Mixed media on canvas: Acrylic, ink, clay, rice, star anise, shells from Vancouver Island and Australia, some of my dreadlocks, my great grandmother’s doilies; thimbles, wood basket, seeds, wool from Dharamsala, India.
It all started with a board game night… If you knew me you would know I have a terribly phobia of bord games. I have not one competitive bone in my body, I love ties I think they are great everyone is happy, solo sporting events for leisure are wonderful. As a child every time a fun board game was brought out the night ended in someone in tears or upset. So being invited to a night labeled as a board game evening I brought a tote bag full of art supplies to enjoy the social event from a safe distance. As the night processed and the tensions of the dreadful board games shenanigans began to come to life. And well so did this silly little coiled up clay octopus in my hands as I sat puttering away sitting on a cushion on the floor. Every once and awhile a scream would startle me back into the room and I would hold up my little creation and everyone would smile and get all excited at her coming to life. She is what brought this whole piece to life I baked her that night and began dreaming up what her dwelling would be.
As time went on I began to create the coral reef from recycled scrapes I had in my crafting collection. I was talking with my mother one day about doilies and how they would make the perfect add on to my piece. She went and grabbed some of my long Ammas ( great Grandmother) doilies she had and told me to use them in my pieces. At first I felt so odd about cutting them but my Mom (who is by far my biggest advocate since the first crayon she put in my hand. Welcoming her kitchen to then become an art studio for the next 18 years. As well as the abundance of nude drawings and paintings to flood into her home) told me of how my long Amma would love to be creating a collaborative piece with me.
The phrase everything but the kitchen sink I remember ringing in my ears while stepping back and looking at the reef grow in front of my eyes. She traveled with me from home to home for two years. Her journey all the way from rural Manitoba being packed up and driven all the way to Vancouver to my new home. I remember my Mom calling and saying “Did she make it in one piece!? Any fixing needing to be made?” And me thinking to my self one piece… What a thought… This is so many little tiny pieces of so many places, people, times in my life. Even in the corner of the canvas my dreadlocks flow up the side like sea kelp. She literally is a part of me.
So I placed her on our wall when she was finally completed right beside my rocking chair so my son could enjoy all the colours and textures as I breast feed him and rock him to sleep.