From 2013-2015 I curated the monthly film series Crime Watch at Metro Cinema. Crime Watch showcased classic and contemporary movies that offered a diverse and provocative glimpse into the cinematic criminal world. To connect my passion for film with my artistic practice, I created a cross stitch for each film to use in the promotional posters for the first year of the series.
A selection from this series was exhibited at: Medalta 2015
CRIME WATCH 2
From 2013-2015 I curated the monthly film series Crime Watch at Metro Cinema. Crime Watch showcased classic and contemporary movies that offered a diverse and provocative glimpse into the cinematic criminal world. To connect my passion for film with my artistic practice, I created a mixed media poster with a felt character for each film to use in the promotional posters for the second year of the series.
My mixed media exhibition Little Fearscombines felt with photography and photo-illustrations. Is an exploration of cultural anxieties through my personal experience and a fascination with both the positive and negative effects of fear. My challenge is to uncover and communicate the comfort and humour people may discover in their own fears while conceding to an admiration for the significant contributions fears have in connecting and defining us. I created this series as a catalyst for a humorous and positive discourse with the viewers to compare and discuss their own fears.
Exhibited at: Harris-Warke Gallery 2013 | Harcourt House 2013 | The Works Art & Design Festival 2012 | Art Gallery of St. Albert 2011
Cause: As a young child one of my babysitters let me stay up late and watch Poltergeist with her. The scene where the clown doll attacks the young boy, undoubtedly contributed to my fear of both clowns and the idea of inanimate objects (like dolls) moving on it’s own power.
Cause: I don’t recall ever camping as a child, but I’ve certainly seen enough movies that suggest that sleeping in the great outdoors with nothing between you and the wildlife but a thin layer of tarp might not be the best idea.
Cause: For the last five years I’ve dreaded visiting my eye doctor. Apparently the shape of my eyes is more conducive to retina detachment, a fact that I have never forgotten. Yet each visit my doctor feels the need to not only remind me, but to show me a detailed anatomical chart…. on my last visit he had a 3-D model.
Cause: I dread the feeling of vulnerability while sitting/laying in an uncomfortable chair, wearing a paper bib and staring up at bright light. Waiting for a masked figure holding, holding what can best be described as tiny tools of torture, advancing towards your open mouth.
Stage developed: preadolescence (10-12) | Ongoing / conquered: conquered (from fear to dislike)
Cause: It wasn’t until I had reached high school that my tendency towards dyslexia was noticed. Spelling and grammar has never been my strong suit, so I’ve always felt at a disadvantage when I have to write things out by hand.
Cause: Cordyceps, more commonly known as the killer fungi, was discovered infecting large groups of insect. The fungus infects an insect’s brain taking over its body and causing climb to an elevated spot. Then it kills the host, bursts out of the body and the fungi’s spore spreads to infect others. The more numerous a species becomes the more likely of an attack, causing some scientists to hypothesize that the fungi acts like a type of crowd control. Stopping anyone group from getting the upper hand, how long before this fungi starts to attack us?
Cause: I find power tools in general unsettling, the idea of taking sharp -potentially dangerous- objects and giving it a power source seems like a bad idea. But nothing panics me quite like a chainsaw. I find a chainsaws appearance, speed, sound, and its excessive ability to tear things apart overwhelming. Having never taking a woodshop class, I’ve always viewed power tools like chainsaws as implements for monsters and serial killers.
Cause: As a child I was convinced that the inside of my closet and the space underneath my bed was full of monsters. I can recall waking up to some odd noise in the middle of the night and fighting the urge to turn the lights on, terrified of what I might see.
Cause: My first memory of encountering a mascot was on a shopping trip with my family. The department store was celebrating a big anniversary for Crayola, and they had people dressed up as giant crayons. One of the mascots started following me around the store in what he or she no doubt thought was a playful game of hide & seek... I was terrified.
