12.10.2014


I have to say, things have been heavy. This time, for me and for so many others, for so many reasons, is a dark one. It feels strange to post photos here without addressing the intense and ugly political goings on in America (though I stand in solidarity with all of those who continue to rise up to resist police violence and racist structures of domination and who've been rallying ceaselessly to incite systemic justice). It feels wrong to stop thinking about the loss of my dear friend Zoe Cassidy. It feels nearly impossible to consider artistic endeavours I was so excited about just a few weeks ago. But here I am. Here's to hoping my art practice will get me through.

...

Studio F. A studio and very special place where my good friend Yuula spent a lot of her time and made a lot of her work on Toronto Island. I was lucky enough to spend a couple weeks out here, photographing and re-aquainting myself with the darkroom. 


(just barely keeping it together)

This day I was particularly unnverved so I trudged over to Far Enough Farm on Center Island. It was cold and I had to pee and I was hungry and didn't want to be carrying around a 7lb camera, but it was worth it because once I was there I was talking to animals and making jokes to myself and reading their name plaques and species descriptions aloud in funny voices. I mean, I'm no proponent of keeping animals in captivity, but it seems these guys have a very good, very sweet life.


This handsome followed me around while I shot. He would get too close, even annoyingly so, but let me take at least one nice photo.
 





and bunnies, because... bunnies 









and you know, back to the lake I love.



11.29.2014









After Pae White, but for Zoe Cassidy may he Rest in Peace















10.22.2014

Little Brother Magazine feature!


Hey! Just a quick update and shameless promotion of Little Brother Magazine No.5

Art director Charles Yao invited me to make an original photo portfolio for LB's Meta Issue, and hey check that out one of my photographs is on the cover, too. The series, 'VitrĂ©e' is yet another visual exploration of the precariousness of physical and psychological boundaries, featuring various creative and talented Toronto women. Some of the images are below, but do yourself a favour and buy a copy at Type Books, Art Metropole, Likely General, or anywhere else on this list! I've read it cover to cover and am overwhelmingly pleased to be a contributor. 



"Critic Jeet Heer reviews—guess what?—Little Brother No. 5. Hairpin editor Haley Mlotek writes about women in media, the death of print, mass psychogenic illness, and “being the weirdos, mister.” Also: Journey Prize-winner Naben Ruthnum on why director Charlie Kaufman can’t lose. Emma Healey on writing poetry in the age of Search Engine Optimization. A panicked, polyphonic story by Liz Windhorst Harmer about the TTC. Andrew F. Sullivan’s chilling fiction about a future world where every dream is called into the authorities. In the art department, Elissa Pearl Matthews pays homage to both Ed Ruscha and our city’s ordinary architecture in “Some Toronto Apartments,” with an illustration from Mark Lyall. And Sarah Bodri presents a beautiful new series of photos that capture the reflections of women, bounced off a plate of glass. Finally, editor Emily M. Keeler gives you a glimpse into the making of the magazine."






(pictured above: multimedia artist Vanessa Rieger; below: writer Naomi Skwarna)


New work coming soon!






9.10.2014

Meichen Waxer


And we're back !

This time I want to tell you about cool woman artist, friend and former studio-mate of almost two years, the talented and industrious human Meichen Waxer. 



After moving to Toronto from Aurora, she lived in Parkdale for a long while with her beloved kitties. She's had various jobs in offices and galleries ( you can read about her work and her life here) and for the most part, makes art for a living.  But right now I'm going to tell you about our time together and how I see her.





       It took a while, but Waxer got to me. We met  a couple years ago when she contacted me about renting out the same studio space as my friend and I had in mind, which we had actually just looked at together. It was small but it was in a great location. It would be my first studio. My guard was up and I felt a pang of competition, was wary- who is this person and why would I want to be in the same work space as them? It didn't take long to realize that no shit, it wouldn't hurt to share (she seemed nice enough) and so Meichen, Steph and I decided that sure, we would rent together. And so began our friendship, albeit awkwardly. If you've ever had roommates, or shared studio space, you're aware that the post-move-in adjustment period can be trying, and it was.  My portion was half of a dimly-lit room (a dimly-lit room that I now spend a lot of time in) which I had to widdle into a creative and productive space for myself and what I initially saw as a challenge (ie. doing that alongside a relative stranger- someone who seemed more practiced and arts-educated and committed than myself) was actually helpful and motivating. In the beginning I was skeptical, maybe even jealous, but Meichen's enthousiasm about her work would actually make the process easier. I even realized that I was equally as dedicated to my work as she- who knew?









