Sentimental Objects

Yarn Organs

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 […]

Paper Knitting, Wire Skull

I feel like I’m starting to defrost after so much time with myself during quarantine. It started out with me bursting with energy. I had just come down from such a challenging year. Fast paced-stressful-chaotic. Maybe a stressful decade ending in a global pandemic. You know, the works. A lot of my recent projects recently […]

The Textility of Trauma

“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 studio practice, Katrina repurposes written text as the material for her textiles work, whereas Jolee has been drawing on the techniques of textile practices as […]

The Work That Hurts

I’ve been doing the work that hurts. Cutting my stomach open and looking at my guts, my heart. Who are you? I whisper to myself. It’s becoming clearer and fuzzier at the same time. The more I cut myself open the more I find the rotten parts, meticulously cutting them from the healthy tissue. Where […]

A Much Deserved Service

I keep them all. Why? In case I need them in the future. So I have a record. Lettering them forced me to read them as a series. Foreign and familiar patterns reminding me of who I am, and who I am seen as. Or in this case, what I am seen as. I’m seen […]

Getting Back to Play

Play is such an important part of my art practice, and something I’ve lost touch with over the last few years in riding the wave of momentum and administrative work. Sometimes an exciting realization can come out of laying on the floor, doing material research, or putting something on your head. Don’t take yourself so […]

Roots and Repeats

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 […]

Change is Inevitable, Tides are Inevitable: It Washes Through

You can’t control how events will change you, just that events will change you. I’ve been making work about grief, trauma and closure, but really I’ve been making work about change. Changes shock us, they rattle us. Loss is change. We don’t always know how to deal with these changes. I’ve changed through doing my […]

Calm

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.

Words Cut to Slivers, Soften.

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

Read Olenka Skrypnyk’s response to It Washes Over Dedicated To Book, Anal Pleasure and Health by Jack Morin: ​A token of the acceptance of sexuality from a family member shifted to a memorial of a life.Paper, Tape, Cotton, Wire. 2018Read Journal Post Loving You Hurt More Journals: A record of an unbalanced relationship, a raw […]

Control, Vines: A Reflection of Growth

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 […]

Loving You Hurt More, A Process in a Process

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 […]

Dedicated to

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 […]

The Process of Closure

​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 […]

Heartbreak Object: Wedding Bands

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 […]

Heartbreak Object: Taboos, then, have an all-encompassing quality

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 […]

Heartbreak Objects: Tokens From a Past Place

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 […]

Love Isn’t About Becoming, it is Being

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 […]

Performing “Over It”

I have an interest in everyday suffering- Everyone who exists has experienced suffering. In the culture I live in, you’re not supposed to suffer. It’s expected that you might be sad for a few days, maybe a few weeks. Death, heartbreak, transition and loss are something to move past. There is a huge “happiness” movement with […]

Objects of Understood Significance

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.  

Journal Excitement

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.    

Roughness, Softness

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  

Transforming Snow Boots

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  

Journals, Sentimentality

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 […]

Heartbreak, Support

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 […]

Sad Journals, New Form

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 […]