Cause: There is a thin line between a pack rat and hoarder. Coming from a long line of pack rats, I find reality shows like Hoarders terrifying. I believe that being an artist makes you all the more susceptible to hoarding. All of the finished and half finished pieces, materials needed and all of the odds and ends I hold onto because you never know when I’ll need it.
Cause: Many of us have heard a friend or coworkers tale of their computer crashing and they lost everything. I would always cringe and vow to get a back up hard drive always forgetting to do so shortly after. A few months back my computer wouldn’t start up properly, I’d try to turn it on and all I would get is a screen informing that I needed to try re-starting again. I experience sheer panic, years of my artwork was potentially lost. I was lucky and technicians were able to revive my computer and save my data. I’ve finally gotten around to purchasing a back up hard drive now, but the unflagging trust I once had in computer is now gone.
Cause: I don’t believe in Zombies, I do however have the nagging fear that if there was a zombie epidemic I wouldn’t last very long. Modern day mythology suggests a Zombie fueled by rage as well as hunger is more likely to sprint then shuffle. My best bet is to find a crafty survivor and try to fill the role of the comedic sidekick.
Cause: Death is both inevitable and inexplicable; I believe it to be the ultimate fear that unites us all. A fear so large that it is easier to try to ignore it all together to make daily life manageable.
The series Patron Saints of Modern Times was funded by a grant from the Edmonton Cultural Capital in 2007. I wanted to explore what makes Patron Saints so universal and to understand the source of their continued relevance in our increasingly secular society. I believe their strength and significance comes from an individual’s need to connect to someone or something that defines them or their situation. This thought was further confirmed when I started studying the saints, I was surprised to find how many of them have been adapted to encompass modern day life. I have always looked at my work as a visual dialogue, a way to communicate to an audience. I want to create this series from a place of secular respect to the connection people may have to these Saints, and how they have carried these icons to modern day relevance. It is my hope that my fascination will be communicated to the Edmonton audience and that people will find comfort, humor and a newfound admiration for the significance these figures have.
Solo Show at the Works Art & Design Festival 2008
Saint Francis of Assisi (Patron Saint of Environmentalists)
St. Francis of Assisi took the Gospels as the rule of his life, Jesus Christ as his literal example. He dressed in rough clothes, begged for his sustenance, and preached purity and peace. His family disapproved, and his father disinherited him; Francis formally renounced his wealth and inheritance.
Francis also believed that God and the world of nature are one. He did not build an artificial wall between the natural world and the supernatural, the secular and the sacred. For Francis, every creature was sacred. “Safeguarding creation requires us to live responsibly in it, rather than managing creation as though we are outside it.” We should see ourselves, they added, as stewards within creation, not as separated from it. Francis was ahead of his time. He saw himself, like today’s environmentalists, as part of the ecosystem, not as a proud master over and above it.
Biblical Representation: stag Modern Representation: recycling symbol Background Texture: burlap
Saint Clare of Assisi (Patron Saint of Television)
Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who became the Foundress of an order of nuns now called "Poor Clares." When she heard St. Francis of Assisi preach, her heart burned with a great desire to imitate Francis and to live a poor humble life for Jesus. So one evening, she ran away from home, and in a little chapel outside Assisi, gave herself to God.
Clare loved music and well-composed sermons. She was humble, merciful, charming, optimistic, and chivalrous. Once when her convent was about to be attacked, she projected a giant vision of the Sacrament in a monstrace on the convent gates, and prayed before it; the attackers left. Toward the end of her life, when the was too ill to attend Mass, an image of the service would display on the wall of her cell; thus her patronage of television.
