Where did you grow up? What was the landscape like?
I grew up in the Okanagan Valley. We moved here permanently from San Giuseppe Jato while on vacation in the middle of kindergarten. So I have vivid memories of both places. Being confused and anxious about language, space and time. We ended up living on a cherry orchard that tapers down to Okanagan lake with mountains framing the view. The mountains were blue instead of orange and now the orchard is more of a walnut, almond, plum, fig, grape and pear grove. I’m thinking of this because I happen to be here as I write this. It sounds idyllic, and it was, but it is also distinguished by half-finished projects and piles of broken and salvaged things, like toilets, scrap metal, refrigerators, and quads in disrepair.
Do you think being Canadian has had any impact on your work?
In particular, I’m that kind of Canadian that feels like they are from somewhere else, but can’t call anywhere else home. So a kind of restlessness.
What is your favourite medium to work with?
I’m promiscuous with medium so it depends on my mood and what will comfort that.
What themes do you work with, if any?
How place and thought affects subjectivity. Fables, cliches, images, a piece of garbage, words, surface, feelings, textiles, worries, dreams, living amongst insects, gels, uncertainty, living among animals. Lately I’ve been allowing writing and literature to influence my art-making more directly. For instance, in the Innocence at Home
set of works, the aluminum supports were made in reference to the angelfish pins Mark Twain gave to the girls in his “Aquarium Club,” and so it was a way of evoking that, while also creating a space that is not linguistic and about feeling and discovery beyond that specific narrative.
Purple Poses weird Sisters, gouache, oil, sand, potato stamp on wood and brass, 2015-16. Photos: Ned Pratt Photography, St. John’s, NL
Spasm, LED, oil on aluminum, 2015
who’s the boss? chalk pastel on paper, 2015
Innocent Oyster, 2015
Are you inspired by any Canadian painters?
Is there any one painter who has influenced your work more than others?
Are you drawn to any particular historical art movement?
Right now ’90s Neo-futurism (the new baroque, new naturalism and post-punk romantic).
Do you consider your work to be political?
I consider it to be political to be an artist generally. I think that one’s relationship to the world is reflected in the way you make things. The longer I’m involved in art making, the more acutely aware I am that my life is the result of making actual decisions, rather than following a script (though arguably scripts are constantly being followed and then being tossed.) Paying attention to things and the agency of actively negotiating this is important to me.
What do you think is missing from the Canadian art scene?
I don’t know.