Welcome to week two of the 'Making with Place' project! In the first week, I fell in to an academic/existential crisis rabbit hole. This week, I tried to focus on just making as I felt driven too. In this blog post/series of research notes, I want to look at where place emerged rather than pressurizing myself to figure out what making with place means.
My humanity and social locations inform my creative process, and this week was very heavy.
Friday was Asexual Day of Visibility, and I created a watercolour piece to celebrate this facet of my identity, as a proud demisexual person. When I first thought about this piece in relation to the question of MwP, or how it's related to place, I blanked. But in the time period of uploading the image below, a light bulb went off.
This piece has to do with place because all these different kinds of mushrooms, coded in the colours of the Acesexual flag, with personified characteristics, are cuddling and sharing space, within an imaginary place. I think there's a connection between the ability for mushrooms to grow here, in Tkaronto and this piece, but I'm not entirely sure what it is. That being said, mushrooms keep showing up in my recent work, and I'm exciting to learn and practice what this means.
Shortly after finishing this celebratory piece, I felt the itch to create more but didn't want to invest into another watercolour piece, or a sketch. These days when I feel like this, I pull out my scratch pad! These are two of the four pieces I created, and the freestyle scratching/carving felt soothing:
I see two common themes amongst the four scratch art pieces. I see a theme of nature, which is a place I'm yearning to be in. And the other theme being one of outer space as a place. I took a break from creation for a couple days, while mother's day was looming.
I have a lot of feelings about family and mother's/father's day, as someone who was socialized as the eldest 'daughter' in an immigrant family in poverty, but also as someone who has lost a parent. I didn't love how this piece looked, and it felt really vulnerable to share (in a virtual place like Instagram). However, Instagram analytics showed me that this was one of my most shared, and most saved posts on my art account. This felt affirming, considering my own anxieties around sharing it online.
In relation to place, nature seems to be a recurring theme that shows up again in this piece. And I've really been enjoying using my Uchida Le Technical Drawing Pen that I picked up in Ottawa when I was there for work in February. It's a 0.03 mm fine tip pen, and I love the daintiness of it against the text here. In terms of media, I did lots of test prints throughout the week of the stamps I've been working on! I havn't received my lino supplies beyond two rubber slabs and 2 carving tools, so I've been using this one 99 cent ink pad impulse bin buy I got months ago.
I took a break from paper, and started an embroidery piece. It's going to be a gift for my little sibling's birthday. It's an anar, a pomegranate - a fruit that represents food security, and a labour of love. It's still a work in progress.
I wrapped up my practice this week going back to paper and making a collage. It was a really simple tactile activity, because I'd cut the pieces out during TCAF/Zineland Terrace, which was exactly a year ago. I remember cutting them out of some arts magazines at the zine making table, and I thought to myself that I'd collage with them later that day, and tucked them into some scrapbooking paper that was up for grabs. When I was pulling out the scrapbooking supplies this week, the cutouts flopped out onto the floor. I didn't use everything I'd cut out last year, but everything I did use, was from that little pile. As I wrap up this week's field notes with this piece, it's comforting to see nature here again. A place I always want to be in, create in, breathe in.
A place I always want to be in, create in, breathe in.