All Things That Speak (Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition)
Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2012
I was raised in a family of artists; even though I wanted to be an actor, drawing and fabricating things – i.e., “making stuff” – were everyday activities I took for granted.
I became a working visual artist in a fairly roundabout way: I left work in theatre and morphed into an activist, mostly in the labour movement. I developed a life as a popular educator, working for social justice. During a prolonged illness my artwork became much more significant to me. I began exhibiting my artwork with Workman Arts in 2010, and have not looked back since.
Creating artwork is for me a function of living, an aspect of the conversation with myself, within myself. I have a thin skin, an overactive imagination, and a love of metaphor, so it’s natural for me visualize my internal narrative; I can’t help myself.
I’ve always sensed that I have a whole language hidden inside myself. It’s easy for me to intellectualize my ideas, which alienates me from hearing myself. I strive to get out of my own way, and not let my head interfere with my hand. I try to invite intuitive ideas into my work, through whimsy and red herrings. I make an effort to sniff out where I’m blindly following rules when I would do better by breaking them.
Art functions better as a vehicle for provoking questions, rather than something to turn to for answers. This is as true for the act of creating art as it is for experiencing art.