This summer I am exhibiting with my friend Sarah Neilsen in an art show in Alert Bay, BC. We are exploring themes of 'homecoming', and I am scrambling, or rather will be scrambling in a few months to get all my work done. In the meantime, I am making art as it comes to me.
My angle on the show is to connect my experiences of community in my neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside, with the small town community of Alert Bay. The two places are intimately tied together, and I am finding many bridges and metaphors to play with. For example; tides, water, floating houses, transience, migration, and homecoming.
Last month my dear friend passed away. This is something you will get used to if you live in a small community where health issues, addiction and lower life expectancy are prevalent. But it never gets any easier. I had been playing with the idea of using the wax bones for a sculpture, but nothing was working. When I heard about Sam, I went into shock. I looked at the bones and imagined them in a rowboat, floating away from me.
Alert Bay is a very small island. There are at least three cemeteries and sacred burial grounds on the island. The reminder of death is so visual and present. Some may find this morbid, but I find it sobering and grounding. Both communities have learned to live amidst the loss.
So Long Sam, beeswax, ceramic and acrylic paint, 2015