Thursday, January 11, 2024

New Year New Projects!

WOW it's been a year!!!
If you follow this blog or my Instagram feed, you already know I was lucky enough to install three shows this year, all with the gracious help of my partner Markus, and one with my first project grant from the Canada Council for the Arts. I also hold enormous gratitude for the Hearth Gallery and the Gibsons Public Art Gallery for hosting these shows, and to the huge number of supporters I'm beginning to realize I have for not only showing up at the openings and to take in the shows, but also for buying quite a few of my paintings to bring home. Because of this support I was able to donate over $1400 this year to support the Bowen Island Conservancy, an organization that works hard to advocate for and preserve wilderness around my home. It feels humbling, in the way my wedding did, nearly 25 years ago now, when I looked out of the window and saw the guests gathering, and realized that these people cared about me. It's very deeply personal, and in the case of my art, it means I'm able to make an impact in protecting and educating about the things that are important to me. And this is huge.

In my studio working on paintings about the Shuswap fires.

As I sit here contemplating the year, the things that stand out are even more personal. My kids moved out last January and are now paying their own way in the city, some friends lost their homes in the raging wildfires we had this year, we lost a few loved ones both in my family and the community, and I'm FINALLY beginning to recover some of my ability after 3.5 years of living with long covid. Interesting, because 3.5 also happens to be the number of MILLIONS of Canadians who have or have had long covid, as of StatsCan's December 2024 publication.

So this leads to my next project: Hospital Gown.
This wearable art piece will be part of the (dis)robe series, and will be made from donated used hospital gowns and blanket, along with an ever-growing collection of photos of Canadians currently living with long-covid. Again I am humbled by so many people putting their trust in me as an artist to bring their faces into the wider community. The gown is barely started, but has already been invited to the Art Vancouver fair in April. I'll wear it to the opening event, there, whereafter it will be displayed along with other gowns from the collection. I still encounter quite a bit of misinformation and disbelief about long-covid, especially because those of us with autoimmune disease are so invisible. Either we're hidden away with our illness or we're out in public trying our damndest to look healthy. So it means a lot to me to have this opportunity to bring the faces of so many invisible sufferers out into the world.

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