Biblical Representation: woman holding monstrace Modern Representation: television Background Texture: television test pattern
Saint Bernardine of Siena (Patron Saint of Advertising)
Bernardine’s (sometimes Bernardino) charismatic preaching filled the piazze of Italian cities. Thousands of listeners flocked to hear him and to participate in dramatic rituals, which included collective weeping, bonfires of vanities, and exorcisms. He was a renowned peacemaker, in the Franciscan tradition, who tried to calm feuding clans and factions in the turbulent political world of the Renaissance. His preaching visits would often culminate in mass reconciliations, as listeners were persuaded to exchange the bacio di pace, or kiss of peace. Bernardine was sensitive to the demands of secular life, and tried to negotiate between Christian ethics and a conflicting code of honor that stressed retaining face in a public world. He argued that the catalyst of civil discord in the urban setting was malicious gossip, which led to insults, and, too often, vendetta by aggressive males. His surprising allies in his peacekeeping mission were the women who comprised the majority of his audience.
Saint Bernardine’s preaching skills were so great, and the conversions so numerous, that he has become associated with all areas of speaking, advertising, and public relations.
Biblical Representation: symbol of a sun with the letters IHS Modern Representation: business card Background Texture: rusted cement floor
Saint Dymphna (Patron Saint of Psychatrist)
Saint Dymphna (sometimes Dympna) had a traumatic life. She was the daughter of a pagan Irish chieftain called Damon and a beautiful Christian woman who died when Dymphna was a teenager. Following the death of Dymphna's mother, her father searched far and wide for a new wife but none were found to be satisfactory. Driven to distraction by grief, he began to obsess over his daughter and tried to seduce her. With an elderly priest by her side, Dymphna ran away but her father followed, unrelenting in his search for her. The chieftain eventually tracked her down to Gheel in Belgium. It was here that they fought and he killed both Dymphna and the elderly priest, now known as Saint Gerebernus.
The place of her death is said to have healed many sufferers of mental disorders and her holy relics are reported to have cured insanity and epilepsy. Saint Dympna is also the Patron Saint of incest victims, loss of parents, martyrs, mental institutions, caregivers, rape victims and runaways.
Biblical Representation: golden chains Modern Representation: pill bottles Background Texture: polished concrete floor
Saint Christopher (Patron Saint of Taxi Drivers)
Saint Christopher’s given name was Offero. He was a powerfully built man who wandered the world in search of novelty and adventure. He came upon a hermit who lived beside a dangerous stream and served others by guiding them to safe places to cross. The hermit gave Offero instruction in the truth of God. In return Offero took the hermit's place, but instead of guiding travelers, he carried them safely across the stream.
One day he carried a small child across the stream; the child's weight nearly crushed him. When they arrived on the other side, the child revealed himself as Christ, and he was so heavy because he bore the weight of the world on himself. To prove his claim the child planted Offero's walking staff in the ground. The next day it had grown into a fruit bearing palm tree. He then baptized Offero with water from the stream. Offero’s service at the stream led to his patronage of things related to travel, travelers, and people who transport things or people (taxi drivers).
Biblical Representation: tree branch Modern Representation: taxi sign Background Texture: road
Saint Isidore of Seville (Patron Saint of the Internet)
From a young age in the Cathedral school of Seville, Isidore was dedicated to his pursuit of knowledge. He worked hard at his studies and quickly mastered Latin, Greek and Hebrew. Isidore's greatest passion was in the field of education. He encouraged the educational institutes in Seville to prescribe the study of Greek, Hebrew, law and medicine. To many Isidore was seen as the most learned man of his time.
Anyone looking for the reason Saint Isidore was chosen as the Patron Saint of the Internet need look no further than his greatest work. Saint Isidore took it upon himself to document all “universal knowledge” much like the Internet aims to do today. He was a collector and compiler of all information that he put together within his writings, now known as the Etymologiae, which is said to contain all of the learning possessed in his time.
Biblical Representation: bees Modern Representation: binary code Background Texture: circuitry of a computer
Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of Firefighters)
Saint Barbara grew up imprisoned in a high tower by her father Dioscorus for disobedience. While there, she was tutored by philosophers, orators and poets. From them she learned to think, and decided that she no longer wanted to follow polytheism and converted to Christianity. Her father denounced her to the local authorities for her faith, and they ordered him to kill her. She escaped, but he caught her, dragged her home by her hair, tortured her, and killed her. Upon her death he was immediately struck by lightning, or according to some sources, fire from heaven.
