VIDEO: What kind of artist are you anyway?
This video gives an overview (of sorts) of some of my work to date. I made this video for a special event hosted by the Ontario Arts Council for past recipients of the access and career development grant.
The video also features some images of work made by friends, which represent past and ongoing collaborations – ranging from very open, loose mixing to more traditional forms of teamwork.
Over the next week, I’ll be noting below the images that were contributed by these friendly collaborators, and try to do our collaborative relationships justice. If these images intrigued or impressed you, please visit their websites and consider leaving them a note. A nice comment is a wonderful gift to pass along.
. . .
paintings by Maria Colombo
These are images of works by Argentinian artist Maria Colombo whom I met in France at an artist’s residency.
In France, Maria’s studio was directly above mine. Every day we worked in parallel studios, making parallel discoveries, trying to go further with our work before another sleep and another day was lost.
The painting on the far left is Canada / Argentina. I had always felt as if I could read Maria’s paintings like a book. Every painting has its own story. When I saw this piece, it was the day of my departure from the residency. The painting did not have a name yet, but I told Maria I could see Canada and Argentina in it. She said she had made it that morning, “just trying to begin working again,” then gave it to me as a parting gift, and as a symbol of collaborations to come.
The painting hangs in my studio in Toronto, reminding me that although we are very far from each other now, we are each in our respective studios, “just trying to begin working again.”
The green folded painting in the middle contains another painting on the opposite side, which Maria had offered me as a canvas on which she hoped I would place words one day. Our first official collaboration.
The mixed media work on the right is a piece that Maria created based on an experimental story I had written. Our second official collaboration.
Before the official collaborations, there was something else at work. In a blog post that Maria wrote during our residency in France, she alludes to a magic, unseen, unconscious collaboration that was already taking place in those days of parallel studio lives:

While the bike goes through all the weathers. […] While the Sun is less and less powerful. While we know our time is about to end, all the time. While we invent the islands where we are going to see each other again. While the words of one guides the brush of the other. […] 

While we think its today and it is yesterday.

Whiles, yes, it is all the time, you don´t know any more if what you have, came with you or you founded it here.

What Maria did not know at the time of her penning this blog post, was that I had started writing a different kind of story which were greatly inspired by my encounter with her paintings. Words guiding the brush, brush guiding the writing. Chicken or egg, would we have done the work we did if we had not found each other in the space of this residency?
. . .
Images by and annotations for Christine Garvey, Dreamwalker Dance, and Sebastian Portillo coming next.

2 responses to “VIDEO: What kind of artist are you anyway?

  1. Pingback: The Gift List | Helen Yung·

  2. Pingback: Postscript to my departure | Helen Yung·

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