After years of dabbling in art – everything from sculpture to play writing – and three years of tentative practice as a digital media artist, I’ve made the leap.
With the writing of my first artist statement for a grant application, it’s official.
I AM AN ARTIST.
For the seasoned artists among you I’m sure this seems naive – maybe pretentious. Why would anyone want or need to make such a declaration? For me it is a more personal than public acknowledgement of a new direction in my life … a career change. It comes at a time when one might be planning to rest on one’s laurels.
This is a frightening idea, but in the creative life work comes to us with a need to be realized.
Over the past three years my emerging career has been nurtured by the generous spirits of other artists, friends and community partners; so, I offer this in recognition of their encouragement, patience and faith.
My art is centred around the personal narrative and its resonance within the large societal narrative.
Using all forms of media – still images, audio and video – combined into video, I strive to bring people’s personal stories to light and cast them as players within a community space. Videos can take the form of the traditional documentary, narrated slideshows, video installations or low fi pieces created by the storytellers using simple media tools.
Most often I work in partnership with community-based organizations to establish a project framework and recruit co-creators. I seek out partnerships that help me explore issues of social justice, human dignity and scarcity-versus-plenty. I prefer to work with groups of 3 to 10 people.
Projects follow a narrative arch beginning with story exploration, followed by media creation and/or collection, and then sharing of stories. I aim to honour people’s personal stories while bringing a new perspective to the work through curatorial practices of collection, relationship making and interpretation.
The resulting videos continue to resonate throughout the community with each viewing. The creation process is embedded in the personal narrative of each co-creator – including me.