Her imprisonment led to her association with towers, then the construction and maintenance of them, then to their military uses. The lightning that avenged her murder led to asking her protection against fire and lightning, and her patronage of firefighters.
Biblical Representation: palm leaf Modern Representation: fire alarm Background Texture: rusted tin can
Saint Joseph of Cupertino (Patron Saint of Astronauts)
Joseph's father, Felice Desa was a poor carpenter who died before the boy was born. Creditors drove his mother, Francesca Panara, from her home, and Joseph was born in a stable. Starting at age eight, he received ecstatic visions that left him gaping and staring into space.
His life became a series of visions and ecstasies, which could be triggered any time or place by the sound of a church bell, church music, the mention of the name of God or of the Blessed Virgin or of a saint, any event in the life of Christ, the sacred Passion, a holy picture, the thought of the glory in heaven, etc. Yelling, beating, pinching, burning, piercing with needles - none of this would bring him from his trances. Joseph would only regain consciousness when he heard the voice of one the superiors in his order. During these trances he would often levitate in the air, which lead to his patronage of astronauts and others involved in air travel.
Biblical Representation: bell Modern Representation: astronaut Background Texture: inside pattern of a bank envelope
2008, Edmonton, AB
2009, Calgary, AB
2007, Edmonton, AB
Bamboo Chopstick Restaurant
2009, Vegreville, AB
2013, Calgary, AB
2011, Edmonton, AB
Cleaning by Page
2013, Edmonton, AB
115th Super Market
2013, Edmonton, AB
Buffalo Coffee Shop
2013, Red Deer, AB
2010, Calgary, AB
2009, Vulcan, AB
2010, Edmonton, AB
2015, Seattle, WA
The group exhibition Obsession showcased six fine craft artists who identify with the theme, whether through process, narration, scale or the physiology of obsessions. Each unique style and interpretation of the theme will allow the viewer a glimpse into the artists’ psyche. The materials, scale and techniques will be appropriate to the individual maker’s practice and voice.
Partcipating artists: Joan Irvin, Jill Nuckles, Laura O’Connor, Natali Rodrigues, Barbara Rumberger, Susan Thorpe
What do Justin Bieber, Aliens and the E. Coli Bacteria have in common…?
From the moment that the exhibition cuator, Jill Nuckles, asked me to be a part of Obsession I became obsessed with finding a distinct approach to the subject. To me obsession is like a cerebral magnifying glass, exaggerating and distorting the object of one’s fixation to a larger-than-life scale. I picked three representations of obsession; celebrity, conspiracy theory, and excessive hand washing - a symptom of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). While researching for this series I found online comment boards which became the inspiration and background text for the pieces. By crafting these objects of fixation and simulating the perceived magnification, these pieces can give the audience a better understanding of obsession.
ALIENS: Conspiracy Theory Obsession Mixed Media, felt, embroidery thread, laser print, plastic magnifying lens, mirror frame Background text sourced from “Turk184” post on Conspiracy Theories and Hoaxes
E-COLI BACTERIA: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) Mixed Media: felt, embroidery thread, laser print, plastic magnifying lens, mirror frame Background text sourced from “Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)” message board on the Health Boards
JUSTIN BEIBER: Celebrity Obsession Mixed Media: felt, embroidery thread, laser print, plastic magnifying lens, mirror frame Background text sourced from “Do U LOVE Justin Bieber???” on Go To Quiz
SELLING THE GREAT OUTDOORS
Selling the Great Outdoors is a series of photos taken of taxidermy animals used as props in commercial locations to evoke the "getting back to nature" lifestyle to sell products. Exploring the extremity of using nature as a muse.