Part of my creative practice uses objects that other people hold on to that make them sad or unhappy-and create work based on their experiences. The objects I’m working with right now; camera film, prints, journal pages, are from a deeply challenging, traumatic and life changing time in a person’s life. I’m working on crafting […]
In October 2019 I had the privilege of co-presenting the paper The Textility of Trauma at the University Art Association Conference in Quebec City, QC. “Katrina Craig and Jolee Smith will give a joint presentation on their independent creative practices, which both deal with hybrid text and textile methodologies in relation to trauma. In her […]
Returning to my roots, the heartbreak journals. They’ve been in balls and bundles sitting on a shelf, and I’ve been asking myself if I should just throw them out (but never actually doing it). It seems like I’m not done working with these, doesn’t it? Exactly the same reason I started shredding them to start […]
I’m sorry I didn’t check in enough when it happened. I was still learning to support people. How do you record the weight a person has on a life, and the weight they have after they’re gone? How do you learn who someone is by what they left behind? In memory.
It all began with a journal. Or two journals, to be more exact. It all starts with minimalism. I love the idea of minimalism and letting go of the things you don’t use, but sometimes it doesn’t jive with making things. My sad journals. These journals hurt. They feel like a dull hollowness. They suck […]
It Washes Over explores experiences through the objects we hold onto, and how the experiences they represent change us. Using donated items of significance that carry memories, grief, and trauma, I ventured into the inner workings of heartbreak and back again. This exploration of physical and emotional experiences as an unraveling and reworking of self weaves […]
Does anyone else look at their work from when they were younger and realize years later what you were making work about? I’ve been thinking about the ring that was donated to me for my heartbreak project and I realized that without knowing it, I’ve done work about creeping control. I used to be very […]
I made this piece a full year ago and still haven’t published this post. It has been sitting in my draft folder, sometimes with writing in it, and sometimes without. I think it’s always easier to talk about someone else’s story than to talk about your own, and if I had the right words I […]
I have had this book for my Heartbreak Objects series for a long time. It was the first donated object I had received, and it was a heavy one. In his early 30s he had the realization that he was bisexual, and his family was not accepting of his sexual identity. His niece (who was […]
I work with objects that break people’s hearts but that they’ve held onto because of sentimental value. I take them apart and transforming them into something new that represents their experiences. The long processes and labour are like the process of grief or moving on; it takes time and sometimes we want to rush past […]
We like to pretend we can have a person forever. We are fallible creatures who grow and change, and eventually cease to exist. I was given these wedding bands as a generous contribution to my project Investigations of Heartbreak and Grief. Wedding bands are culturally one of the biggest signifiers of commitment and often that’s […]
I was donated the book Anal Pleasure and Health by Jack Morin as part of my project An Investigation of Heartbreak and Grief. The owner of the book met me for coffee and we talked about the symbolism of this book in his life, and why it’s important to him. In his early 30s he had […]
I received a big box in the mail. Part of an office chair box covered in duct tape. Inside was a stuffed animal, a beeswax candle, a David Bowie Ziggy Stardust Record, and a long letter about a series of uncomfortable and emotionally exploitative relationships…. ending with this one. The remaining objects had been poking […]
Carlene Kurdziel donated a pair of snow boots to my heartbreak project. It was my first donated object, and a doozie. The glue that holds snowboard boots together is pervasive, and there is stitching on top of it. I had to slice through the stitching with an exacto knife and then muscle the glue apart. Carlene […]
Sometimes certain objects that I get are loaded with meaning for that person but don’t look like anything special to anyone else. Then there certain objects that our culture assigns so much significance to you that they’re symbols of something much larger. I was given these spectacular rings for my heartbreak project.
I had a lot of colored pens when I wrote on these journals and it’s been a happy accident to get so much variety in something I can’t change the content of. Tape, Cut, spin. Joy in Labour.
Do you ever have an overwhelming desire to run your hands over uneven surfaces to experience what it feels like? There is something about roughness- we are accustomed to the things we touch being soft and comfortable. We forget to take the time to use the full range of our senses
One boot taken apart. Transforming objects that make us sad into something new to honour their purpose, reflecting while engaging in the process of taking them apart
I find it really difficult to write about my work sometimes. I suppose if i found it easy, I might be a writer instead of an artist. I’m sentimental with objects. I keep things that were important to me, whether happy or sad memories are attached, and I feel guilty throwing them away. I’ve been […]
Sifting through all my hoards for the project I’m currently working on has allowed me to pick out the things that make me sad, but also reflect on some of the amazing people in my life and read some of the love you’ve sent me! I feel privileged to have met such kind and encouraging […]
I’ve been working on a new use for my (sad) journals. They feel too special to throw out but I don’t want them sitting on my shelf. I found a way to spin them into yarn(ish) material, and I’m reading through and slowly making them into something new. It’s so relaxing and cathartic to cut […]