Archive for July 2010
A small excerpt from my notebook. Written originally in May 2010. A peek into the thoughts surrounding space, culture and a sustainable creative community in Charlottetown PEI.
p.s. This Town Is Small is not only a movement towards a gallery space. It is a collective and collaborative journey aiming to provide space for the creation, education and dissemination of all contemporary art forms.
Written By Lesleigh Misener
On dirt roads you will find me
Following paths that lead to mysteries
only forest can contain.
Balsam and fir spinning wordless song
Sailing paper-masted heart down dancing brook
to seas of green and spirit.
Here is the breath. Here is the psalm.
And the music that rises from the deep.
Video by Millefiore Clarkes
Music by The Meantime
Model is Kelly Casely
Working on If My Silence
written by Millefiore Clarkes
Working on this music video was an intense experience. Many long hours in the editing suite. The original idea came from where all great ideas come from… whilst taking a walk. My partner and I were traversing the frozen shoreline of Prince Edward Island, witnessing the microcosmic worlds that exist in every crevice. What would happen if that small world was made large? An infinite plain of ice fields, a shell castle, a shaft of wheat as big as a tree.
And then there is the music. The Meantime is in actuality, Emily Harris-McLeod: a social worker, artist, and musician from Toronto. This particular piece struck me to the core when I first heard it years ago, when Emily was at the Nelson School of Music. She composed it then, but only in the last year has she solidified her musical creations into a beautiful and deep album, simply titled ‘The Meantime’. Emily played most of the instruments, sang, and recorded the album by herself. (It is available to purchase at The Greenman Vintage and Vinyl in Charlottetown, PEI, AND online at http://silverbirchprod.com/store/proddetail.php?prod=1151
Kelly Casely was the perfect muse for this piece that was shot against a green screen. The images of her are layered against colour treated video footage of small worlds made large. And the result is the video you see before you.
For more of my video work you can go to: www.onethousandflowers.tv
Feedback is welcome. There are great things in the media arts coming out of PEI. It’s a fertile ground for great storytelling in all mediums. Keep watching.
A Fashionable Small Town Project
written by Becka Viau
A couple of weeks ago I was asked to participate in the Urban Fringe Fest Fashion Show on the waterfront in downtown Charlottetown. I was contacted by Savannah Belsher-MacLean, from Panache Magazine, the volunteer fashion show coordinator, shortly after a local designer had backed out of the project. It was last minute and a gap in the presentation had to be filled.
How could I possibly be of help at a fashion show? I don’t make clothing or Jewelry and typically my brain is pretty weird when it comes to creative output… maybe a fashion show is too fancy of an event for my artistic endeavors. Yet, a challenge is something I hardly ever shy away from, especially if there is a short deadline. So, I gathered my thoughts and met with my great friend and local artist Holly McGee with whom I had already collaborated with on a leather mask project last year entitled The Art of Disguise.
Quickly our imaginations came together. A storm of creativity. Questions, responses, discussions and sketches. The talk continued for four days, off and on depending on how often Holly and I bumped into each other on the street or at Timothy’s Coffee Shop. Our ideas funneled out into four categories: Islandness, fantasy, uniqueness and fun.
This project had to be fun. There is no sense stressing about time when there just isn’t very much of it to worry about. Having fun is something that Holly and I are pretty good at, but it was also important to ensure our team and audience left the event smiling. Especially since the Urban Fringe Fashion Show was coordinated and implemented by volunteers.
Holly and I make masks, all sorts. We make them in spurts when our fingers and brains need to play and enjoy rather than work and organize. The masks are fantastical, born from make believe. Wearing a mask is a fun thing. They change who you are perceived to be. They can even change the way you perceive yourself to be. This is a concept I love playing with, adaptable identity.
I was born in Nova Scotia. I moved to P.E.I. when I was three months old yet I still find it hard to say that I am a real Islander. My identity is an Island identity, but it is not one that stems from an Island family history rather it has grown from the community and landscape around me. Someone said to me the other day, “This dirt is who you are,” and I think that is true. There is something about the red soil that defines P.E.I. and its people. It is rich and beautiful but it is dirt and dirt is dirty. Generally we are told not to get in it or have it on us. But I do remember when I was little and we went mainlanding I was quite proud of my red clay stained socks and knees. Our Red soil makes us unique; it is a symbol that unites us without really being a symbol. It just is.
