If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also, you will have betrayed your community in failing to make your contribution.
— Rollo May (The Courage to Create)
I need to start this post with a huge chi-miigwetch to my community for supporting my artistic career. In some ways it is easy to be an artist - be yourself, make things, repeat. In other ways it can be a real struggle - the admin work, financially supporting your art making, pandemic lockdowns....
I am filled with gratitude for having been approached by The Art Gallery Of Northumberland to be a part of their Spotlight Series 3 - an annual arts education fundraiser known for shining the spotlight on artists from across Northumberland County. This opportunity came to me when I was at a low point spiritually. I was missing my friends and family, all cultural events were on hold, my studio and gallery had to be closed to visitors, and I was beginning to wonder whether my art made a difference to anyone other than me. But, I had begun my new series on community and was excited with how the concept was developing. Interestingly enough, it was at this point that the AGN approached me with their community project. Funny how synchronicity works.
Since that time I have filmed my mini-doc, given radio interviews and news interviews. If you know me, you'll know that I prefer to listen rather than speak. This experience has been WAY outside my comfort zone. But, I also know that if you don't do things that scare you then you are not growing as a person.
The AGN Spotlight Series 3 has given me the opportunity to tell my community about myself and my heritage, how my landscape art speaks to topics and issues I care about, and I've come to learn that it also means something to all of you. That is why I do what I do and am who I am.
A friend of mine, who recently passed away, David Tanner, once told me that to have a talent or a gift and to choose not to share that with the world was to fail both yourself and your community. I feel my included quote above explains what he said to me perfectly.
And so, I make art and share it. Whether it's good or bad (I never profit from anything I'm not happy with). Whether it's in progress or completed. Whether for sale or not. That is my small contribution to my community. And my community decided to recognize my work and share it to a broader audience. I am humbled and honoured to have been chosen, along with five other outstanding artists Kate Boothman, Cale Crowe, Oli Goldsmith, Kate Hessin, and Ian Jack.
I do hope you will come together with me as my community to view these mini-docs. The Northumberland County artistic community has shared so much over the course of the pandemic and has also taken a huge hit. Your love of the arts makes our tiny piece of Turtle Island a vibrant, caring, thriving, compassionate place that I'm proud to call home.
I will keep you updated on my latest work and perhaps some insight into my creative process.