February 24th, 2014
My partner Boris is a far superior cook than I, mostly because he has a passion for the activity whereas my passion for food lies more with the eating of it. Over the five or so years we’ve lived together I’ve steadily handed off the bulk of food preparation to his care, and been very glad of it. I enjoy his good cooking, while he enjoys a clean home and clothes.
This past December I came to the realization that I found the activities of cooking or baking to be extremely stressful. The reason why is because I did these things so rarely I was out of practice and had lost my confidence in working with food.
I am surrounded by people who are excellent chefs, and I am lucky to share many good meals made by friends, so I suddenly felt pretty shameful about the sad level my food skills had sunk to.
Immediately I made the decision to turn things around. I have been cooking and baking much more often over the past two months, including trying recipes for things I’ve always wanted to make but hadn’t previously tried. (I’m looking at you Lemon Loaf and Okonomiyaki).
The situation had me reflecting upon the empowering nature of making things by hand. I should never be afraid to try something new, or have the expectation for perfection. I understand this intimately when it comes to art and craft processes, but it also applies to working with food. Thank goodness for the Christmas baking epiphany because now I am empowered to enjoy the creation of food as much as I love the consumption of it.
February 20th, 2014
For the last few weeks I’ve been trying to fast track the production of a paper installation made up of a ridiculous amount of individual pieces of paper. I’ve been using the digital cutter to do most of the cutting for me, but it hasn’t been a smooth process because the machine has a tendency towards paper butchery at random intervals. It’s a moody little beast, but to be fair, I have asked it to cut a couple hundred (or so) pieces of paper over the last few weeks.
My final count, for now, is about six hundred paper wings in white, silver, beige, and black paper. It should work out to about sixty clusters of these wings, which will hopefully fill up the space nicely where these will hang. There is a lot of guess work going on here because I’ve only seen photos and videos of the space these are destined for.
Yesterday I took one of the black wings and used it as a surface to doodle a meditative drawing. I love the way this looks and it made me wish I could so this with all them. But I’m not that crazy…
February 18th, 2014
My friend Vivienne has an uncanny ability to find hearts and messages of love around our neighbourhood of Commercial Drive, and she often shares these on Instagram. It got me thinking about leaving more hearts for her to find, which in turn led to an idea for a collaboration we could do together.
I created a couple of heart stencils, three by hand and one using the digital cutter, and bought two cans of spray paint. I was curious to see how well my elaborate heart paper cut work would translate when painted on the sidewalk. We wanted to do this in time for Valentine’s Day, and bring a little more love into the world.
Vivienne and I went out twice last week and added hearts to parts of Strathcona and The Drive. Some of these have already washed away in the rain, because that’s how it goes with street art. It’s not meant to be permanent and the work is at the mercy of the elements. I think a few of the hearts will stick around for awhile, and at some point I hope we’ll go out again and add more.
We decided to title the project #HeartingTheNeighbourhood. If you come across our hearts around town please share them on Instagram and use the tag so we can see.
I hope you had a happy heart day.