It was an interesting year. It was definitely a year of transition for me, of growth and learning, and though the year is done, I am not (really).
Let’s recap (in no particular order):
1) The biggest one for me this year, GRADUATION.
Feeling like all my hard work over the last five years has paid off, and at that moment, I was exactly where I should have been. This was the right choice for me, and I know/ knew that it would be a difficult path sometimes, but I love the adventure, and the personal rewards and the community is a treasure.
2) The GUSHUL RESIDENCY.
Amazing! The experience was amazing, my studio mate was incredible- fun, smart, motivated, caring, and adventurous, and I learned a lot! It was great to feel validated as an artist, and to get to spend a whole month concerned about nothing but having an adventure and making work was incredible, a luxury I hope to have again sometime. Definitely an amazing first artist residency experience in on of my favourite parts of the world, and not too far away from home. Trap/Door Artist Run Centre.
3) SPARK (Fluid Festival)
Undersense. By Veronica Benz and Jennifer Akkermans. Photo by Ron Checora.
The two week intensive collaborative residency taught me to trust my own decisions and those of my partner. It was definitely a unique experience, resulting in a very interesting show. I learned a lot about my own creative process, as well as that of others, and by the end of it, felt like I had made twelve new friends! (And all the Happy Birthday texts showing up in one particularly memorable audience interaction piece was very sweet!)
4) Making my film, MORPHOPODIA through EMMEDIA.
Humongous project. I learned to use what I had access to. EMMEDIA was great with the technical stuff- teaching me how to use the equipment and software to edit, and allowing me the opportunity to make the film, but, in all honesty, there is so much more involved in taking on a project like this. Planning, writing scripts, finding and coordinating actors, volunteers and helpers (all of which have their own busy schedules), finding someone with a vehicle to move large amounts of equipment around reliably (more than I’m used to carrying on the train, anyway), setting up sets and scenes, adjusting lighting, sound, acting, editing, etc.
5) Terrarrium / International Festival of Animated Objects
This exhibition, in Stride‘s +15, was an opportunity for me to explore how the Morphoids would interact with eachother over a period of time. The show was up for two months, February and March, I believe, and because it was part of the IFAO, I adjusted the exhibit twice a week, creating a storyline, like a very slow stop-motion animation. The personalities of the Morphoids came out, and there was an accident, resulting in one of the Morphoids getting eaten. (It’s funny, this seems like much longer ago, probably because I’ve done a lot since then.)
A lesson in time management, depending on other people, and building things for the body. In particular, this shoulder piece. It was so complicated to get to sit in the right place and stand up, but I count it as an engineering success. (Model: Sara Girletz.)
7) St[art] Residency/ Calgary Allied Arts Foundation.
This is the last thing I have participated in this year, and I actually still have the space until January the 8th. I used the two month residency in art central to do some drawings, develop some ideas for the insides and organs of some of the Morphoids, and I built a set and animated a Morphoid hatching. A great opportunity to do something I would not have the space to do properly at home. Calgary Allied Arts Foundation
In terms of my practice, this year has been pretty amazing. I made the transition from student to artist, showing work, looking for opportunities, and developing my practice. I learned a lot, including learning to work with film and basic animation, modeling materials, constructing things from wood, etc, etc, etc. There have of course been other cool things going on this year, but these are definitely the highlights.
I can only hope that next year yields as many opportunities!