 
   All of a sudden I wasn't so scared about when our studio hours would overlap. Meichen proved to be as dedicated a friend as she was an artist; spending studio time together while working on our respective projects, shouting over whatever pop music we could agree on meant getting to know her as a silly pal, ambitious and with a kind heart.  I was happy to bug her for anything from photography-related to love-life to yoga-pose advice cause yeah, she's a serious yoga pro.

       There's still a lot of her gold-leaf floating around, and when I came in the other morning,  there was a squirrel skittering around with a big chunk of it stuck to it's face.




      Meichen's practice currently explores mysticism and middle eastern mythology through illustration and painting (though she studied photography at OCAD) and she recently finished a residency in a tiny little village in Italy this past summer. You can see documentation of her most recent solo show at Milkglass (Toronto) here and of course a quick google search will reveal various other sweet shots of her at work. As I mentioned, she recently migrated (cats in tow) to Vancouver to do an MFA at Emily Carr.






Funnily enough, we haven't been in touch since she moved away but I have a feeling she's doin' fine and look forward to update.








thx 4 lukin
..





a personal note, some things to keep in mind:  this series involves an ever-evolving questionnaire which subjects answer but that is not and will not be posted online. I'm constantly re-evaluating the nature of the questions I ask about work, productivity, success, etc since the series as a whole is meant to redefine those concepts on "our" terms based on our experiences. But the term "our" and the notion of network is problematic, read: woman is not a monolithic category and we often have disparate life experiences that prevent us from acting as a unified woman front. I wonder, can a project like this fracture the illusory notion of sisterhood, or the more updated idea of a female community? Yep,  the eventual goal of the series is to give a more comprehensive look at women and their relationships to work, but what you read here is a way for you to get to know me and glean a more nuanced understanding of female relationships. A significant thing I think you should listen to, no matter your gender, is this! 






6.24.2014

Kate Miller

 Hey, hey. It's been far more than a week since the last post, but the time is nigh. I just thought you might need some time to prepare, to wonder, to anticipate, etc...

Though I have to be honest, I have to confess: I have post-poned this post for personal reasons. One of said reasons is because (ready?) making brief but sincere and truthful statements about people that will honour their awesome and not be overly glorifying or false which will also maybe come up on a search engine so that other people outside my personal network might be made aware of these cool women is, in truth, vaguely daunting. Some of these women I will have known for half my life, and still don't know at all; others I've worked with for less than three hundred and sixty five days and they feel like siblings. Either way, writing about other women is fun but challenging. Sometimes so much so that I'm not sure what I'm writing about someone is accurate, and sometimes because I feel like it's insufficient.  Regardless, there will always be a "profile" because that's the point of the project, and even if it is a relatively small blurb, these faces still mean a lot to me. Maybe this way you'll learn a little bit about me, too. Basically, the bottom line is that I can't promise portraits posted on the regular, because of that whole 'writing about other people' bit, but also because I work a lot! For myself, in the service industry, and as an artist. Such as life and hustling in the big city.  I hope you understand. I'm sure you understand. 

But that's all, that's the end of disclaimer. This post isn't entirely about me, it's really about this beautiful woman I met almost a decade ago,

Kate Christine Miller.




Kate and I were introduced by friends of mine in Guelph (where she did her BFA) though she would describe herself as being from "warm kitchens and smoky basements and over invested basketball coaches and houses that all look the same, but not in a new suburban way, the Niagara Region. Now Toronto is [her] home." 




She always seemed like a very successful human, you know, a real grown ass woman to me. She was someone who I admired from afar, hung out with occasionally, but didn't know all that well. Maybe I just always knew she was a fellow feminist because of the cool people, my then "older" high school friends, who introduced us. We've been moving in the same Toronto circles for some years now, and more and more, I see the cool things she gets up to. I feel like I learned a lot about Kate while I photographed her, and even more when she answered my questionnaire, actually.




Kate is passionate about working with and empowering kids (read: smashing the patriarchy) and has a few amazing gigs. She works with youth at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health, as well as at Delisle Youth Services in midtown, and works for the forever badass Shameless Mag. 

                    

One thing I really noticed was that Kate was pretty much always ready, from the moment I arrived to the one I rode away, to stare right into the guts of my camera. 




She's got a sweet apartment set up on Toronto's west side where she practices drumming on a cool kit in her room and seems to take good care of herself and her friends. 




'til next time,




THESE GUYS