Where I'm At Now
Where I'm At Now is a project that builds a collection of postcards reflecting the experience of place -physical and psychic with a group of artists. Vulnerability and trust are explored as the artists offer glimpses of their thinking and working process from their current studio practice and allow others to change and develop their work. Each image becomes a visual conversation as subsequent artists respond with their own visual language and thinking. A conversation is complete when each artist in the group has responded or if three or more artists in the group agree that a conversation/composition is resolved.
Where I'm At Now: A Conversation in Art was explored by artists Yael Brotman, Karen Curry, Liz Parkinson, Snaige Sileika and MJ Steenberg, from 2018-2022. Colloquially called "The Gibson Girls" after a river they canoed on in the early 1990's, the group has been canoeing and travelling together in some form for 30+ years and is now often living across the globe. At our 2018 retreat I suggested this 'mail art' idea to help us stay connected and keep our conversation about art and life going during the rest of the year.
Each artist began five artworks on 4"x6" pieces of paper based on their current studio inquiry and mailed four of these to the others in the group. Each subsequent artist then added their own marks before sending the work to another member of the group. More than 600 postcards eventually travelled to Gabriola Island, British Columbia; Pouch Cove, Newfoundland; Vilnius, Lithuania; Toronto, Lake Panache, Georgian Bay, Delta and Port Hope; Ontario; as well as Puerto Escondido, Mexico, with input from each of the artists. The project arced from tentative beginnings to full-on experimentation and exploration of materials and idea. Covid also impacted the project by prolonging isolation and instilling an anxiety that manifested itself in the imagery and colour range used by the artists. However throughout the entire experience we all looked forward to the connection and challenge provided by the next delivery of postcards.
Where I'm at Now: A Conversation in Art was exhibited at Open Studio, Toronto in 2019 and The Slapelis Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2022 as well as selections being included in various Canadian and international group shows. It will be shown at the Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre in June 2023.
See all the artwork produced in this project at gibsongirlsart.com
I am interested in exploring variations of this project with different groups of artists or modified as a community project to engage in wider conversations about mark making and importantly vulnerability and trust in collaborating with others.