go thinking, ok, lady, what about the actual fact that people need money these days. That talented, hard working artists and makers are creating to make a living. That that is real work too. I want to tell you that I agree. Art is worth spending money on, collecting, having in your home. It is important to support Artists.
The current juncture I’ve found myself, I owe hugely to people around me who lent me a hand when I needed to make some changes in my life. I am fortunate enough right now to be able to trade work for a living situation, and living closely with other people has made me really appreciate the give and take, ebb and flow of favors and exchanges.Working for someone, because you believe in their dream, is far more satisfying then working for money.
Because of this I feel a freedom, in letting go of the “Monetary System”. In checking out. And I want to share that.
SO, If you live in Nanaimo, and it sounds at all interesting to you, the potential of trading, come stop by, Electric Umbrella,
I am open to any types of trades, but I might post a list of things I actually need, just to get the call rolling.
I am totally obsessed with hands. Artistically they inspire me in so many ways. One of the very first pieces I ever had in a show (Tofino ’06 or ’07) was a painting of my own hands, stitched together with black thread. And ever since then I’ve gone through phases of hand inspired work.
When I look at my hands, I think about the things I’ve created, I think about the potential. This goes for situations in life too. We have full creative freedom to create our own lives, to write our own stories . It’s in our power to make good ones and it’s important to reconstruct when we haven’t.
There is this fabulous Ceramic Artist named Carol Epp, who made (makes, you can check them out on her Etsy account, info below) a small ceramic sculpture of two hands praying, and on the knuckles it reads “make” and “mend”. It has become a life motto for me. How it resinates with me is in terms of life and situations. You Make it, you Mend it.(you break it, you bought it) We make mistakes, but we can also make amends.
It is also is really relevant to our “DIY” culture. Lets make things our selves and mend the things that need mending, instead of throwing them away.
I’ve been overdosing on hand imagery lately, painting hands, cutting out wooden hands, reading about Palmistry. So I thought I would take 2 seconds and tell you about hands.
All hands on deck. The devil makes work for idol hands. Gain the upper hand. Get your hands dirty. Lend a hand. Hands up! Hands down! Wave your hands from side to side. Hands on, hands off….. Out of hand, show of hands, and finally, take someone by the hand.
I am working on a show these days. About hands, about helping, about what keeps me living. It’s been a while since I’ve had a steady practice of creating, and like anything that takes practice it’s always frustrating in the beginning to feel how much has slipped over time.
I am working with old tools, paints and brushes, but mixing in some new as well. I used a Bandsaw for the first time in grade 8 and I had nightmares about cutting my fingers off. Woodwork has always inspired me. Old faded country road signs are among my favourite things (that’s not exactly woodwork- but you know what I mean) there is something so satisfying about painting on wood.
Cutting your fingers off, cutting fingers out, would be ironic…. Knock on wood that doesn’t happen…. (See what I did there…. I am Terrible… )