I have learned a great deal over the past 28 months. Two things I learned (among others), which are not discussed in my thesis paper, are related to humour and honesty.
One of my instructors told me that I was really funny and that my work also reflected a sense of humour. One of the things I learned is that this cannot be forced. The moment that I try to make something funny, it is totally un-funny. For my work to draw people in with humour, I in turn, need to make work without any attempt at trying to be funny, and then somehow it comes. In other words, just be myself.
I also learned to be cautious about what others might read into my work. Those readings are valid and important, but they are not where my work is rooted, although they are as sweet as fruit. In other words, in relation to my work, be honest about the roots (my intentions) and the dirt (context they grow out of) that surrounds them.
I would like to acknowledge all the artists who came to visit our three July Intensives, some of whom also visited my studio space. Thank you!
[…] Studio space at Mitchell Press this past July Intensive.
Working through the latest update, I was very tempted to change and alter writing I have done over the past 28 months. However, I have left most of the writing (including my inconsistent use of “white” and “Whiteness”) in order to demonstrate a progression of thought and have noted dates on most pages [posts]. My complete thesis contains my current thoughts and thinking on the topic of Whiteness.
As part of our program, I set up and published the micro-site for our HERE+THERE Graduation Exhibition at the Charles H. Scott Gallery in Vancouver.
The work I showed at the HERE+THERE Graduation Exhibition is also available to be viewed on Vimeo.
An overview of the production of the work appears below.
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Nov 16, 2011
The Cleaning Girl and the Boarder is a stop motion animation that re-imagines a portion of the narrative in My Mother Told Me, a work I created for the mid-program MAA exhibition UponOccasion in 2011 at Emily Carr University. The original work consists of a narrative that is loosely based on personal memory, and The Cleaning Girl additionally incorporates fantasy and fiction into a fragment of that memory.
The section of the story that is re-imagined from a portion of text in My Mother Told Me reads, “I didn’t notice a lot of blacks in our town, but I recall the Chinese boarders that lived in our bedrooms after the divorce – I thought it was strange how you could see their fallen hairs on the pillows”. The set for the animation is a bedroom made from low-tech materials. The figure and the furnishings are created from white paper, while the bedroom walls are constructed from corrugated cardboard.
The story begins with the girl occupied in cleaning the room of a boarder who lives in her mother’s house. She is distracted from her work and gazes out the window, masturbates on the corner of the bed, and imagines black hairs dancing on the boarder’s pillow. The Cleaning Girl sets memory and fantasy side by side as well as bringing together past and present. I draw upon memories to create the structure of the narrative, and these memories are paired with fantasy, which allow for moments of both humour and disgust to be present in the film. Simultaneously, past memories are brought to the present through the use of live action sequences, such as my own hand sloshing water in a bucket and washing a hot plate, and these are mixed with traditional stop motion animation techniques.