As an artist, curator and parent, the proposed theme of anticipation and this spontaneous process of creation initially evoked feelings of nervousness and loss, and at the same time hope and optimism for something new. I frantically set forth in my creative process to represent and communicate my sense of things, socially and politically, at this particular moment in time. Tuesday May 21, 2019. On this day, my fragmented thoughts and realizations that surfaced in three works involved: notions of the repetition of history and our role as makers in recording, and re-recording, the importance of autobiographical reflection; and understanding the power of the individual voice as well as focusing on the banal, everyday routine and its role in survival.
I began to photograph the space around me—my home and the gallery that the exhibition of Structures of Anticipation would take place in. I was on the inside looking out, viewing my neighbourhood and immediate surroundings. This process of looking allowed me to take pause, to make and create work that could only be reflective of time. I simultaneously found myself thinking of Van Gogh’s Bedroom in Arles (1888), and Virginia Woolf’s, A Room of One’s Own (1926). Each photograph that I selected was transferred onto a piece of Japanese paper, and then placed into my typewriter. The first embedded text read, “From this place, in this moment, where you are right now; have we been here before?” In relation to this work, I wrote the days of the week.
The second image a self-portrait of my reflection in the gallery window, including the typed text “Tuesday May 21, 2019 9:09pm,” accompanied by text reading “Woman in a Gallery Anticipating,” and the third image, “Where are we going? When will we be there? What are we going to do next?” All questions often asked and repeated over and over by my two daughters, now five and six. This work paralleled an emergency kit list that I had put together while traveling to Chile with my two young children. After experiencing a small earthquake while there, I decided it was necessary to always be prepared.
Water, Flashlight, Change of Clothes, Passports, Health Cards, Some Food, Boots, First Aid Kit, Pillows, Sleeping Bags, Jackets, Phone Charger, Candles, Matches.
The material element of thread is then added into the works, each work pushed through the sewing machine. Sewn to represent sheets of lined paper, threading thoughts of what now seems to be an obsolete form for retaining and recording knowledge in our digital culture.
With preparedness in the forefront of our actions, living by example in our communities, giving voice to opinion, and doing what we can from the place in which we stand, we can anticipate positive change. In my opinion, as a mother/artist creating in the midst of the current global climate, politically and environmentally, it is always important to have hope, hold it tight, nurture it and be kind.