I just thought I would write a quick post about what I have been up to this fall and what is coming up this winter.
IKIRO Jiu Jitsu
Six months ago I started writing for IKIRO Canada, a global Jiu Jitsu and Lifestyle Brand that is a human-centred driven to inspire grapplers and athletes. IKIRO means “Be Alive” in Japanese. The brand focuses on clean, fresh and minimalist design that is inspired by modern art and creative culture. The brand originated in the east coast of Canada back in 2015 and is aimed to share the passion and lifestyle of jiu-jitsu. They seek to contribute to the positive influence of Jiu Jitsu in the community. They collaborate with artists, designers, the movers and shakers to inspire to make a difference in today’s world. Now, based out of Toronto, Canada, IKIRO continues to inspire more people on and off the mats around the world.
Moving forward I am very excited to continue to interview athletes and provide context to the evolving Jiu Jitsu scene in Canada and abroad. Writing this monthly blog keeps me on my toes and allows me to sharpen my writing skills and Jiu Jitsu game as I engage with and learn from diverse athletes.
Canadian Forces Artist Program (CFAP)
Currently, I am a participant of the Canadian Forces Artist Program (CFAP) 2018-2019 through the Canadian War Museum (CWM) in Ottawa and was recently embedded with the Canadian Forces (CAF) in Ukraine as part of Operation Unifier. They have tentatively set the Exhibition Date for Winter 2022. I wrote a blog earlier this year about my time in Ukraine and my primary goals for this body of work. I am in the midst of developing the video and audio documentation.
Centre for Art Tapes (CFAT)
This September I started the artist in residence program at the Centre for Art Tapes (CFAT). CFAT is an inclusive artist-run centre that supports artists who use video, audio, and electronic media to express ideas and stories that are under-represented in mainstream culture. CFAT is devoted to the exchange of ideas among diverse artists through experimentation, mentorship, presentation, and research. I am beyond excited about this residency!
For the purpose of this residency, I will create a series of short videos and sound collages from the audio/visual explorations and research that I conducted on-site in Ukraine. This material documents the history of war and how it continues to impact the current political and economic climate in Ukraine and push the war in the east. I am utilizing CFAT equipment to edit this media and further experiment with projection mapping, sound, installation, and performance.
This residency provides access to professional equipment and technical expertise that I need to experiment, strengthen my current skill set, and develop work that will establish my art practice in the realm of media arts.
Corridor Gallery at Visual Arts Nova Scotia (VANS)
aI exhibited a series of Jiu Jitsu Camouflage paintings titled, "Repeat", at Hermes Gallery in June and from September 3rd-24th, I exhibited the preliminary sketches and drawings of these paintings at the Corridor Gallery at Visual Arts Nova Scotia. The drawings isolate techniques performed in the martihal art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I reference these drawings to build complex repeat patterns that I paint. The figurative patterns in these sketches are repeated across the canvas and are further abstracted, creating a more colorful pattern, reminiscent of camouflage.
For Nocturne 2019: SCAFFOLD, I collaborated with Sweet Squish Farms: The Veteran's Farm Project to build a makeshift military checkpoint, titled, "A (Temporary) Memorial to Ongoing War and Conflict."
Project Description: A makeshift military checkpoint challenges the notions of traditional monuments and memorial spaces by disrupting movement to engage and bring the viewer into the space where they are confronted to interpret the layered meanings of the memorial.
This project explored how temporary structures can be used to make commentary on the social, physical, and political structures that shape our lives. In Halifax and across Canada, we have been affected by war fought on foreign land, which has huge implications in our communities and built environments, both physically and psychologically. This work recognizes the global political climate and its interconnected nature. Whether it involves the decisions of our political leaders, our military's impact on foreign land, or newcomers fleeing war and finding a new home in Canada. These decisions and experiences impact our communities and shape how we understand conflict and war, as well as peace.
The creation of the provisional checkpoint comments on the need for communities to share stories of war and peace and to continuously revisit and question how we choose to commemorate our history and current events. And most importantly, to question whose voices are being heard and whose are not.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia
I will be doing an artist talk this Sunday, December 1st at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia in conversation with Althea Thauberger's solo exhibit: The State of the Situation (9 Nov - 5 April). I highly recommend checking out her remarkable work.