So we took some red clay from Tea Hill, bought some tighty whities and headed to the water front armed with a basket of masks and a handful of mustaches on sticks. The fashion shows went well. Holly and I learned a lot about being behind the scene at an event like that, as well as how to work quickly yet sincerely together. I hope you enjoy the photographs from the event. I would like to thank Tanya Davis for allowing us to use her song Drums as the backdrop for the performance, Matt Bowness for collaborating with me on the Pan Mask and Leslie Hambly who worked backstage with us and Sarah MacEachern for the photography.
Collaboration, sporadic, spontaneous or not always blows my mind.
If you or anyone you know would like to collaborate with the members of This Town Is Small don’t hesitate to contact us. Collaborations happen organically and don’t need to be initiated by us, if you would like to support, promote or connect with our members it is as easy as saying “HEY! What do you think of this?”
The way you wear your clothes
and how you eat your food
I like the way you think
I love you
And how you play the drums
on top of every surface
And the rhythm that comes through your hands
And when you tie your boots up
And when you fold your T-shirts
I just like the way you move
And I like your freckles
And I like your muscles
And I like you sentences too
You stride over to me
And I’m watching you walk
Thinking it is the best sight I’ve ever saw
Cause when you come close to me
My heart is always opening
And every time I am so enthralled
The accent in your voice
And all the words you use
I like the way you talk
I love you
And how you hold your arms out when you’re ready for a hug
And the way you bring me close into your chest
And when you study hard and when you daydream harder
I just like the things you do
And I like your features and I like you fingers
I like your ideas too
- Tanya Davis
Written by Becka Viau
Am I destined for great things? I don’t know for sure.
Yet, there are times I feel I can carry the whole world on my shoulders, all of the good and all of the bad. I can walk around for days with my emotional luggage full to brim. Feeling to the fullest for everyone, including myself.
It’s true a heart can become to full, though I look forward to this moment. The instant my heart explodes I enter a state of euphoria. I may cry for hours. I may get the sillies. Mostly I am distant. But I am not lost.
Euphoric confusion is how I describe it. Caught between the good and the bad, feeling despair and happiness at the same time. There is clarity, acceptance of difference, a gift, a map that will lead me through the constellation of life. It is hard to interpret but it is there, if only I anticipate its arrival.
People have described me as a sensitive soul. Perhaps I am, or is it because I have made the conscious decision to step back and save the interpretation of my experiences for a later time. Experience now, empathize fully, feel now and interpret later. At a time when all experiences collide, when I must let go or I will die. Perhaps I am a sensitive soul. Or perhaps I am just a collector, an emotional addict and my studio is a safe house.
There are times I feel I am destined for great things. Perhaps living is that great thing. Living with you. Living with me.
Written by Lesleigh Misener
Friedrich Nietzsche said “Without music, life would be a mistake.”
So often I find myself connected to a song or a melody that leads me where I need to travel in my minds eye.
Roads open before me, suns rise and set, dust settles, in the wake of a pick-up truck ambling away down a quiet country lane, and pain rises and falls away like waves lost on the shoreline. There is refuge, promise, solace and joy. What is found and what is lost. Where we have been and where we have yet to go.
This morning I woke with a song. Quietly whispering at the urging of some invisible D.J. in my psyche. Lyle Lovett’s “This Old Porch” was calling from the South.
I listened to it on repeat several times; finding myself again connected to the wanderlust that so often meets me, and to a familiar yearning for a home that I have never known.
I wanted to walk barefoot into that song.
To feel the weathered planks of that porch against the soles of my feet, and the grass and silky dust of the lane between my toes as I stepped from the bottom stair. To run my finger along the edge of the gilded frames of aged photos that hang on the stairwell inside, and linger in their history. To belong to this place and all that it held.
“And this old porch is just a long time
Of waiting and forgetting
And remembering the coming back
And not crying about the leaving
And remembering the falling down
And the laughter of the curse of luck
From all of those passerby
Who said we’d never get back up” ~Lyle Lovett
Strange that my old friend Wanderlust was traveling in the company of the Deep Call Home, sans destination ticket – Lyle Lovett acting as tour guide.
The road home is a mystery…
I’ll have to keep my eye on the signs.