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, to others. A visual conversation is developed on each card as the artists respond to the previous marks with their own visual language and thoughts. Artists may complete the conversation at each stage with the final artist in the group if all are to be heard from, having the last say and trying to resolve the image/conversation.
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 a project to help us stay connected and keep our conversation about art and life going during the rest of the year. Each artist was began five artworks on 4"x6" cards based on their current studio inquiry and mailed four of these to the others in the group. Each artist was then to add their own imagery to the card before sending it to another member of the group. More than 600 postcards have now travelled to Gabriola Island, British Columbia; Pouch Cove, Newfoundland; Vilnius, Lithuania; Toronto, Lake Panache, Georgian Bay, Delta and Port Hope; Ontario; and Puerto Escondido, Mexico, with input from each of the artists. It is interesting examining the arc of the project from tentative beginnings to full-on experimentation and exploration of materials and idea. Covid-19 also impacted the project by prolonging isolation and instilling an anxiety that manifested itself in the imagery and colour range used by the artists. The project has been exhibited at Open Studio, Toronto in 2019 and The Slapelis Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania in 2022 as well as selections being included in various group shows. It will be shown on Gabriola Island, BC in 2023. See the artwork produced in this project Here
It would be interesting to attempt this project with a different group of artists who may not know each other as well to see how the conversation develops.